Reading aloud is my absolute favorite part of our school day. We all have dreams of sitting outside under a tree on a beautiful vintage blanket, with our children dressed, hair brushed, and smiling attentively as they hang on our every word. The scene from Alice in Wonderland comes to mind when young Alice is sitting on a tree branch while her older sister sits on the ground, eloquently reading Alice’s history aloud.
You know the scene right? Of course, that’s not exactly how it always works. Actually, now that I think about it, it never works like that.
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Reading aloud with a baby, a toddler, and two preschoolers is HARD. Reading aloud with a toddler, a preschooler, and two first graders is less hard but can still be
aggravating exasperating enough to make you want to pull your hair out . . . hmm. Yeah, it’s still hard.
BUT! Over years, I’ve found a few ways to sneak reading aloud in (even if I’m not the one doing the reading).
Reading Aloud During Busy Seasons
Yeah, I know. Audiobooks are kind of a no-brainer, but they’re such a helpful tool!! Just pop one in the DVD player while you nurse the baby or fold laundry and that totally counts as multi-tasking! Obviously, they’re also great for in the car. I mean, you’ve got them all captive anyway. So why not capitalize on that?
Our current favorite audiobooks include:
- The Narnia Series
- The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
- The Tale of Despereaux
- Charlotte’s Web
- James and the Giant Peach
During Meal Time
Hear me out . . . I’m not talking about reading during supper when daddy is home. I tend to do this on Thursdays because that’s the day we have Spanish class at the library. We leave home at 9:45(ish) and don’t get home until almost 2 pm. After class, we eat lunch and stay a couple hours so
I can talk to my mom friends the kids can play with their friends.
Anyway, we’re out of the house for almost the entire time we would normally be doing school at home. So, to kinda make up for that, I read to them while they eat breakfast and then some more if we have extra time before we have to leave.
It doesn’t seem like much but reading to them during breakfast could be an extra 20 minutes of reading time each day. That could add up to over an hour and a half a week! Small, steady progress folks, that’s what we’re aiming for here.
Read at Bedtime
We usually read our school read alouds during the day, but at bedtime I let each of them pick out 2-3 short picture books to read in their rooms as they settle in for the night. Usually, because they picked the books themselves, they’re more likely to lay still and listen.
Some of our favorite picture books are written by:
Read While They’re in the Bath
Yeah, you probably don’t want to read library books while they’re in the tub. But a couple drops of water aren’t going to hurt your own well-loved books. If your kids bathe one at a time, you could use the same pick-your-own-books method that I use at bedtime.
Library Story Time
These are always fun and usually include some kind of snack and craft afterward! Someone else reading to your kid, feeding them, and cleaning up their craft mess? You really can’t beat that.