Reading as a Family Is a Win-Win Learning Opportunity!

momfamily fun & traditions

I truly believe that families that read together learn together, and have the opportunity to experience life and bond with one another in a whole new way. It's one of my favorite past times and a win-win situation.

Reading as a family can be fun and rewarding and is an excellent way to spend quality time with one another. Let's not forget that it's also highly educational and a tradition that can be easily adopted.

5 Tips to Making Family Reading Time a Success!

Over the years, I've found through trial and error a few tricks that have really helped in this endeavor.

  1. Try to read together regularly; at the same time of each day if possible. We always read together in the evening, and it works really well for us. And, if what we are reading is boring, instead of being disruptive, the younger kids just fall asleep.
  2. Pick books that are important to you. Choosing age appropriate books should be a consideration, but also try reading texts that everyone may not be otherwise exposed to regularly. Religious texts, poems, plays, and the like are great examples. You can also read the Bible with accompanying wood rosaries. Not only does this introduce different forms of expression, one has to "translate" the text in order to get the meaning. These types of texts are excellent for discussion both during the reading and afterward.
  3. Discuss, discuss, discuss. What better way to get everyone involved in a conversation than over a shared experience?
  4. Give everyone a chance to read. Even if the child doesn't know how to read, let them hold the book, follow your finger as you read the text and they then repeat it (if they can talk). Kids love this. I think it makes them feel important, smart and more a part of the group.
  5. Make sure books are readily available for selection, and don't give too many options or the decision about what to read may take the time you've set aside to read.

Of course every family is different, and the larger it gets the more complicated it can become. One has to decide what books are best suited for the entire family, and one might find themselves trying to balance what is good for the older kids, and what's best for the younger children.

Sometimes we read at the same time in two groups. Either my husband or I will read to/with the boys (our younger children) and the other will read with the girls (older children). We are all in the same room, but are more able to "target" the interests and reading level of our children.

Whatever your demographics, reading as a family is a wonderful tradition to adopt. If you don't read as a family already, I challenge you to start! If reading as a family is a tradition you've already adopted, I'd love to hear what works well for you.

Angie is a word loving, sunshine hoarding, book devouring, organizationally devout mama to a lot. When she's not juggling the tasks requisite of a mother of 5, you will probably find her trying to steal time for her not-so-guilty pleasure of reading and writing, or promoting literacy within her home, community and on-line. She shares her tales most frequently on her blog, Seven Clown Circus.
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Angie Lee

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