Reading aloud doesn’t have to be a chore! These tips can help you and your children be more engaged and enjoy reading time
Does read aloud time feel like a chore? Does it sometimes seem impossible to get your kids to hear a word that you read? Know that you are not alone. Families all around the world deal with this frustration every single day. But there are also scores of families who have found ways to make read aloud time their favorite time of the day! How do they do it? Here are some tips that will help you join the ranks of families who love to read together!
Let your child choose the book.
I don’t mean that you have to read the book your 4-year-old has made you read every single day for the last month. There are times when you can give them a little encouragement in a certain direction. And there will be times when you simply need to choose. But if you can give them the opportunity to pick the book most of the time, they will be more apt to get excited about read-aloud time.
Be animated in your reading.
You may not be gifted in doing voices, but it’s worth a try! Even if you adjust the pitch and speed for different voices, you’ll manage to capture a wandering child’s attention. Exaggerate your inflections even to silly proportions. Your kids will love it. And they will likely emulate your animated reading when they are reading aloud which fills up a momma’s heart!
Give them something to do with their hands.
Parents and teachers alike are beginning to see the benefit of allowing our kids to have something to do while they listen. Some children need nothing more than an apple to munch on. Others can focus and comprehend what’s being read significantly better when they’re hands are completely engaged in something else such as building legos or drawing pictures. Choose some activities that are only for read-aloud time to encourage their excitement. Here are some examples:
-Paper and pencils
-Simple crafts (such as beading)
It may feel counterproductive at first, but I think you’ll be amazed at how well this works!
Let them interrupt.
Not all the time, but once in awhile when they have a genuine question about the book or want to be sure you see the silly thing going on in the picture, give them a minute to talk. This means they are engaged in the book, and that’s something to encourage! You’ll also be opening up communication with your kids that will spill over into regular life.
Make reading aloud a lifestyle.
The early years of reading aloud can sometimes feel a little rough. You wouldn’t be the first parent to stop mid-sentence and call it a day. But when reading aloud is a regular part of your family’s life, whether your kids are all still toddling about your feet or they have their driver’s licenses, it becomes a cherished time full of (mostly) positive memories. Don’t worry, your kids won’t remember the not-so-great experiences, and neither will you, when reading aloud is your lifestyle. To help make this happen let reading happen at intentional but natural times, such as mid-afternoon or before bed. Mealtimes can work well, too. This is particularly a good idea for those wiggly kiddos!
Reading aloud doesn’t have to be a chore on your checklist. It should be your whole family’s favorite time of day, and now you are equipped to make it just that.
Misty Bailey loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.