Do you read aloud to your children? You know, I never did until I started homeschooling. Really, that's horrible to admit. It wasn't until Dawson and I started on our homeschooling journey that I started reading aloud to him. He was 14. Each morning he would get up, stumble downstairs to the couch, crash on it, and cover his head with a blanket while I read our current American History read-aloud. We called it "Lay on the Couch While Your Mom Reads to You: 101". He got an A in that class. This was actually our favorite time of day. And reading aloud to him is what sparked my continued interest in historical fiction.
I didn't start regularly reading aloud to Eli and Brynne until this year, other than just picture books. (And we still read LOTS of picture books every week!) I'm talking more about chapter books. That is what we just started this year. We have read some classics like Peter Pan, The Secret Garden, Stuart Little and James and the Giant Peach. And we have read some other fun books. Currently, we are reading through the Spiderwick Chronicles series. We just finished the third book and have two more to go. This week was the first time that we got to the end of a chapter and the kids said, "Oooooh ... is that the end? Can you read another chapter?"
I know that some parents allow their kids to do busy work with their hands while they listen to a book. I don't do that. I want them to sit still for a few minutes, concentrate on something, and be ready to discuss aspects of the book should I want to in the middle of reading. I figure someday they are going to have to be able to sit and listen to something for a period of time without fumbling with something, or wiggling around, or tapping their pencil. They might as well start learning now. It has been a process. It has taken time and training. But, I can say that both the kids are able to sit with me on the couch and listen attentively for short periods of time while I read aloud to them. It is a learned behavior that they have mastered. Our reading times have always been short, no more than 15 minutes at a time. But now we are working on lengthening our time.
I would have to say, without a doubt, that reading is what I consider to be the most important subject in schooling. You can learn any subject by reading it. And reading is also fun. It's one of my favorite pastimes. I want my children to love to read! It's something they can take with them wherever they go in life. Reading aloud to them is something I intend to do until they are no longer under my roof to hear it.
Are you reading aloud a book that you would like to recommend? If you would like some suggestions, head over to Footprints in the Butter where Debra has a link-up dedicated to this subject.