This is a real thing. I have heard some moms describe reading aloud like nails on a chalkboard for them. The problem is that the “nails on a chalkboard” feeling is the very act of them reading aloud. Some people dread reading out loud, even to their own children. If this is you, then here is what you can do when you hate reading aloud.
Bibliophobia is an unusual phobia of books. Obviously, I would hope homeschooling parents don’t have an actual fear of books. However, bibliophobia also has to do with fear of reading or reading out loud, or in public. Maybe your case isn’t a full blown “fear” of reading aloud but rather mere detest for it. That is fair. Let’s call it bibliodetestia.
There are so many reasons you may not like reading aloud. I mean, they are entirely legitimate reasons. Is it grueling to read a book with your kids, like you feel those last 5 pages are like trying to run a 5K while parched in a desert? Yes, mom, you know who you are. The one that purposefully skips three or four pages of a book, hoping their child doesn’t notice? You are like a ninja with those pages!
When they are young learners, this “ninja trick” actually works. We have succeeded in pulling the wool over our kid’s eyes, and we are WINNING. Well, that doesn’t last too long. Once you hear that little tiny voice saying, “Mom, you skipped a page.” It is all downhill from there. It’s over for you, you are done with.
“OH!” and forget about reading at night. I mean, who can read aloud at 8 at night and not yawn? I think it is a scientific impossibility. Some moms I have talked to even fall asleep while reading, and feel like they can’t help it.
Just because we are homeschool parents, doesn’t mean we will love everything about it. I don’t love that I have to teach my son math standing up sometimes because he learns better moving around. It is just what we do. We pull up our mom jeans (or leggings/sweatpants) and do what we gotta do (purposefully misspelled).
Look, even R.C. Sproul Jr. has chimed in on the matter, He said… “it is sufficient in itself to be the last one—it’s a great deal of fun. Having your children gathered around, calm and at peace is a great blessing, to which we add a story well told. Why wouldn’t we find time to enjoy this pleasure? What other inducement would you need?”
Hi Mr. Sproul! Thanks for the advice, well noted.
For those moms, who find reading aloud a little more difficult than most, here are a few things you can do to get through the next 18+ years:
Note: These are not cop-outs. These are legitimate #momlife hacks to get us by when we just can’t.
- Do you have older kids? Use them. Have them read to younger siblings. This is a mom win/win.
- Get your husband to read to the kids at night. You gave him children; he can read them some books at night.
- Use audiobooks!
- Discover read aloud websites (I share some below).
- Just do it. Mom, you knew this was coming, and I had to say it. We have to read to our kids, even sometimes.
The benefits of reading to our kids are worth every minute of torture. I was never read to as a kid. I read to my kids now, not because I HAVE to, but because they ask me to. I want them to have the memory of me reading to them when I am old and gone. Yes, we should do it, whether we hate or just find it really annoying to hear our own voices. Our kids are worth it.
Here are some links to resources that may make things a little easier for you.
Librivox – This is a FREE public domain for audiobooks.
These read-alouds have text for your children to follow along with while they are also listening to the text:
Storyline Online is a website with some of our favorite stories read by celebrities, including Betty White, James Earl Jones, and others. The Screen Actors Guild funds the site.
Storynory is a collection of books with audio stories where kids can read along. The texts can be translated into different languages for your ESL students.
Just Books Read Aloud this website allows students to read the words and follow along. The site includes some great favorites like The Giving Tree.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!