We have been using Sonlight for two years. And while our two years have been filled with big changes, such as adding a new baby to our family and a cross-country move, our Sonlight curriculum has been a consistent and steady place to return to. In sitting down and sharing books and stories together, all of the changes and chaos around us seem to momentarily fade to the background. I have been so grateful that amidst all of the other things that have demanded my attention, Sonlight has taken the stress out of planning our school time together. I am amazed at how much my children have learned through being exposed to good books and how eager they are to connect the content to other books they have read from the library. They now beg to go to the library to find more books that relate to the things we are learning together through Sonlight.” —Sarah H. of Cochranville, PA
Read-Aloud time is my children’s favorite part of our day. They look forward to the adventures we can embark on together through literature. I enjoy the time together, too, because it gives me the opportunity to have deep discussions with my kids.
Without prioritizing time to sit and read together, though, it would be all too easy for our busy schedule to squash out our reading opportunities. Because of the immense wisdom and family bonding we glean, I find it’s well worth the effort to carve out time devoted to reading aloud. Here are four ideas that help me incorporate read-alouds into our daily routine, regardless of our hectic schedule.
1. Use Audio Books
Listening to audio books in our car on the way to activities or while we eat lunch has been a game changer for our family. At other times, when I simply need a break from reading aloud, an audio book comes to my rescue. We still get to experience the book together, but through a different avenue.
2. Read in the Margins of Your Day
Some of the most optimal times for reading aloud are during the transitions and margins of our day—before bedtime, during afternoon quiet-time, or as a morning warm-up .
Right before bedtime is a peaceful period when we can snuggle up together in the family room and dig in to our book’s adventure. This daily ritual gives my family time to slow down, unwind, and decompress before going to sleep.
Reading at lunchtime, around the kitchen table, is another great choice. While the kids quietly sit and eat their lunch, I get a break from the chaos and can sneak in a chapter or two while they are busy munching.
Morning read-alouds are provide an easy transition from groggy waking up to being ready to activate our brains for learning.
3. Use a Literature-based Curriculum
When you use a literature-based history or science curriculum, you are checking two boxes at once. For example, when you read a history Read-Aloud from Sonlight, you are completing your history studies while you are also enjoying family reading time. They are one and the same! So your evening bedtime story is a big part of your history lessons.
Or when you read a science biography to your children over lunch, they are getting their science instruction combined with family reading time. When you merge day-to-day life with homeschooling like this, you create a family culture of learning. The lines between school and family and recreation all become blurred. It’s just how your family flows—learning all the time and reading all the time.
4. Allow Older Children to Read Aloud to Younger Children
If you still struggle to find time to squeeze in family read-alouds, have your older children read to your younger children. The older kids get to practice their own reading, and you are freed to work with other children one-on one or to do other household tasks.
Reading aloud to my children, going on adventures, and devouring great literature is precious to me, and I will not allow our schedule to get in the way. Admittedly, finding time to read aloud takes persistence and devotion, especially as children grow older. Don’t give up. Be creative and think outside the box. We really can find time to do what is important to us.
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Sonlight is a complete, literature-based, Christian homeschool curriculum with every subject for students from Preschool through high school. Our curriculum uses a variety of materials to deliver an engaging and complete education that extends beyond textbooks and memorization: literary fiction and nonfiction, biographies, illustrations, and hands-on experiments. These resources come with thorough lesson plans and notes, so that you can enjoy successful homeschooling. Customers who buy from Sonlight enjoy a liberal arts education that produces critical thinkers who are ambassadors for Christ with a heart for the world. Visit us online and request a FREE catalog today!