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Sharing the Joy of Reading

Editor’s Note: Today we’re focusing on reading by republishing an old post of Candy’s. Make sure you read down to the bottom, too, for an opportunity to enter a very special giveaway hosted by Woman to Woman Ministries.

Sharing the joy of reading is (one of) the greatest privileges we have as parents! I started reading out loud to my children almost 23 years ago when my oldest was so new to this world he couldn’t even hold up his sweet little head.

I started reading out loud to my children over 20 years ago when my oldest son was so new to this world he couldn’t even hold up his sweet, fuzzy little head. Over the past couple of decades, I’ve read literally hundreds of thousands of pages to my children and enjoyed every minute of it.

Well, there were some books I enjoyed less than others, e.g., Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sweet story and I love the main idea, but even the greatest of fans would have to admit that the mom in the book is a little creepy. I mean, seriously? Climbing into your grown son’s bedroom window to rock him while he sleeps? Not that I haven’t thought about it, mind you, but a little bit of impulse control goes a long way in separating normal from not-so-normal.

Over the years, our reading time has morphed and no longer resembles those sweet snuggles of the early days. We’ve expanded our reading repertoire to include much more than Little Golden Books and the like.

We’ve exchanged Eric Carle for C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien

And Eve Bunting has been replaced by Madeleine L’Engle and Elizabeth George Speare

The older boys are no longer here for reading and I can no longer snuggle the younger ones in a rocking chair. I miss my time with the older boys (thus the thoughts of climbing through a bedroom window to rock a grown man), but I’m making sure I treasure every moment with the not-so-little-anymores who still hang on every word and always ask for “Just one more chapter, pleeease!”

2 Ways Reading Can Play a Big Part in Your Home

  • Reading aloud can play a big part in your homeschooling efforts.

The early years of school for each my children have included the use of  Five in a Row’s  curriculum. FIAR was perfect for us; good books and lots of “lap time.” Now, in addition to age-appropriate reading that the children enjoy on their own, I choose our read aloud material from literature that relates to the time period we’re studying, both fiction and non-fiction. It’s a wonderful way to bring history alive while increasing the kids’ vocabulary and stretching their imaginations!

  • Reading out loud affords you the wonderful opportunity to introduce children to literature they might not be able to read on their own.

The books that are chosen don’t need to be limited to a child’s grade or age level. They’ll comprehend more than you’d expect and, of course, you always have the freedom to stop and explain things in more detail.

Most parents read to their children when they’re very small and perhaps until they’re in the earlier grades, but I’ve found that many parents don’t see a need to continue this practice when their children begin to read more independently.

My advice would be: Don’t stop. When they stop listening, tie ‘em to a chair and read anyway. (Just kidding about that last part.) I really don’t think any parent is going to look back from their empty nest and say, “Man, I wish hadn’t wasted all that time reading to the kids!”

Keep reading to your children as they grow, for as long as they’ll listen.... Click To Tweet

If you’re not sure where to start, reading lists abound!

Here’s one to get you started

Do YOU read out loud to your children? Feel free to share your favorite books in the comments section!

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Candy is a southern girl who enjoys the simple things in life. Dirt road drivin’, Sunday afternoon nappin’, back yard swingin’, and sunset watchin’ are a few of the things that make her smile. She’s been married to her best friend and the love of her life for almost 25 years and is navigating motherhood with her 4 children, aged 23, 19, 14, & 11. Homeschooling for over 18 years now, she is also a bit of a word-nerd (ok, maybe more than a “bit” – she actually considers making lists of homophones to be entertaining), a lover of books and chocolate, a survivor of cancer, an author, and a hula hoop maker.

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10 Responses to Sharing the Joy of Reading

  1. Mary Hill January 16, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    Thanks for sharing on Literacy Musing Mondays. I selected this post as my favorite one for the week. 🙂

    • Pat January 19, 2016 at 7:51 am #

      Oh, that’s AWESOME, Mary! Thank you so much for the honor <3
      Candy and I both love to read...and thoroughly enjoy your party!! Have a great week...

    • Candy January 19, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

      What an honor! Thanks for choosing our post, Mary! 🙂

  2. Leslie January 13, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

    Yes. Who doesn’t love to enjoy a good book with their family? (P.S. I wasn’t a big fan of I Love You Forever, either. All that wasted toilet paper on the cover just bothers me.)

    • Candy January 13, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

      I never even thought of the toilet paper, but now that you mentioned it, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it! 😉 Definitely too much waste. 🙂

  3. Leah Courtney August 5, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    I totally agree about reading aloud! Thank you for linking up. 🙂

    • Candy August 6, 2015 at 6:16 am #

      Reading with my kids is definitely a passion of mine! As a matter of fact, my 15 year old will be settling on the couch in about 1/2 hour ready to listen to our latest book, A Draw of Kings by Patrick Carr. Though he could certainly read the book himself, he enjoys our time together too. 🙂

  4. Cathy Bush August 22, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    I’m so glad you’re honest. “I’m Going to Love Your Forever” creeped me out too. I thought I was the only one. 🙂

    • Candy August 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

      You’re definitely not alone, Cathy. My kids didn’t feel that way though. They loved hearing the story over and over again!

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