If your homeschool days are in the doldrums, start a new read aloud.
If your kids are sick, just read aloud to them. Find something special they will simply enjoy.
If your days are filled with interruptions, find a moment and read aloud together.
If you are stressed, don’t sweat the small stuff. Just cuddle together and read aloud.
If you have lost hope in your homeschooling, start afresh and read aloud to your kiddies.
If your child is finding school work too difficult and wants to give up, let him find refreshment and hope in a good read aloud.
You’ll be amazed what reading aloud accomplishes –
- Amazing learning! Kids learn and pick up so much through living books. Themes, topics, facts, ideas and character qualities become life-long lessons. They will learn about great minds, great thoughts and good morals and values. They will often live it out, act it out, and try it out. No textbook can ever hope to inspire what great books can inspire!
- Increased vocabulary – Children love learning new words, and listening to read alouds enlarges their vocabulary, especially with toddlers! Because new words are heard in context (in sentences with clues to their meaning), children can express and pronounce new words correctly, fully understanding its meaning.
- Unity – Nothing brings a family together quite like listening to a great book. The story brings everyone together and takes them on a journey of exploration, discovery and delight. If your family have ever listened to a radio drama or audio book in the car on a long journey, it is the same experience!
- Humour – When your homeschooling seems to have hit a wall, start a Roald Dahl or some other funny book . Nothing revives dulled and dreary souls more that some good laughs! It will bring the spark back to your family time! Humour learnt from our read aloud books became an underlying comedy line in our family’s humor. My kids still quote funny lines from books I read to them when they were young. And my children, now young adults, still giggle and tease me for my ridiculous Italian and deep Southern American and Spanish accents I used when reading aloud!
- Continuity – Pick up the story where you left off last, maybe review the last moments, read on, and the journey continues. Despite disruptions, delays and interruptions, read alouds hold homeschooling on track. Even if your children don’t do any seat work (3R’s such as Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) for days, even weeks, they will not fall behind. If you continue to just read aloud to them they will learn. I promise that this is true. I have proved it over and over during my 20+ years of homeschooling.
- 3rd voice – A read aloud acts as a 3rd party and helps parents “speak” with their children about difficult topics and themes. This is especially helpful with teens. A book presents ideas which both the child and parent can talk about without feeling trapped or shy. Books about purity, modesty, money matters, personal hygiene, logic and reasoning, divorce, death, faith, dangers of social media, etc. deal with tricky issues in an open and non-threatening way.
- Writing excellence – I have never ever taught my children creative writing lessons, but, through living books and great literature, they have all become incredibly gifted writers. They imitate what they are regularly exposed to and develop a keen idea of how to write well. They have a discernment for what is “schlocky” or “trashy” books, and what is good. I have spoilt my children for cheap, rubbish paperback books for ever!
- Oral narrations work – If you read aloud to your children and ask them to listen carefully and narrate (tell you back in their own words) what they have just heard, they will make it their own in ways that defy memorizing facts, or learning dry, dull information. A child who thinks about what she has heard and understood, should express those ideas clearly and simply. Older children should aim to remember at least 8 things from the reading and try express them in as similar a style as the author penned them. This is advanced learning that requires focussed attention, massive mental connections and personal interpretation. It is not easy! It doesn’t matter if you have “nothing to show” for lessons narrated orally. Your children will learn well!
- Keep going – read alouds are for young adults too! Don’t stop when your kids become teens! We still read aloud, often at the dinner table, or when we are sewing and doing arts and crafts. Expand the types of books to read aloud and cover a diverse range of books and topics.
- Ongoing – Children who enjoy read alouds learn to love books and often develop into bookworms! Homeschool children who have continuous exposure to books learn to love to read, and they will keep reading for pleasure and information long into their adult lives.
- Make it special – Read aloud time is a special time! We looked forward to joining each other on a cuddly couch after all the seat work was done. We would gather in a sunny spot with hot chocolate or mug of tea and cookies in winter, or lie in the shade under a tree on hot days with some bubbly water for our read aloud time. We all had a sense of relief for this time together. There was no sense of pressure or strain. Young toddlers are welcome to play quietly nearby, absorbing the story and being part of the learning moments. Even Dad coming into the house for a tea break, or my young adult daughter, long since graduated, sometimes joined us because our read aloud time was so intimate, and so wonderful.
Start with the easy stuff = read alouds. Cait at My Little Poppies shares why you should start your day with the easiest thing. Begin your day reading aloud and you will accomplish much and solve everything … well, almost everything!
Artworks inspired by great literature which we sketched and painted .