The Lost Art of Reading Aloud

Before radio and then TV and then VCRs, computers, DVDs, DVRs, laptops, iPods, iPads, Netflix, Hulu … (you get the idea) … families read. Members sat in rooms together and read their own books quietly. They read aloud to each other. They didn’t just read to the people who couldn’t read on their own, they collectively shared the written word. I imagine then they talked. How cool is that?

When I put my boys to bed, inevitably when I start a story, one or more of my older girls find their way into the room to listen like they did when they are little. I need to take advantage of this. I complain about how little time we have as a family, time to take action, and think outside the box. I think reading together is worth a shot.

When choosing a book, pick one with a storyline everyone can understand. You don’t have to take it down to the youngest’s reading level, as there will be time for questions, but the story itself should keep everyone interested and curious about what happens next.

The following is a list of books that work well as stories to be listened to.

– All of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (If you are going to read these, start at the beginning, don’t start with Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe)

– The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

– The Christmas Doll by Elvira Woodruff

– Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

– Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamilo

– Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

– Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

– The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

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