Snuggly Read Aloud Time
My older son is working on a speech for 4-H about family read aloud time. He has been doing research and we have both been surprised at how reading aloud together as a family can have so many benefits. But I want to tell you more than what the research says; I want to tell you about our personal family benefits.
- It’s a time to calm down. If you normally have a very busy and hectic day, read aloud time is a great time to slow down, turn off all electronics, and focus all your attention on your family. I love that we have no loud TV noises—just the calm sound of my husband’s voice.
- It’s a great way to spend quality time together. Reading a book is very cheap or even free if you use your library. You do not have to spend a lot of time on it, but it is something that will live in your children’s memory. My six year old said, “My favorite part is that we are together as a family.”
- We can share our childhood. My husband and I love that we can pick books to share with our children that we enjoyed as kids. It has been fun to watch the kids laugh at parts in a book that we remember laughing at when we were their age. My 11 year old said, “I like that we are all snuggled together as a family, enjoying a book that Mom and Dad enjoyed as children.”
- It’s a part of our daily routine. At the end of our day, we are going to be together reading a good book. Sometimes, just knowing that is what helps me get through a stressful day.
- The book lives in their imagination. Even when we read books that are above my kids’ reading level, it has been fun to see them use their Legos to act out scenes from those books. One of the neatest things I have seen them do is make their Lego minifigures look like Shakespeare characters and then act out scenes from A Mid Summers Night Dream. Also, many times they will act out scenes from Bible stories we have read.
We have really enjoyed the shared experience of a good book. It has lead to some great family discussions and some great times of laughter. We have even caught the kids quoting lines from books to each other. I hope this is something we will continue to do as a family until the boys leave for college. I want to encourage you to start reading aloud with your children if you have not already started. You won’t regret it!