Books are a MAJOR part of our family life. Brad and I are constantly talking about great things we've read. We keep our house stocked with books in cozy corners. I make regular trips to the library so all my readers have appropriate things to read. I am constantly talking notes of what people are reading all over the internet. We love books and we believe they add GREAT value to our lives.
One way I incorporate reading into our family life is by reading a chapter book aloud as a family. Its a bit tricky because I have 3 kids spanning 3 to 8. Keeping my crew listening and engaged is not always easy. I change up how and when we read based on ages and stages, but it has been something we have done since my first two were 3 and 1. We have built lasting memories and have traveled to imaginary places together without ever leaving our living room!
Here are my top 3 tips for reading chapter books aloud to your children:
1. Choose the right book.
If you have toddlers or prechoolers, pick books with some pictures. They are instantly drawn to great illustrations. Try Winnie the Pooh or the original Mr. Popper's Penguins. Fabulous for little busy people.
Also, this book is invaluable. It is my go-to source for WHAT to read and WHEN to read it.
2. Know your people
Every kids is different. Do you have a calm child who will sit still with you while you read? Or do you have active little people? It is important to taylor your reading time accordingly.
WHERE we read has changed from time to time. Sometimes we read aloud while cuddled up in bed. Other times I read aloud while the older kids are doing some homework. When I had a small baby, I would read to the older children after the baby went to bed. Somedays, I might spread blocks out on the living room floor; the boys can build and I read aloud. Recently, we have been reading at the dinner table. On the nights, my husband works late we read during dinner. We have had some GREAT discussions and little busy bodies actually STAY in their chair for the ENTIRE dinner . It is never the same from year to year. Often times we stumble upon what works for us, which brings me to my next point.
3. Adjust your expectations.
Somedays reading aloud is rich and fun; other days it is a chore. Don't get frustrated. Figure out what works for you and your family. I promise it is worth the work. Don't give up.
Want to know what books we are reading aloud this year? Click here.