Saturday 4 January 2020

Our love of read-alouds

A selection of books we've studied...
Read-alouds are a big part of our Charlotte Mason approach. Each term we have a number of books we work our way through (often from the Ambleside book list, although we substitute/supplement a fair few these days to tailor to our own context - ie slightly less US history). (Can you spot any books you know in the picture?)

Especially with a range of ages in our household, the read-alouds are a really effective way our kids to connect with the stories and concepts we're looking at, and doing a chapter a day is a good pace too. Our older two narrate back their understanding of what's happened, which helps them stay engaged when they're listening and also to practice being able to articulate the flow of the story in their own words.

How we track progress each term
We also have a list of free-reads each year for our kids to read (again, mainly the older ones), and some of the more ambitious ones I (Luke) will read to them at bedtime. Although I have some flexibility in my working pattern, and get to take "home ed" days every few weeks, the vast majority of the time I miss all the learning fun in the day. As a result, bedtimes are my priority time to connect with each of our kids in turn and read to them.

There are so many benefits to reading aloud to children that I won't even attempt to cover them all here, as Jim Trelease's  Read Aloud Handbook articulates them so brilliantly. This is a must-read book in my opinion!

One book which isn't a read-aloud but is related is Alice Ozma's The Reading Promise, which tells the (true life) story of a father and daughter's relationship through the lens of the stories he reads to her every night for many many years. I especially liked this book becuase I value the relational time I spend with my daughters (and son!!) each night, but also becuase our podcast has also ended up being framed around a father-daughter conversation.

We'd love to hear your experience of read-alouds and what stories have most resonated in your families. Please drop us a note in the comments below or on any of our platforms!

#charlottemason #ambleside #readaloud #readingpromise

Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed our post. Some small print on our recommendations is in this post.

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