Reading aloud can change the way your child interacts with others, processes information, and stays on task. What are you waiting for?

How Reading Aloud Will Catapult Your Homeschooled Children's Education

Reading Aloud – Together

I firmly believe that reading aloud has been the most important part of our homeschool since the beginning. Charlotte Mason taught me to read aloud to my children more often and offer tougher material than I thought my kids could handle, and I’m so glad she did.

Reading aloud has given us so many benefits, from shared memories to larger vocabularies, to belly laughs and french idioms. It challenges our attention spans and focus, and bring us together when we wouldn’t otherwise stop to sit down.

My mom and I read widely together all through my high school years, and on many summer road trips, and we both hold those as some of our favorite memories together. 

Read the Tough Stuff

Don’t be afraid of the tough stuff. Full length, unabridged readings of Peter Pan and Pinocchio aren’t your typical first-grade reading material, but these books have given us incredible conversation starters. They helped us discuss morals, good and bad, friendships and truth. They’ve deepened our conversations to include character study, in addition to the stories themselves.

No, I would not give these books to them to read alone. Not only do they not have the vocabulary or attention span for them on their own, but there are many challenging topics to discuss together.

Reading aloud allows my kids to stop me and ask questions, or me them, and for us to think about it later in the day and make conversation. Should Pinocchio have lied? Did he get what he deserved? 

Laugh Together When Reading Aloud

Aside from the tough books, we also love to read funny books. We love the Melendy children in the Melendy Quartet and how they have crazy old fashioned adventures, like riding into the back of a bus and getting helped by a family with a pet alligator in their bathtub.

Pippi Longstocking is always a favorite too. She makes us laugh till our sides hurt with her wild and wily adventuresome spirit.

My son loves to remind me of our road trip when he and I listened to the audiobook of James and the Giant Peach, and we couldn’t stop laughing at how the peach had rolled over his nasty old aunts.

When we read aloud we live the stories together and re-live them in our imaginary storytime. The kids love it when I re-tell some of our favorite stories in my own words at bedtime. 

Give History Hooks

A few years back we read a book called Seaman about the adventures of Lewis and Clark and their dog. My kids still remember that story and reference it every time they hear some mention of Lewis and Clark or Sacagawea. It has given them a reference point in history.

I work hard to help my kids re-visit our favorite books through references in history, such as Seaman, or when we read about Jamestown in Who’s Saying What in Jamestown Thomas Savage?. We often put our favorite books and historical characters on our timeline charts because if we can remember the story, we can usually name most of the main characters and the main theme of what happened in that time period.

This allows our minds to “hook” that piece of history for later reference. Something I sure wish I had done a lot more of when I was young. 

Expand Your Attention Span

This one goes for kids and adults these days. We no longer have the attention span we had before all of our smart technologies. It’s very, very valuable to build our attention spans and slow down for periods of time throughout our days.

Reading aloud for an hour or two might seem like a long time, and it is, but the benefits are enormous.

Children who practice it will benefit in so many ways, from greater memory retention to broader understanding. They’ll have more patience for extended projects in other areas of life and their minds will learn to slow to the pace of your voice.

In our busy world, a short period of calm, quiet reading can do wonders for the body, mind, and soul. 

Reading Aloud Begins with You

If reading aloud intimidates you, don’t feel bad. Start slow and build with just a few minutes a day. Remind yourself of all the beautiful benefits and press through the busy.

Take a few minutes after dinner, or with your kids focused on a quiet and activity and start reading. Eventually, you’ll all find a rhythm and the kids will be begging you to read just one more chapter.

If you read great books together it truly will catapult your children’s education to the next level with an added benefit of connection too.