What Should a Read Aloud Time Look Like?

In today’s Read Aloud Wednesday post, I’m sharing what a read aloud time looks like in our family. Don’t forget to link up your own reading related posts at the end.

Sometimes, if you’re new to reading aloud with your family, you might feel a little intimidated when you think about your read aloud time. Even I feel a little intimidated when I hear stories of families with these awesome, dynamic read aloud times where mom and dad both read and do all the character voices and the family reads five chapters of Lord of the Rings in one night. If you have that wonderful read aloud time, that’s awesome. But, that’s not what read aloud time usually looks like for us.

I thought about taking some pictures of the kids during read aloud time. But since I’m the reader, you probably couldn’t really tell what we were doing at all. That’s because, during read aloud time, my kids are often doing other things. So I’m just going to describe for you a little about what read aloud time looks like for us.

I’m always the reader. In our family, Daddy doesn’t read aloud. It’s just the way it is. My husband doesn’t like to read aloud. And that’s okay because he has many other talents and things he does like to do. When the kids were really little, like picture book age, he would read at bedtime. There were only a few books he liked to read to them, so if he ever needed to be the reader, he would pick one. It actually is a fun memory now. The kids will see The Pokey Little Puppy (one of his favorites) and say, “Oh, I remember that one. Dad used to read it!”

The kids do other things while I read. Rarely ever do the kids just sit and listen with idle hands. It is my preference to always have my hands busy, so I fully understand their desire to do something with their hands while I read. They draw. They color. They work puzzles. When I’m reading something school related, their choices are more limited. But when I’m reading a book for fun, they have more freedom to do things while I read.

There are interruptions. The kids are free to stop and ask questions or comment about the reading. I know that some people hate to be interrupted when they read aloud. And, if you like to limit interruptions or ask kids to hold questions for the end of the reading, I think that’s fine. But we are a family that discusses. (Sometimes even I get tired of talking!) And that’s one of the things I love about reading aloud. So I allow interruptions. Now, occasionally, a chapter has dragged on because we are constantly stopping, and I will stop the kids and tell them to wait until the end of the chapter to keep talking. But comments and questions and discussions about the book are part of the fun of reading aloud for me.

I don’t think there is one “right” was to do read aloud time. I think different families have different likes and dislikes and different personalities. So, what our read aloud time looks like probably varies from what your read aloud time looks like. The important thing is to read aloud, to share excellent stories together as a family. If that’s what you’re doing, then that’s a great read aloud time.

What does your read aloud time look like?

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