Saturday, February 19, 2011

Family read alouds

Charlotte Mason used "living books" instead of textbooks in her schools which is what we also try to use in our home school. Hence read alouds are something we do as part of 'school' a la Charlotte Mason.

However, when I first started looking into home schooling, I remember reading Susan Schaeffer Macaulay talking about a 'family read aloud' time in "For the Children's sake".

So, last year, Ron and I began that tradition on a Saturday night (when we are at home). We began with "Winnie the Pooh", a great book for the young and the young at heart:) We enjoyed reading this book, all three of us snuggled up on our couch at home, laughing at this silly old bear and his 'expotitions' . We usually read just a chapter at a time so this took us quite a while to get through.

Next we undertook "Little House in the Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This book was just lovely, it transported us to a very different time and place with Ma and Pa, Laura and Mary and their house which was indeed oh so little, poles apart from our day and lifestyle. A lot of it was way over Rebekah's understanding and life experience just as any other six year old's living in the 21st century, not something she could relate to, e.g., hunting bears and lighting fires, but despite this she really enjoyed it as did we. This charming book we finished last Saturday.

Today, we begin "The Magician's Nephew" by C.S.Lewis. Rebekah has been patiently waiting for this book since mid last year when Ron started telling her stories from the Narnia books as part of her bed time stories.

We hope that this tradition carries on for many years to come, even into the teenage years (as Susan.S.Macaulay talked about in the afore mentioned book).

It is such a great bonding time, very special and if you have not done this with your kids I would encourage you to try this out too! You will be making memories for them, not to mention encouraging them to really enjoy good books and also educating them at the same time(wink)! So, I'm off to begin our Narnia series! Enjoy your weekend!


Jeanne said...

Family read-alouds are so special, aren't they? I'm sure Rebekah will be storing up lots of wonderful memories.

alecat said...

I am often surprised when non-homeschooling friends say that they don't read to their children much, especially as they are reading themselves now. That's so sad! It's time to share something together and discuss it, for the children to hear a more difficult vocabulary and experience difference expression.

We'll be continuing to do read-alouds here for quite some time to come. I just started reading "The Little Princess" by Francis Burgess to my daughter, and both children are listening to "The Golden Goblet" from my son's Sonlight list.

Clara said...

We love reading aloud here - not only do I read aloud to the children almost every evening (and my husband listens in too if he doesn't have to work late), but I also read books aloud to my husband as one of our relaxations when we have spare time. Sometimes if I'm particularly tired with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, my husband will cook for me while I read aloud to him too - these are such fun times together (our books are often interjected with conversation about topics raised in the books!). :) Reading aloud really is a great way to spend time together!
With the children I've been reading through the Little House on the Prairie books - we're up to the 5th book. Like you wrote about Rebekah not understanding everything, my children don't understand everything either and sometimes they'll ask me to explain while other times they won't. I figure either way, they're learning things, and expanding their vocabulary etc. They love play-acting some of the things that happen in the Little House books too, in their playtime! :)

Sarah said...

It is very special. We we will be starting the Narnia series soon. The aticipation is so exciting! xxx

Amy said...

I loved the Little House books and read them several times over as a little girl! I'm excited for Ava to get to read them. We read together a lot as well. We read a lot of The Secret Garden together and now Ava has started A Little Princess. It's fun to enjoy them again with her!

So, regarding Narnia, are you guys reading them in the order Lewis wrote them or in the story's chronological order? Just curious. :)

joyfulmum said...

Amy, we are reading them in the story's chronological order:)
Rebekah hasn't read The Secret Garden nor A little Princess but they are on my list for her:)
Clara I chuckled at your reading to your husband, that is so sweet and cute too:)
We tried that here several years ago but it didn't work too good for us:) maybe try it again when Rebekah has grown up and left home? :)
Jeanne, I've enjoyed reading about your family read aloud times on your blog!
Alecat, yes, my blog is read by several friends and others not all of whom homeschool which is one reason I wrote about this, to get the word out:)
Sarah, yes I can understand the anticipation of the Narnia books, they are GREAT aren't they?:)

joyfulmum said...

oh dear, too many ':)' s in my comments, sorry.

Ganeida said...

We always read aloud & storytime was so popular here sleepover kids couldn't wait for bedtime because I could usually be encouraged to read several more books or chapters than promised ~ with all the voices & funny faces! ☺

Jo said...

I was read to by my mother and I read to my children. When I couldn't read I used audio-tapes (before CDs) and my sons just loved these. They would listen and listen to them until they knew them off by heart. Both reading and audio-tapes improved their vocabulary and understood concepts well above their age. And you are quite right, it creates a wonderful environment.

Mrs Adept said...

LOL - I just did a post on our latest read aloud and then I pop over to see what you've been up to and voila - you've got a post on read alouds too~!! How awesome is that?

We are also very particular and fond of read alouds. :o) We run a few at the same time.

Richele said...

What a magical read aloud time the three of you have. It's interesting that all three books are so rich yet different in style.

I've really enjoyed everyone's comments, too. We only had a few books in our home growing up but my mother read them over and over to us. They are some of my most vivid memories from childhood.

My husband does the bedtime read alouds here. Though they are in Russian, I think it's interesting that they are what many of us grew up on: "Winnie the Pooh", Astrid Lindgren's "Karlsson on the Roof" and "Emil." He even read "Tom Sawyer" to them in Russian. Growing up on the Mississippi I was a little dismayed about that :)

Happy Reading (aloud)!

joyfulmum said...

Richele, you're right, those three are very different but rich; Rebekah has been exposed to lots of different types of books thanks to me finding CM when she was 2 and 1/2!
How wonderful for your kids that they are growing up in a bi-lingual home!

tea said...

I love the idea of reading aloud together as a family. My husband and I did this once a few years ago (before our son) and loved it. It's something I would really like to continue.