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Tips for a Successful Read Aloud Time
Having some tips for a successful read aloud time will make it so much more enjoyable for you and your kids. I wish I’d had these when we started, so I hope they help you too.
I didn’t read aloud to my kids for long time. There, it’s out in the open, I said it! It was so frustrating. They would not be quiet! I was exhausted by the time I finished from having to constantly raise my voice to shout the story to my kids. Forget using energy for voices or expressions, I was just trying to survive our read aloud time.
Here are some things I tried with success and we continue to do during our read alouds.
Turn off all other noise during your read aloud time.
Turn off the television, radio, silence your cellphone, ignore you home phone, if you have one. Our read aloud time is a non-negotiable. The world can wait until you’re done spending this time with your children. They won’t be these ages long, this time is precious.
Keep sessions short at first.
It takes some practice to learn to be quiet, especially with younger children. We’ve been doing read alouds for a while now and I still need to remind my youngers sometimes that I can’t holler over them. When we started out, somedays we only read one chapter, somedays we read a couple, depending on how long the chapters were. A good time frame to start with is probably about 10-15 minutes. You can work up to more time each week. Now, we read for about 30 minutes per day, unless the story is getting really good, then we may read for an hour, as long as everyone cooperates with quietness.
Let older kids draw or color.
The older kids that you don’t have to worry about coloring on the walls, tables, or furniture could occupy their hands with artwork. Even my 13-year-old enjoys read aloud time while drawing sometimes. You can let them draw a picture of what they think the scene you’re reading about looks like, or something the characters in the story are seeing.
Make use of building blocks or Lego bricks.
Something else my kids do during read aloud time is play with blocks or Legos. There’s no pattern or process to this. As long as they’re quiet, the kids build whatever their hearts desire. Cities, schools, castles, airplanes, pirate ships, you name it, they’ve probably made it or made an attempt.
Do the voices!
Your children are only young once. Take the time to glance through the book ahead of time and decide what voices you’ll use. This makes the story so much more interesting for your kids. My kids stop and listen better when I pretend to be the characters in the book. Who cares if you sound silly!? You’re making memories, and that’s what’s important.
Let your kids ask questions about what you read aloud.
Some of the best lessons taught during our homeschool read aloud time come from questions my kids ask. We’ve learned about different types of flowers, how to churn butter, how to make chinking, listened to some old songs, and learned several new words just from our Little House on the Prairie read alouds. It’s been great! I’m learning a lot with them, and you will too.
Some of our favorite read aloud books.
You can find FREE reading logs for the kids and for your read alouds in the Resource Library. The Read Aloud Log perfectly matches the Large Family Homeschooling Mom’s Planner. It’s a great tool, even if you don’t have a large family…yet.