Monday, October 12, 2009

To Read Aloud Or Not To Read Aloud

I got out of the habit of reading aloud to the children during the summer. When we started our lessons back up, it was one thing I didn't jump right back into doing.

Reading aloud is one of my least favorite things. I admit it, however reluctantly.

Does that surprise you? Maybe it does. I love to read. I love my children. I like homeschooling. (notice I didn't say love) I love books. I love to see my children enjoying books.

However.... reading aloud is SO SLOW. I can read way faster than I can speak. And no matter what I pick as a read-aloud, there seems to always be one child with whom my choice of reading material doesn't resonate.

The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald was our read-aloud in the spring. I remembered reading this series of books as a child and thought it would be nice to share with my kids. When actually reading though, I realized they weren't as compelling as I recalled, and I tended to think my kids were not really enthralled. We stopped in the middle of it and never picked it back up. (Yes, I will admit that too!)

So, when the kids started asking me when we were going to start reading aloud again, I began thinking which new book to begin.

They protested.

"But, Mom! We were reading The Great Brain!"

"We didn't even finish it!"

"Yeah, Mom, we left the kids lost in the cave."

Wow. They remembered the kids were lost in the cave? Maybe they were paying better attention than I realized.

"OK, I'll finish reading it."

"Noooo....." OK, there's the obligatory child who doesn't like the current read-aloud. Ah well, hopefully the next book will appeal more to that one, but the three who are enjoying The Great Brain will get to hear the rest of it.

And I will keep reading aloud because I know I ought to. And because they like it.


Anonymous said...

And because that is how they learn to pronounce words that they have learned to read, but have never heard spoken, so that will broaden their vocabulary. Soldier on! Love, Mom

Niffercoo said...

I much prefer listening to audiobooks with the kids rather than reading aloud to them. We do it at lunch, and theoretically everyone is too busy putting food into their mouths to complain. ;)

Right now I'm reading aloud an abridged Don Quixote and it's driving me insane. The kids all enjoy it, but I don't get to eat, and like you said it's just so slow!

Can't wait for the next read-aloud to be on CD! LOL

MICHELE said...

I agree with your mom!

And, I confess... I didn't read anything aloud during summer.


Denise said...

Yeah, yeah, I agree w/ Mom, too. :)

Luke said...

I have an odd response to reading aloud. If I love the book and I'm not tired, I love reading aloud. I feel like I can put emotion and suspense into the words. I guess I just like performing [smile].

But if I'm tired or the book is going slowly, I often just want to stop.

At least, that's my experience thus far with reading aloud to my wife. We'll see how it plays out with kids [smile].