[This post is part of a series in which I focus on read-aloud. To see the list of 31 posts, go here.]
We’ve talked about why reading to your kids is important. How do you find the time to do it every day?
Kill The TV.
Kids who don’t have access to much TV and other electronic entertainment will naturally gravitate towards more reading. If TV is a central focus of your decorating and your schedule in the evenings, your family read-aloud will be met with groans and eye rolls. Minimizing TV will go a long way towards encouraging a more literate household for both the children and the adults. The primary reason I don’t do TV is because *I* don’t want to get sucked into the charms of the one-eyed bandit.
Take Advantage of Pockets of Time
Do you have a long commute to school or do you sit in the car-riders lane for a half hour while dropping your child off to school? Why not read a chapter of a book together? Some parents enjoy reading to their kids while they eat a meal: maybe breakfast or lunch, or while the kids wind down for a nap or for bedtime. You can read while your younger kids are busy at play. It’s not necessary that they be lined up like little soldiers staring at you. In fact, it may be best for some kids to keep their hands busy while they’re read to.
There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing some of your read-aloud. I’m referring to audiobooks. If you have kids with wide age ranges, you can also encourage the older kids to read to the younger ones. This is a common occurrence in my house. Often a younger child will climb up in an older sibling’s lap and ask for a story.
My kids are homeschooled and therefore with me all day, but even I sometimes struggle to find time for read-aloud. It’s so easy for it to get shoved to the side for the more “important” subjects. Therefore, I have to:
Make It a Priority
It’s really as simple as that, isn’t it? Anything we really value will get done. So, I’ve had to rethink my priorities. Since reading aloud has so many benefits for a child’s learning, and they enjoy it so much, I must make time for it.
How do you fit read-aloud into your day?