Creating a Read Aloud Household

     I can vividly remember my favorite childhood summer as if it were yesterday.  My little brother and I spent the whole summer with my grandparents in Maryland.  Days were filled with playtime with cousins, exploring the the woods, jumping on the trampoline, and swimming in the community pool.  Nights were occupied by swim meets and milk alongside Oreo cookies.  However, the most precious memory I have is snuggling up with my grandma on the couch while she read Roald Dahl’s The BFG and James and the Giant Peach.
     Now that I have my own children, reading aloud is something we strive to do daily.  Even if we didn’t homeschool, we would still read together every day.  Here are some tips to get started reading aloud:

  • Start small.  Pick a fun book you think you and the kids will enjoy.  Start with just reading for 5 minutes.  Increase time as your kids either start asking for more or are willing to sit for longer periods of time.  
  • Break out coloring books (or other quiet activities like legos, play dough, etc.).  Keeping little hands busy is perfectly fine!  They will still be listening to you.  
  • Pick a time that works for your family.  For us, it is right before bedtime.  On days I know we will be out of the house later than normal, we will read right after lunch.  We aim for 30 minutes of read aloud time, but on busy days, we are happy with just 5 minutes.  
  • Use audiobooks in the car.  Libraries will often have quality audiobooks you can check out.  
  • Be excited about reading to your kids!  They will pick up on your excitement and want to hear you read aloud, too.  
  • Get kids involved by letting them pick the book you will read.  I create a box of read alouds I want to read, and let them choose from them.  
  • Start young if you can, but don’t be afraid to start if your kids are older.  They will still benefit from being read aloud to.  
Need help getting started with a booklist?  I have booklists by age that we read for literature in school, but these are also just amazing books to read aloud as a family.  The grades don’t really matter, as most can be read at any age.  These lists are also in no way all-encompassing.  There are many options for excellent children’s literature…these just happen to be some of our favorites.  I will also include a link to Pinterest with some booklists I have found on other boards:)

Ages 2-3
Ages 4-5
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade

Booklists from Pinterest

We would love to hear what your favorite books are!!  I am ALWAYS looking for something great to read.  


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