Read Alouds and Real Life

One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is our read aloud time.  I get to read totally amazing and wonderful children’s books to a captive audience.  I love experiencing the stories with them – many of them first time reads for all of us.  This has been the single most important part of our homeschool day – I love the vocabulary that my kids have learned, but I’ve especially enjoyed watching their imagination take flight.  I would not give up reading aloud for anything.  I’m going to read to my kids until they leave home – whether they like it or not!  But our read aloud time isn’t always idyllic.  Some days it feels more like a 3-ring circus.


What does read aloud time look like at our house?

Let’s take today for example:  I’ve been reading the book Remarkable to Curly.  It’s an adorable book that is funny, a little crazy, and has a sweet message.  It’s all about finding the remarkable in things that at first appear ordinary – and it has pirates, mischievous twins, a sea monster, and a mystery.  In other words, it’s a perfect read aloud…….

Punkin was in bed.  The other kids were in jammies and playing in the living room with Lincoln Logs, Legos, dolls, blocks, and trains.  It was quite a mess. Curly and I were on the couch surrounded by a sea of architectural creations.  We started right in on the next chapter.

“It was Wednesday, the most ordinary day of the week, and the only day…..”

Ladybug, give the Lego back to Bee!  Please don’t just grab things from other people.  You can use it when she’s done or you could pick another one.

I resume the sentence.  Two words into the next sentence…….

Mama! Mama! Mama!


Do you like my doll?  She has on pants.

That’s great.  I really do like it.

“If Jane were a day of the week instead of a ten-year-old girl…..”

Tiger!  Do not sit on Bee!

“…she was sure she would be a Wednesday……”

Ladybug is tugging on my sleeve, “What’s for breakfast?”

You mean tomorrow?  I don’t know yet.  Can you just wait and be surprised tomorrow?

Ok, I guess…….

“……just as she was sure if she were a kind of fuit that she’d be one of those dull…..”

Bee, please don’t hit Tiger with the blocks. 

Ok, guys.  I’m trying to read and I’d like for you to play more quietly or take it into another room.

Bee wanders off to play the piano (not the activity I had in mind).  Tiger grabs a soft baseball and a mitt and goes to throw the ball in the hallway.  Ladybug decides she needs to sit right in my lap, blocking my view of the page.

I finally finish that paragraph and start on paragraph 2 when I hear Bee yelling from the piano room, 

“Mom, I can’t remember the next note!  I don’t know!  I just don’t know!!  I can’t play this song!”

Have you tried reading the notes?  Did you look at the music? 


Well, what does the music say?

It’s middle C.

Ok, did you try playing middle C?


Can you try it?


Does that sound like the right note?


Ok, good job!

Then I make it to the bottom of the page.  Now Ladybug has to potty and she wants to get down.

Now we’re on page 2 when she returns and wants back up in my lap.

We finish that page after being hit twice with Tiger’s ball.  I send him much, much farther away to play catch.

On page 3 Ladybug needs a drink of water and needs me to refill her water bottle.

One paragraph later, everyone has noticed Ladybug’s full water bottle and now they want theirs refilled.  This prompts a 5-minute search as we try to locate all the missing bottles that no one ever puts back in the kitchen.

We sit back down to read and I start the page over because I can’t remember where I stopped…….

And that’s when I wonder why I’m doing this at all!

But at the end of the chapter, Tiger runs in the room and says, “Please read another!  I want to know what the twins will do.”  And Bee chimes in, “The blue dye was so funny!”  Ladybug just sits in my lap and giggles away.  And Curly rolls her eyes and smiles.

Somehow, some way, they have enjoyed our reading time and are begging for more.  If I were to ever skip a day they would mutiny.  Even though I’m sometimes interrupted 5 times per page, I press on.  It’s their favorite time of the day.  Despite the background noise, squabbles, and crazy interruptions, it’s probably my favorite time too.

Hip Homeschool Moms


2 thoughts on “Read Alouds and Real Life

  1. i know….those interruptions eh? I carry on through them as well. Though sometimes I ask… do you want to talk or do you want to read? and sometimes it's talk so we talk… though most times it's "Mom, read please".

  2. That's a great question to ask. My kids would probably choose to read as well. I think I might give them the choice. I do love reading to them but the interruptions make me crazy sometimes.

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