In Teaching the Trivium, the Bluedorns make what some would consider a radical suggestion: read aloud to your children at least two hours per day. This is outside of schooling. In fact, I would say that a good reason to keep the schooling light in the early years to make sure you have room for this habit of reading aloud.
I did not do this when my children were very, very young, but my current two-year-old is subjected to a lot of reading aloud in a way my first two children were not.
The baby? He sleeps through life, pretty much.
So some days we read aloud more than two hours. Some days, we are lucky if we fit in fifteen minutes. But I would say that an average weekday contains an hour and a half. In the winter, our weekends were filled with lots of reading, but now that we are in full swing in the garden, we work pretty much all day on Saturdays and there isn’t any reading at all.
In this list, I’m only including the chapter books we read. There are always small children’s books that the girls are bringing to me, and of course we fit those in, but the purpose of this list is to give an idea of what a family can read and enjoy together. About half of the books are ones that I read to the children alone, and the other half were books that even Si listened in on.
Reading together is one way of building a family culture. We have this wonderful collection of shared stories and more and more often I hear our son say that something that has happened is like a book we read, and it is so nice to have everyone be literally on the same page as he is.
So on to the list!
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