Reading aloud is a large part of our day, so I thought I’d share a little of what that looks like for us.
The little one is often on the sofa with a pile of books waiting for one of us to read to her. Her current favourite is Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s modern classic I’m Going on a Bear Hunt. Aren’t repetition, rhyme and suspense perfect for preschoolers?!
The older two still love being read to but of course enjoy longer stories. Although they are fluent readers, they still read to me a couple of times a week – well, actually we alternate pages – so I guess we are both reading aloud! At the moment I’m reading Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking with my eldest, and my son and I are coming to the end of The Further Adventures of Gobbolino and the Little Wooden Horse by Ursula Moray Williams. Not only is this a cosy time one-on-one with them but as we enjoy the story together it’s chance for them to work on their pronunciation and expression. I want them to delight in this wonderful aspect of bringing stories alive and learning how to share them well with others.
We spend a good half an hour each day reading all together. This is often a literature classic or perhaps a longer more complex story – here is a list of what we have read this year. The little one is ideally still napping at this point but otherwise she often just snuggles up with us, plays on the floor at our feet, or eats her way through custard creams! At the moment we are finding Grammarland by M. L. Nesbitt hilarious, as each character personifies a different part of speech fighting over words in a court room.
As we close our day in the early evening we delve into a variety of stories often related to topics or people we are studying in history, nature, music and art. These bring our different interests alive. These are mostly picture books pitched at primary aged children so that all three weary children have a feast for their eyes as they listen. Last night we read Lon Po Po: A Chinese Story of Red Riding Hood. It was wonderful chatting about the similarities and differences with the Brothers Grimm version and enriched our current studies of China in the Middle Ages.
So a lot of reading aloud! It is a good thing I enjoy it! The time of day has varied but this is what works for us at the moment:
- Picture books with preschooler – scattered through the day
- Reading 1-2-1 with 6 or 8 year old – mid morning
- Literature Read Aloud altogether – early afternoon
- Topical Picture Books altogether – before bed
Obviously there are days where nothing gets read aloud and that’s fine but generally this is what we aim for.