The First Thing You Should Do When You Start To Read Aloud

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Reading aloud is NOT the smooth sailing as many of us imagine it will be.

A man and a girl skydiving
Keep it exciting
Kids are hyperactive these days and they will often jump around, bang on the table or climb on the furniture while you try to read.

Other kids will slowly sink into a state of deep torpor the more you read and by the time that you reach the most exciting part of the chapter - you will hear loud snoring.

The more you read, the more critical they are.

Children will come to expect good books.

Better books.

How do you get around these hiccups?

You don't.

These are not hiccups - it is part of the process.

Sounds too complicated? Frustrated with the difficulties?

Don't be.

It just means that you entered a new stage of reading aloud.

Your listener is no longer a passive receptacle.

Your little girl has higher expectations.

Your little boy has an acquired taste.

We do not want our children to grow up without the ability to discriminate between good and bad.

What Can You Do To Make a Book Seem (More) Interesting?

          Charm is a product of the unexpected.
          Jose Marti 

The first rule in the book is that you have to show genuine interest in the book that you are about to read.

Too much bling on a young man
Don't fake it.
Abraham Lincoln famously said "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

But he forgot to add that there are some people that you can never fool.

Your kids.

They know you inside out.

When you start walking towards the kitchen, they know what is on your mind.

When you tip-toe out of their bedroom, your kids know the exact reason why you are doing it.

They know when YOU are not interested in the book. 

They know when YOU think the book is boring. 

But every problem has a solution.

Some time ago I gave time-strapped read aloud moms a magical solution to increase reading time with my best kept literacy secret How To Double Read Aloud Time - with no extra effort.

Bu that was then. And that was magic.

But this problem - children who are getting bored with your read alouds - has no magical solution.

Keep this rule in mind. If you fake it, your read aloud sessions won't make it. 

Read Aloud Dad asks you to be truthful - is your reading on auto-pilot?

Because if it is, sooner than you expect - you will crash into a wall.

You ask me, what do you need to do?

Go crazy - read some books you never read.

Go to the library together.

Splash out on an unforgettable book set.

Read aloud in an unexpected place (in the park, in the doctor's waiting room, in the car, at McDonalds, on the beach...)

Read aloud at an unexpected time of the day.

Read aloud as a family.

Excitement is contagious!

So, the first thing you need to do when you sit down to read aloud?

The first thing you need to do when you start reading aloud is to be excited. 

Show your child those pearly whites and - before they know it - jump headlong into that adventure!

And don't forget to extend your hand and pull your kid in after you!

1 comment:

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