Reading aloud. It's one of those things that we know is very important when our children are small but when they start reading on their own, we stop. Reading aloud is still very, very important when children are older. They can enjoy reading books that they are able to on their own and benefit from listening to books that are above their reading level.
When I was just homeschooling one child, I read aloud all the time. We spent a year reading aloud the Little House on the Prairie books and worked through the Prairie Primer. We did three years of Sonlight which is very heavy on reading and reading aloud. We loved Sonlight! But as the younger children reached school age, I couldn't juggle (or afford) multiple cores from Sonlight. Then we did The Lord of the Rings. But, a few more babies and pregnancies that I was very, very sick for months on end made me fall off the wagon (so to speak) on reading aloud. Then just the everyday tasks of homeschooling, housekeeping, and taking care of 7 children pushed it way down on my priorities list.
But, though my oldest two children could read well and loved to read at a very early age, but third child has reading difficulties. He does however love a good story. There was no way I could read aloud enough to satisfy him. So, we discovered Audio Books. I bought Alex an inexpensive mP3 player and loaded it with books from www.booksshouldbefree.com and other audio books from the library. I purchased some audio books on CD like Jonathan Park and the Chronicles of Narnia. We also had the great pleasure of reviewing The Sugar Creek Gang from Beloved Books (you need to read my review on The Sugar Creek Gang audio books here. There is also a coupon code for my readers to use on The Sugar Creek Gang audio CDs.) Just today I was able to use the coupon code and order the second volume for Alex ( a big thanks to those that purchased items through my affiliate links!) He will be so excited!!
Along with the audio books, I have made it a priority to read aloud to the children again. Even though we never stopped reading aloud from "school books" it's just not the same as a good story. I learned from the years of doing Sonlight, the best way for children to learn is from living books and children love to hear a good story!
So far this year we finished Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (illustrated clasics version), The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (again, by request although I was told my sound effects were not as good as the Cd's), and The Swiss Family Robinson. I had planned on reading The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr right before Thanksgiving, but did not get to it. We will be reading that one at some point. I love that book! This week we started The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I would like to get in at least one more Christmas book. After the holidays I plan on starting the Sons of Angels series by Jerel Law.
Read For the Heart by Sarah Clarkson (my review is here) is a great resource for finding delightful books to read to your children. Not only is it a great resource, it is an enjoyable book to read and has lots of great tips for reading aloud. I still use the Sonlight catalog for ideas for what to read aloud also.
Debra at Footprints in the Butter is hosting weekly Read Aloud Challenge. I will be linking up this post and invite you to do the same. You can find this week's post here.