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    Reading Aloud: Weaving it Into the Fabric of our Lives

    May 22, 2012 by Brandy Vencel

    When I only had a couple children and I was pregnant with my third, reading aloud took up many hours in my day. I was severely nauseous, and reading aloud was {surprisingly} easier than trying to do something crazy like standing up and walking at the same time. So we did a lot of it. I find, however, that as I add more students to my day–students who cannot read things for themselves–that my time allotted to reading aloud for fun has greatly diminished.

    Not that lessons aren’t fun. But I think you know what I mean.

    And I worry that my current three-year-old is getting the raw end of the deal. It doesn’t help that said three-year-old is the most resistant-to-sitting-and-listening of all the children I’ve had.

    an upcoming selection

    My approach over the past year, then, has been to work reading aloud into my day wherever it will fit. Whereas O-Age-Three is unwilling to sit and listen for an hour, he’ll usually listen fine for fifteen minutes.

    I read aloud for a more extended period of time during Circle Time, but what about the rest of the day?

    I grab time for reading aloud where and as I can find it. The habit of reading aloud is woven into our day in small threads rather than big ones.

    Bible at breakfast is a minimum, but for most of the year we’ve done Circle Time, which included a chapter or two of one or two read alouds. I do the necessary Ambleside readings during the morning. Lunch finds me reading a chapter or two {sometimes even three!} as the children are finishing up their meals. I usually read a children’s picture book to one or both of the littles before their naps. Sometimes we add a chapter in the afternoons. We often add three or four chapters in the evening. Daddy reads a Bible storybook at that time sometimes, too.

    It never feels the same as it did way back when I used to read to my two oldest children for an hour at a stretch, but I look at today, and in addition to our Ambleside readings, we’ve read three chapters from three other books, and the day is only half over.

    I’m satisfied with that for now, and I think the children are picking up on that habit of reading that is so important to develop.

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  • Reply Ellen May 23, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Brandy, I know what you mean! We’ve enjoyed read-aloud time (before bed, usually), but now it’s fallen by the wayside for various reasons. We, too, need to find a way to weave it back in when we can.

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts May 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      I don’t know about you, but I feel like every time I think I have it figured out, something changes and what I figured out doesn’t work any more. Raising children is definitely *not* a static endeavor!

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