It had been a long day, and I was exhausted. It was almost bedtime, and my children asked me, “Mama? Just one more story?” I replied with kindness, but firmness, that it was time to go. My older brothers ran into
Reading aloud is a priority
Everything was canceled when the 2020 pandemic started. My husband was on medical leaves, and it felt like we were suspended in midair, waiting for the worst. Sometimes it was difficult to remember how to breathe. Although our family wasn’t sure what to do, we knew that sharing stories was a great place to begin. Each day, at lunchtime, we would gather around the table to dive into “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown.
Learn how to “strew” and fill your home with literature. Your children can reach a book at their fingertips if your home is filled with books, whether on shelves, in baskets, or on tables. Instead of placing texts neatly on shelves with their bindings facing out and lining them up, put the covers with the covers facing up/facing out. This will draw attention to the book and create interest. Children of all ages will love how they naturally pick up books, regardless of age.
Pin traditions/routines in the schedule. Pin your breakfast read aloud or have an older sibling do it on the way to school. The changing seasons are an excellent backdrop for swapping seasonal stories for the next. These traditions “pin” the idea that children should read aloud (thus, close connections) into their daily lives. They make life easier and provide stability when chaos reigns.
Are you a parent of a child who is easily distracted and disinterested in listening to your children? Tandem Reading is a great option. My 11-year-old prefers to lie down and alternate reading paragraphs, pages, and sometimes sentences. This makes him feel more comfortable and engaged and helps keep the focus of reading on connection.
Audiobooks are an excellent form of reading aloud. Consider placing Bluetooth or wireless speakers inside your children’s rooms to allow them to listen at night. My then 7-, 4-, and 1-year-old children read the entire Little House on the Prairie series. It took me eight months to read the whole series aloud. Never again. Cherry Jones, a professional narrator, did the hard work instead.