20 August 2013

three| school ready :: read aloud

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
— Emilie Buchwald
Reading aloud to your child is one of the greatest gifts you could give him or her. Our human instincts naturally crave story. We search for myth, meaning in almost all we do, so it is wonderful when we share stories and books with our children. My husband and I have been reading with our boys everyday since they were born. It is a part of their night-time ritual. They must hear spoken words strung together in story or they find it impossible to find sleep. In fact my youngest still falls asleep as we read.  Once, in a silly mood I calculated the hours we have read to the boys. The hours really added up (one-two hours a night for 13years = many hours), when I told my husband the number, he asked if we get a medal. The answer is of course, no, but we had a good laugh none the less.  Reading aloud has also created a desire in our children to know books. Knowing spoken stories, having exposure to a wide variety of words and use of language at a young age becomes the stepping stone on which children in general become readers themselves. So after all I said about love (still so important!) last week, I would have to say that reading aloud is the next step in helping our children become life long lovers of learning.  You also become their mentor, their guide when they start to read themselves. When they begin the task of sounding out words and taking a turn at reading aloud to you everyday.

As some of you may know, my middle has a learning disability. For him reading aloud is a chore, a most difficult one in fact. However, he hungers for stories and listens to hours and hours of books on CD's.  Be it as it may, he still needs to practice reading aloud. Every morning this summer, I have been struggling with him to get him to read out loud to me. Somedays it is pulling teeth, others days it goes a bit smoother. Yesterday was a particularly difficult morning and he flat out refused to read to me. So at lunch I told him and his brother this made up story: There once was a little girl who wasn't very good at running at all. "Mommy is this about you?" asked the youngest. "No," I said, "just listen." She was quite slow in fact, but she signed up to run in a race so that she could practice running. However, as the day approached to the big race, she became more and more anxious. Then my middle interjected, "Mom is this a true story? Are you sure it is not about you?" "Shhh, I said, it doesn't matter." Until the night before she was to supposed to run, she decided she just wasn't going to do it after all. She wouldn't run and pretend that the race wasn't happening. Then that night, she had a dream about a little wren caught in a storm on a mountainside. This wren was trying to desperately get back to her nest and her babies; and even though she was being torn apart, she kept on trying to fly back to her nest, because she knew it wasn't just about her, it was about something much bigger. The next morning, when the sun creaked in through her windows the girl woke up and knew. She knew she was, even with her self-doubt and fears, going to run in the race after all. She knew that there are some things in life that are just bigger than her.

After the story ended the younger two got quiet, mulling it all over, finishing up lunch.  I then asked the middle if he was ready to read now. "No," he replied, "I didn't sign up to read. but I do need to play this game, it keeps getting harder and harder. In fact, its much, much bigger than me. I feel like I am a wren in a storm and if I quit now I will never be able to do anything again." Then he giggled and tried to sneak away.

What a stinker.

little life lesson backfire. xxoo

Here is delightful link for children's books! I have found it to be a wonderful resource for all sorts of books, especially if I am looking for something different or there is project needed to be done. 


  1. Ha, Ha - boys, boys. They make me laugh. My youngest has a very hard time with reading and we go through the same battles. Getting over little bumps in the road are like climbing a mountain. Kudos to you for being such an awesome mom. Reading at night is a very special time for us and it is so important. It is a moment of peace at the end of crazy days.

    Check out the book "The Three Questions" - it really can get the kids and parents thinking. One of my favorites for sure.
    Another Beautiful post.
    Chey xo

  2. I love reading to my children - our home, their rooms can be mistaken for libraries the amount of books we have. Though all three have been different in the way they tackle the written word...I guess it's all a learning curve and I have to appreciate they are all different.

    Though one thing they have all enjoyed is listening to story tapes at bedtime. They listen to a variety of stuff and it's helped their literature and story telling no ends.

    Such a beautiful post.

    Nina x

  3. A lovely post Rebecca. Mine love having books read to them. Especially the littlest one, who can't read himself yet, and really doesn't like to try and read very much. But he will listen for hours. I really think it is his favourite thing to snuggle in close and have someone read him stories.

  4. What a great post! We love to read here, my daughter really struggles with a lot of her schoolwork, but reading is her saviour, and it is so wonderful for her to have something to celebrate being really good at. Reading together at night snuggled up in bed is jut about her favourite thing. How funny and clever is your middle one, and so lucky to have a mum such as you xx

  5. Oh that's so delightful! I was reading through and thinking, yes the power of therapeutic stories ... and then your son provided that wonderful ending! Lol.

    Reading aloud is one of the things I miss now my daughter is older. Although it was always funny, I'd start reading and within a few minutes was compulsively yawning. It become an ongoing joke. I could never read aloud without yawning frequently. I could tell stories just fine, and nag, and give lessons, and have conversations - but reading aloud brought on the yawns.

  6. I love the quote! And the response to your life lesson story feels exactly like something a certain one of my third graders would have said to me - I love it!

  7. I think that just goes to show how very, very smart middle son is.

  8. Jarvis cannot talk yet, but book time is one of his favourite things, I often get smacked in the face with a book. His sign to read to him. But I love it, the soft snuggly warmth of his body next to mine as we share a story. I hope it goes on for ages.

  9. I like "angels have red hair's" comment and I totally agree!



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