Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Value of Reading Aloud to Your Kids

         One of the best things I did with my small children as a homeschool mom was to have a certain routine where I could unwind and the children could relax a bit every afternoon. It was a lifesaver and it kept me from blowing it many a time when I'd become frazzled.
         After lunch each afternoon it was story-time on the couch with Mom. Each child was allowed to pick out one book for me to read to everyone and I got to pick the rest. This was my time to read aloud and the kids' time to be quiet and listen. The kids would all snuggle up to me on the couch, the youngest ones having the privilege of sitting right next to me.

          We often read for 2 hours and sometimes I had to fight to keep my eyes open, slurring my words; the kids would always jolt me awake so I could finish the story. It was a routine, a habit and it was just expected every afternoon; we all looked forward to it. This served to help us all relax and it also instilled in my kids a love for books and the value of reading. It was also a natural lead-in to blessed nap time.
         As the kids got older we continued to read after lunch but usually around the lunch table and I would read aloud a chapter out of one of the Henty book series or one of our favorite series, Little Britches by Ralph Moody. We even read aloud some of the more difficult stuff like Beowulf when my oldest were in high school. Often it was hard to stop at just one chapter and the kids would plead for "just one more, please!"
          I kind of miss those days of reading aloud to my kids but  I look forward to reading to my grandchildren. That will be special.

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