Happy Friday! I wanted to share this month’s family read aloud: The Swiss Family Robinson. My boys are loving it! We are reading the Classic Starts version from Rainbow Resource.
I absolutely love Classic Starts because they stay true to the original work but condense it enough for young readers to follow along. While the books still use a wide variety of vocabulary, it is slightly easier for your emerging readers. The combination of length and vocabulary allow for a love of classic literature to build!
We are reading a few other books this year outside of Classic Starts, such as, Charlotte’s Web, Iron Giant, and Peter Pan.
We try to read aloud one novel a month. This year I chose novels that had movies to accompany them, as my children are ages eight and under and visuals are helpful. We also compare the novel to the movie afterward. It is a fun activity and really showcases their comprehension and critical thinking skills. Plus, who doesn’t love a popcorn movie night?
You may be wondering how on earth my three, six and almost eight year old sit through our read aloud time and I will tell you about ninety percent of the time it goes well, but for four specific reasons:
We sit in our quiet reading room. There are zero distractions, electronics, etc. It is actually my favorite room in the house and where we have prayer and Bible time as well.
They are allowed to quietly color, build, or use a popper while I read. As long as they are in the room and not causing a distraction, it is fine. We lean toward coloring the majority of the time or letting our dog and cat, but sometimes they just hang upside down in a chair (it’s fine - truly).
We pause frequently to address new or unfamiliar words, discuss plot/setting/ characters/connections, and make predictions. It is a time for conversation, as much as it is, a time for reading.
We read aloud at a time of day when we need a break from school work or in the evening after dinner and before bed. We keep it short: 15-30 minutes on average.
I can tell you the vocabulary my children use (yes, even my three year old) is extensive and it is due, in large part, to this read aloud time. It also builds their critical thinking and comprehension skills, not to mention their attention span. Learning to truly listen while others are reading or speaking is a life skill and our family read aloud time is a great place to build this skill.
My whole family has grown to love this time. If we are having an off day, it is always a great way to reset! You don’t have to homeschool to incorporate this time into your family routine and you don’t have to add it to your schedule every day. If you just read two to three times a week, you can easily sail through a novel every few weeks.
Check out our list for the 2021-2022 school year below!