The devil is sometimes in the details.
Whenever I tell someone that I read to my kids every night - I tend to keep a small secret to myself.
It's not whether you do it that matters. It's mostly about how you do it.
If your read aloud sessions are not constantly evolving - ask yourself, are you just going through the motions?
1. Never use reading aloud as a bargaining chip during the day
2. I never read to my kids just to get them to sleep
Reading time is reading time.
Kids need sleep, I know. I know they are sleep deprived.
You also want some free time for yourself in the evenings, I get it.
But - beware of turning reading time into "I-secretly-want-you-to-fall-asleep" time. They will detect your ulterior motive and it will eventually deteriorate the quality of your joint read aloud time. Better turn off the TV half an hour earlier in order to speed up things.
Image via Wikipedia
3. Every evening, I ask my kids what do they want to read tonight
Any suggestions I get from my kids - are included in the reading list for the night. Sometimes they feel like listening to an almost wordless picture book, sometimes to a chapter book without illustrations.
I try to combine several types of books every night, while taking onboard all their suggestions. Also, try to involve them (if possible) in the purchasing process and/or take them to the library. The read aloud stage is just the end of a process that started much earlier during book selection.
4. Vary your daily book choices, but come back to old favourites.
Kids love variety, some parents say. ["Every day I read a different children's book to my little precious"].
Others insist that their kids love only the stories they know by heart. ["My little John/Jane adores it when I read and re-read Goodnight Moon every single night"].
Well - I say - give them both!
I believe in both approaches - when they are combined. Children need new challenges, either in the form of new books or a return to an old favourite after several weeks/months. Don't feed them only rice, but you also don't have to pick them a new type of fruit every day.
Ah yes, before I forget - why do I believe that reading aloud to kids is not important?
It's reading aloud with them that really counts. Don't lose them along the way.
* Advice for improving your read-aloud sessions.
* Focused articles on the best children's books
* Reviews of great book sets, illustrated editions, chapter and picture books
* How-to tips on everything from becoming a read-aloud ninja to helping your boy or girl to read
Subscribe for free.