Sunday, October 14, 2012

Read Aloud

The only thing cozier than curling up to a good book is curling up to the book with your family hovering around you and listening during read-alouds.

Most parents would agree that reading to their children is important, but there comes a time where many parents stop reading to them. Why? Because the children have probably become independent readers and are now reading stories on their own. 

But I urge you, read aloud together and don't stop once they've mastered this on their own.  Read-alouds allow your family to take adventurous journeys together to different places, time periods and fantasy lands. 

My favorite part of read-alouds is how connected the kids become to the story. I don't always hardly ever receive high praises for my choice of read aloud books.  It sounds more like, "We're going to read that? It looks so boring?" To which I always pull out the cliche, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Usually after a few chapters they are asking me to read just one more before we put the book away.  

We've had instances where not only are the kids and myself enjoying the read aloud, but my husband will walk in during this time and start asking questions, to better understand the plot.  I love it when the kids all want to fill him in! One of our favorites has been Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My boys had reservations about this book that ended up becoming one of their favorites! They even ended up taking on the characters of the kids in the book and dramatizing scenes.  

Read alouds enrich creativity, learning, and the use of their imaginations.  It leads to asking questions, which breeds communication. It also builds memories of being spread out on the couch or across the floor as a family. Personally, I like that it allows me to sit down and enjoy my favorite past-time while instilling a love of good books to my kids.   

But be warned... like most things with kids, it isn't aways smooth sailing.  

-Arguments arise over who gets to sit closer to me and read over my shoulder 

-Interruptions over questions they'd get answers to if they continued to listen 

-Sometimes they get antsy while sitting 

but those are small hiccups when compared to the great rewards that read alouds produce, besides, (between you and me) I'll take argument over who wants to sit next to me anytime.  As annoying as the interruptions can be, I'll take them if they feed an inquisitive mind, and the antsy part can be solved by giving them something to do.

Let them draw, color, write, build, play with puzzles, or whatever else can be done quietly while listening to the story.  They will be listening, even if you think they're not.  Remember the conversation with your husband that the kids repeated back to you? The one they heard while playing in the next room. Yeah, that one. They were listening.

Does your family have a favorite read aloud story?


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