Daily Read a loud time is seriously one of the things I look forward to as a stay at home mom each afternoon. We have read so many books together and have really engaged in some incredible and sometimes difficult subjects as a family.
I have been reading chapter books to my children for as long as I can remember. As our family grew, we still continued to enjoy this special time together at least 5x per week.
Each read a loud session isn’t always perfect, but it still seems fabulous to me when I follow a few simple guidelines. I have to admit, my children have never complained about attending our read a loud time and only a couple out of a half dozen love to read. So read a louds can be for children who aren’t avid readers, too. All my children participate in this daily event. They range from 17 to 4 years of age.
The TOP 8 Secrets to a Fabulous Read A Loud Experience
- Be Consistent with Location and Time – all 7 of us pile up in my bedroom on the bed and floor. First come, first serve. We always enjoy our time right after lunch. Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t do read a louds in the car or whenever, it’s just helpful that they know it’s part of what we do each day.
- Research the Author – it’s always easier to relate to the story if you are familiar with where, when, and why the author wrote the book. Sometimes I show the children the location on a map, etc. We do this the day before we actually start reading the book.
- Keep Little Ones Busy – I always allow my younger ones to color or play quietly on the floor while we are reading. Keep a box of toys that they can only use during this special time. Some older ones might need the stimulation, too. You will be amazed with what those little ones can remember.
- Recap the Day Before – I always ask one child to recap what happened the day before in simple narration form.
- Alternate Genres – I try to read all different types of books to my children. Some prefer biographies and some adventure. This way we can meet everyone’s needs.
- Always Stop at an Exciting Place in Book – Yes, leave them hanging and begging for you to read more. Yes, I have been known to cheat and read ahead, but hey, I’m mom! I always ask the children what they think might happen tomorrow.
- Read the first book of a Series – I can’t tell you how many times my children have wanted me to read the next book in the series and I have denied them only so they would do independent reading. It works like a charm.
- Excuse the ones Who are being Disruptive – this has only happened a handful of times in all the 13 years I have been reading chapter books to my children. Mean mommy makes them read the chapter on their own after I am finished reading to the group. The child is excused to their room.
You can have a fabulous read a loud time with your children if you follow these simple guidelines. Yes, it might take a week to get in the swing of things, but trust me. It’s so rewarding to be able to discuss the character’s habits, morals, and mistakes. We have learned so much about life from simply making read a loud time a priority in our homeschool.
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Yes! We love to read aloud. I like your idea to have them recap – that’s a great way to practice narration and refresh everyone’s memory. I would add that you shouldn’t be afraid to stop a book if it isn’t working for your kids. Sometimes I get overly ambitious and pick something that’s too difficult or too long. I’m feeling that way about Redwall right now, but my kids are insisting we plow through.
There has been a few that we just didn’t care for that we decided not to finish. Also, if you have a Kindle, you can have it read it to you. We have done that on several Classics.