EVERYTHING about our normal school routine has been complicated this year by Mason (age 1). If I don’t feel like I have to constantly keep eyes on him to keep him from making trouble, he’s following me around whining because his brothers won’t let him take whatever they’re playing with. Our read-alouds seem like the only thing we do consistently sometimes.
The beauty of homeschooling is that there’s no rush. In Washington State, homeschool laws don’t even apply to children until they are 8 years old (source). Even though my kids are all under 8 and already have some solid schooling under their belts, I still have a hard time letting go of that public school timeline.
But I do get a little better at letting go every year, especially when something (like having a toddler) forces us to slow down. I try to just remind myself that life won’t be this crazy forever. Before I know it, Mason will be joining us in our lessons (instead of me trying to get everything done during his unpredictable naps).
The Importance of Read-Alouds
For me, the best part about read-alouds is the family bond. I love that Kender (age 7) snuggles up next to me when I read aloud and Rhett (age 4) plays with toys nearby. I love that feeling of closeness, and I love that we are enjoying something together. This article by Read-Aloud Revival hit really close to home for me:
When you focus on nurturing your child’s love of stories first and foremost, you get a child who can read, and a child who loves to read. You get both. You may not get the first part on your timetable, but you’ll get it on your child’s unique timetable, and he’ll have an insatiable appetite for stories, as well, which is worth its weight in gold.The Most Important Part of Teaching Kids To Read: Read-Aloud Revival
If we accomplish only one thing during this chaotic stage in life, I hope it’s a true love of stories. A true love of reading.
Fortunately, we have managed to read several great books this year, and for that, I give myself a nice big pat on the back!
So far this year, we’ve read:
- Most of the “Ranger in Time” books by Kate Messner (see Our Favorite Read Aloud Books for History and Science for more on those)
- “The Golden Goblet” by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
- “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen
- “A Yard for John” by Eleanor Clymer
- “The Journey of Ching Lai” by Eleanor Frances Lattimore
Hatchet is a book that Ryan used to love as a kid. Kender loves survival and wilderness themes so it was fun for them to share that together. Rhett just enjoyed having male bonding time. While they read their manly survival book, I sat and read my princess books. If you’ve never read The Selection series by Kiera Cass, I HIGHLY recommend them!!!
A Yard for John and The Journey of Ching Lai are books from The Good and The Beautiful Library. I love all the great books they have on there!
Our current read-alouds:
- “Ranger in Time: A Night of Soldiers and Spies” by Kate Messner
- “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by JK Rowling
I LOVE that Kender is old enough to appreciate Harry Potter now!! It’s so fun to read to him and have him beg for more when we finish a chapter. It’s also really fun trying to mimic Hagrid’s accent. I can’t wait until we start reading The Prisoner of Azkaban… That one has always been my favorite Harry Potter book!