Reading aloud is one of those precious moments that many of us reserve for the end of the day when we’re putting the children to bed. This week on Wednesday 7th March is World Read Aloud day a global movement of literacy and reading aloud by LITWorld founder Pam Allyn.
Reading aloud is probably one of the most squeezed activities in our household because of the time pressures. It doesn’t benefit from enough time and thought. The amount of reading generally gets smaller as new siblings arrive and older children learn to read. It doesn’t need to be that way!
In this short extract we hear founder, Pam Allyn tackle this problem When you have more than one child how do you choose the right book that fits them all without giving up on Read alouds?
Transcript taken from Raising Playful Tots #50
Reading aloud gets more difficult once you move past one child is the common response I hear from parents. You can see their point, a baby and 3 year olds tastes in books are quite different. Then there’s the new readers at 4,5,6,7 who are keen to read TO us. Is there a time when we should just say enough is enough no more reading aloud?
Pam: Well I never say that .It’s actually really healthy for us as adults to be listening and hearing. I think …when you have children of different ages cause that. It is a question I get asked a lot. They [parents] are worrying about the levels. They are worrying. It’s almost a little overwhelming to think, how am I going to read the selection that I choose for my 6 year old and my three year old?
What I say is that I encourage families to be as flexible as possible. Your 3 year old loves to actually be with you. Dozing off as you’re reading to your 6 year old as the book is a little longer. Don’t worry about that. The sheer nearness of you and the sheer fact of reading together is really important.
In terms of that, I also want to go the other way and say that the 6 year old I wouldn’t be so worried to say, ” Oh no I’m reading to my 3 year old now I better not read also with my 6 year old because my 6 yr old will think the book is too babyish.” As soon as we act like it our 6 year old will claim it too. But if we go into it saying, ‘I’m in my middle age and still think Dr Seuss is amazing! How about you? ‘Our six year old will also immediately model….And it’s really good for them to act with simpler texts and listen on many different levels.
They can start to memorize the text.The 6 year old is learning to read at school…..even listening to the rhyme and language. Things that when they were 3 they really couldn’t pick up on. Now 3 years later while it’s being read to their 3 yr old brother. They can pick up the complexity of the text, storyline, rhyming scheme and all of that becomes more sharply into focus.
And as far as when to stop….. My daughters are much older with one at 17…..Now it’s op -ed pieces, talk of the town, snippets of magazines, academy awards and the piece about the king’s speech.
All these little things, I’m not reading Dr Seuss, of course those days have passed by. I’m very interested in what she has to say. It’s a lot different than pushing the newspaper over to her and saying, ” Will you take a look at this?” When I read it aloud or my husband reads it aloud to her she’s maybe just stirring her soup on the stove or she’s busy playing with the dog on the floor. She’s listening. Until my kid’s can go off and find other people to read to them. Hopefully their spouses and partners will do the same. It’s amazing and valuable to keep the lines of communication open between you and your kids.
To hear this whole interview visit World Read Aloud day: Raising Playful Tots
For more resources on World Read aloud day and reading aloud
- Hosting a Book Swap
- LitWorld’s World Read Aloud Day
- 82. Simple steps to cultivating a read aloud habit
- World Read Aloud Day set for March 9
- World Read Aloud Day Activities
Let us know, what book will you choose to read aloud on World Read Aloud day?
If you like this post feel and want to know more about Reading aloud subscribe to my show on iTunes and download #82 and #50.