(contains affiliate links)
When someone mentions reading aloud in a family, what do you envision?
I envision everyone sitting quietly around the family room with mom or dad reading. The children are listening intently to each word, as if their life depended on it! Their cheeks are glowing after a day spent outdoors bike riding and swimming. They have been eagerly awaiting read aloud time all day!
A nice visual isn’t it?
But, so NOTÂ my house!
My kids do like to listen to stories, but they are generally active listeners. They move around on bean bags, play with Legos, color or draw, and occasionally fight over couch space or who sits next to me.
Reading time does not have to be super quiet and still to be a super productive time.
Reading Aloud in a Large Family
Here are a few tips that work for us.
First, lower expectations – I know as homeschoolers we tend to have super high expectations about well, pretty much everything we do! Mostly those high expectations are with ourselves as moms but for our kids too. Not always bad, but remember kids don’t have to be sitting perfectly still to be listening!
Let them move – if your kids are young and super squirmy, plan some active time before you want to sit and read. Maybe after outside time or just do some stretching and movement activities. Let them move around in bean bag chairs, let them play with fidgets, and color or draw. Blocks are a good alternative for younger kids and Legos are always a favorite. The only downside to Legos is that they can be loud when kids are digging through bins. One alternative is to dump a bunch of them out on a sheet and let them play, then wrap up the sheet and dump them back into the bin.
Pick good books – this is a no-brainer, but just because my family loves a book doesn’t necessarily mean that your family will love it (although these 5 are all winners ;)). If they don’t, stop reading and pick up something else! Perhaps try at a later date.
Favorite Read Aloud Chapter Books
All of these books have been winners in our house!
Green Ember – My children loved this fictitious adventure story about rabbits and wolves. It’s a tale of heroism and doing things you never thought yourself capable of doing. Edge of your seat type reading.
Little Britches – A character building story and my how times have changed! The young character regularly has tasks that I would never dream of asking my teen to complete. A story about family sticking together even during the harshest of times.
Caddie Woodlawn – This is a fun book, the main character has lots of spunk and pushes the envelope a bit on what a girl can get away with in that time period. I enjoy reading stories about happy big families.
Door in the Wall – A sweet story about life not going as planned.
The Cay – We actually listened to this book on a car trip. We didn’t finish in the car so we listened at home in the family room. My kids were amazingly quiet while finishing up the book, it was so good. It truly appeals to a wide range of ages. I highly recommend it!
What is your favorite chapter book?
Complete 5 Day series:
1. Favorite Board Books – Monday
2. Favorite Picture Books – Tuesday
3. Favorite Chapter Books – Today
4. Favorite Books To Be Read – Thursday
5. Favorite Books for Mom – Friday