Read Aloud Time

Tonya Kay   -  

So many people have asked what we do during our read aloud time, so I wanted to share a little bit about that time in our daily rhythm. I’m going to start this by saying, this is what we do, but this doesn’t mean this is what read aloud time will look like for your family. You might do read alouds differently and that’s ok. You might try this and it might not work for your family and that’s ok to. I’m just sharing what works for our family!

Why we put read aloud time in our daily rhythm is because, I feel like if we didn’t that it might get skipped. I need to remind myself how important it is to read to my boys!

Read aloud time is usually the first thing we do each morning. Sometimes my boys are even eating breakfast still! We try to do read aloud every school day, which for us means four times a week since we school Monday through Thursday. Please hear me when I say “we try to do them daily”, because sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Some mornings we sleep later, some mornings speech therapy just takes over our morning, and some mornings I can just tell my boys aren’t interested. This is the best part about homeschooling! You get to decide what works best and when it will work for your family.

During our read aloud time, I read aloud a chapter book to my boys. We usually get through a chapter a day just because that’s what their attention span is right now. Right now we are reading through “The Seashore Book for Children” since we are doing an ocean unit. Sometimes our books line up with our current unit and sometimes they are just fun! A few of our favorites have been “Charlotte’s Web”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and “The Mouse and the Motorcycle”. We don’t set a goal for how many read alouds we read each year, because I would rather have the flexibility to pick and choose as we go along to base it off their interests or our current unit study.

If your little ones have something to do while you read, they are often more willing to sit and listen to what you are reading. Don’t worry if they aren’t looking at you while you are reading. You will be surprised how much they remember when you are done reading!

While I read, my boys usually use things from our morning basket. Our morning basket is filled with things they can do independently and quietly while I read. Some of our favorite morning basket items are watercolor paints, playdough, mini erasers for math practice, dry erase boards, puzzles, coloring books, and stickers.

Sometimes we don’t use the morning basket and I pull out different things for them to do. One morning I had them cut strips of paper and make a paper chain. I sometimes just pull out our kinetic sand or other quiet items that might not make it into the morning basket. Your morning basket shouldn’t be something you stress out about planning. It’s supposed to be easy on you to be able to grab and go.

Since we are reading through “The Seashore Book for Children”, we are currently using coloring pages from “Simple and Free” that go along with the book. My boys watercolor that day’s page while I read our chapter. This has been a nice change from our typical morning basket.

I often get asked if I let my boys take turns reading during our read aloud time.

I know there are some families that have their kids join in on the reading. My boys aren’t a quite ready for that yet, but maybe your kiddos are! We have time during our Language Arts lessons where they get to read to me, but we keep that short and simple. I don’t want them to be frustrated from reading, but rather build their confidence as readers!

We also read aloud through different parts of our day, but this is a set time in our daily rhythm that we try and put aside just for read alouds. Meaning that we may read a book about crabs in science that day, but that would be during science and not during read aloud time. We keep our read aloud time for fun books that sometimes just happen to go along with our unit study.

Do you do read aloud time as a family?