Reading aloud is one of the most favourite activities of my children. They never tire of being read to by anyone willing to do so! My oldest daughter also loves to read to her siblings, and nothing interests my wandering, busy, trouble seeking toddler like curling up on the couch with a book.
It has also been one of the most satisfying mothering experiences I have had. It has built my relationships with my children by providing a common interest, shared experiences, physical closeness, and the opportunity for much good conversation.
Philippians 4:8 says “… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” What better way to feed the minds of our children with true, lovely and praiseworthy ideas than through sharing wonderful books and stories with them?
So how do we do I ensure that we keep reading aloud a priority in our busy days?
First of all, we anchor both the beginning and end of our day by reading together. This way, no matter what else happens, this one most important activity is not missed! I find that it also provides a wonderful time of connection with my girls, so its a fitting way to start and end each day.
From the very beginning of our homeschooling journey, our days have begun on the couch with a basket of books. These days, our morning selections include Sally Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible (a perennial favourite of all of my girls, despite a 6 year age gap between the oldest and youngest!), and Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing (a lovely devotional also by Sally Lloyd-Jones). This time of reading aloud, along with nursery rhymes (for the toddler), singing, recitation, music appreciation, picture study and prayer make up our Morning Time and it is truly the anchor of our day.
Immediately after lunch usually finds us back on the couch with our basket for more reading and snuggles — at this time we enjoy various picture books and our daily favourite, a short story or poem from the Our Book House collection. I try to select picture books along some kind of theme for this time of day — this week we were reading some snowy books including Brave Irene and Katy and the Big Snow.
Later in the afternoon, we can often be found reading together AGAIN. This time, it would be for Big Sister’s science studies (currently Exploring Creation through Astronomy) or history studies (Story of the World Volume 2, Middle Ages). We also read our history and literature recommendations for SOTW at this time.
And finally, we finish up our days reading yet another book, this time either enjoying a bedtime snack or a cuddle in bed as we do so! And as you can probably guess, it is at this particular time of day that I am most likely to hear the chorus of pleas and demands for “More! Please mommy? More!”
And I try to be strong … if I weren’t so tired, it would be hard to resist!