Read aloud time is one of the most important aspects in our homeschool.
It’s the one thing I strive to do every single day. Even if we take a day off of most of our regular schoolwork, we still try to squeeze in some reading time.
Yet it can be so challenging to find the time to read aloud.
I have 7 children, a noisy house, a full schedule, a list of chores, and other commitments outside of homeschooling. It is so tempting to skip read aloud time in favor of other pursuits.
However, I choose to make read aloud time a priority.
Here are some ways I make sure that reading aloud fits into our schedule.
- Enlist a sibling
The older ones get some read aloud practice as they read to a sibling. It’s also a bonding experience. My kids sometimes get along during read aloud time. Let’s be real here! At times they get a lesson from mom about what it means to be kind and patient!
- Have dad help in the evenings
This is a great way to involve dad in homeschooling. It’s also a way to create special memories with dad. My husband may not want to teach a Latin or a grammar lesson but he’s always happy to read a wonderful literature book to one of our kids.
- Read aloud while the kids play with quiet toys
I’ve been able to sneak in some extra read aloud time while my kids play with toys such as Legos. I’ve found that they can listen much longer when their hands are busy.
- Read while kids do independent work or projects
Another great time to add in some extra reading time is when my kids are doing an art project or are working on something independently. I’ve read while they did copywork or when they were cutting out items for a project.
- Read while kids complete chores
Nothing makes folding laundry more enjoyable than when someone is reading you an interesting story as you work. This is one way to make chore time a little more bearable. We dump all the clean laundry into a giant pile and my kids sort and fold their clothes while I read to them.
- Read outside while kids take turns playing
I sometimes sit on our porch and take turns reading to my kids one at a time. While I read, the other kids are biking or drawing with chalk. After about 15 minutes of reading time, we switch and a different child joins me to read. It’s a great way to spend one-on-one time with my kids and to enjoy being outdoors.
- Read at the park
We’ve packed up a blanket and taken it to a nearby park. We spread the blanket out under a tree and read for a while. Then after listening quietly to the stories, my kids are set free to enjoy time at the park. It’s a reward for not interrupting me a hundred times as I read.
- Set realistic time limits on reading time
Not all children have long attention spans. And you need to be realistic in the amount of time that you expect your children to listen to read alouds. I’ve slowly built up our read aloud time, starting with short amounts when my kids are little. Now that they are older, they can listen for long periods of time. It’s important not to overdo the read aloud time in the beginning and have high expectations of their ability to sit still.
- Utilize audiobooks
There are many days when our read aloud time is cut short or when I have not been able to do much reading. Instead, I rely on audiobooks. I want my children to always have good stories to listen to, so we’ve invested in many audiobooks that my kids can listen to as they play or do chores. Every night before bed, we have a quiet time where everyone listens to some audiobooks as they relax in their room. It’s a great way to end a long day.
Ensuring that my kids minds and ears are filled with literature has been one of the best things I’ve done for their creativity and for their education. I have seen the huge benefits of reading aloud to them and even though I have 3 kids who are independent readers, I plan to continue reading to them even as they get older.
I’m determined that our house will always be filled with books and our spare time will be filled with reading!