We have gobs of books. And the kids are always reading or listening. But all of us together? It wasn’t a frequent practice. Read Aloud Revival convinced me that nothing but good could come from reading together. So, we started to. Not perfectly. Not everyday. But slowly it became part of the fabric of who we are as a family.
I love reading. I read often, in quite a few formats. And it’s a love I desperately want to pass on to my children. Doing it as a family just made sense. Bring on the read alouds!
To grow my kiddos love of books I wanted to move beyond picture books (although we are definitely fans of those) and explore some age appropriate chapter books. Chapter books offer a longer story and thus a longer experience. The shared experience of a character’s adventure gives framework for further conversation and conversation produces bonding. All those happy endorphins create good memories around books, good memories with family.
See why reading aloud together is amazing? Essential even?
So, even though carving out time to all sit and read (or listen if family audiobooks are more your jam), it’s pretty important. And totally worth it!
Here’s what we read together this school year:
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- Flat Stanley
- The Saturdays
- Stuart Little
- Princess Cora and the Crocodile
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- The Family Under the Bridge
- Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
- Charlotte’s Web
We averaged 5-15 minutes of reading on the days we opened our read aloud. The little boys can’t handle much more. And don’t think that it’s a super peaceful time. There are questions and snack breaks and Eli often wants to nurse in the middle of our reading. But we do it. And we love having these shared stories.
My personal favorite was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I don’t think I’d ever actually read it, only watched the movie! The book is 10x better. So much more detail! And the Oompa Loompa poems after each child’s demise – so good! We did watch the classic film when we were done WITH special candy as a treat. Willy Wonka would have wanted it that way. Jem then discovered that there is a sequel … Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator so we have that on hold as an audiobook to enjoy this summer :)
Jemma’s top pick was Harry Potter. She said, “I really like books with magic. My favorite part is when Gryffindor won the house cup!”
Max loved Princess Cora and the Crocodile. When I asked why, he said, “Mom, I just like crocodiles!” Haha, well there you go!
The next school year is right around the corner, and we’ll be reading lots this summer too so comment with what read alouds we should explore next!