Do you ever struggle to follow through on something you really, really believe in? You’re passionate, you’re gung-ho, you have a million reasons to really GO for it, but the daily grind takes over and you let it slip?
No, I’m not talking about exercise. I was never that gung-ho about exercise.
I’m talking about reading aloud to my kids. I let it slip.
Here’s the thing- I really believe in reading aloud as a family. I believe that it cultivates family culture, promotes harmony, forms happy memories, and lets us connect with people and stories that are bigger than ourselves.
Andrew Pudewa affirms all of these things in his talk, Nurturing Competent Communicators (you can hear the talk for free at that link after you register for an account. It is well worth a listen- or five). Reading aloud, he says, is one of the best uses of my time as a parent, and listening to stories is quite possibly the best use of my kids’ school time.
It’s especially critical, Pudewa says, to read aloud after children are reading fluently to themselves. He differentiates between what happens when a child is reading to himself, and what happens when an adult reads aloud to him. They are both important, but too often we value independent reading over listening to oral reading, and that, he says, is a huge mistake. Kids who read copiously do not just evolve naturally into good writers. Good writers have a storehouse of sophisticated language patterns, and those have to come through the ear. We’ve got to read aloud to our children in massive, massive quantity.
It’s time, in other words, for a Read-Aloud Revival.
I’ll bet I’m not the only one trying to rev up motivation to read aloud more often to my kids. So I got to thinking: If I’m doing it, and if others are doing it, then why don’t we all do it together? I’m all for another excuse to get together and chat. Let’s talk about something worthwhile and motivate each other to read read read to our kids, shall we?
Of course, a proper revival wouldn’t be complete without a checklist! You know I love my endorphin-releasing check sheets. This is no exception! My friend Pam made us all a free printable check sheet to track our progress. Wasn’t that so nice of her?
(I bribed her with chocolate.)
(Not really. Chocolate would melt in her sweltering state of Alabama.)
(She just did it because she’s nice like that.)
Click the image below to get to the free download at Box, or click here to download it from Google Docs. If you have trouble downloading, shoot me a note (amongstlovelythings–at–gmail–dot–com) and I’ll send you a form in an email.
Print the form and use it to set your goals and track your progress. You can set your own value for the rectangular increments at the top. Make each box worth 15 minutes or 30 minutes or anything you wish. The form works for you- it’s just there to motivate you and help you SEE how much reading aloud you are getting to.
Every so often, let’s rally. We can chat about our read-aloud times, talk about what’s working and what’s not, discuss great titles, good sources of audio books, and ideas for keeping little hands busy. All the while, we’ll motivate each other to keep reading aloud with our families.
To that end, I’ll host a Read-Aloud Revival every 4-6 months here on the blog. It’ll be a place for us to check in, rally, and motivate each other to keep reading aloud to our kids. You don’t have to have a blog to participate.
Grab that button at the top of this post if you’d like. Spread the word. Let’s read aloud like crazy this school year and cheer each other on all along the way.
Archive of Revivals:
We meet here at Amongst Lovely Things about every 4-6 weeks. Come hang out with us!
Below, you will find an archive of past revivals. Go check them out and make sure you visit the comment boxes- that’s where all the magic happens. If you have a suggestion for a discussion topic at an upcoming topic, please throw it my way: amongstlovelythings(at)gmail(dot)com.
September 2012 :: Audio Book Sources
October 2012 :: Keeping Little Ones Busy & Happy
November 2012 :: Busy & Happy Printable, Favorite Booklists
January 2013 :: New Years Goals & A Giveaway
February 2013 :: Books for Boys
April 2013 :: Library Visits
May 2013 :: Pre-Reading
September 2013 :: Getting Back in the Saddle