Anyhoo, I am SOOOOO looking forward to summer. And summer reading! Reading has always been a big part of our family and yet only two (2) of my children LOVE reading for pleasure. I have many theories on this but none seem to prove true. Even the "screen-time" theory doesn't work because my oldest three kids had very little screen time (yet most preferred many other activities to reading). Granted, some of my kids are struggling readers due to dyslexia and/or ESL challenges--but it still presents a mystery.
The fact that NOT all my children love to read makes me even MORE inclined to find ways to add books to their lives. But I don't want it to be a chore, ya know? I do believe that reading aloud is a great way to involve reluctant readers (or struggling readers) to enjoy books.
I love what Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, has to say on the topic. "We read aloud to children for the same reasons we talk with them: to reassure; entertain; bond; inform; arouse curiosity; and inspire. Reading conditions the child to associate reading with pleasure; creates background knowledge; builds 'book' vocabulary; and provides a reading role model."
Having said all that, one of my main summer goals is to incorporate more reading aloud to my children--even the oldest kids. I hope to do this in traditional fashion but also by adding more recorded books to our everyday car trips. I also want to go over the fairy tales with the younger crew--so many lost out due to coming into our home at an older age. And I want to incorporate reading picture books to all my children--partly for the same reason but also because I have come to believe there are many benefits to picture books at every age. I have a bit of a trick in getting my older kids to enjoy picture books again (in place of a summer chore they can read books to a younger sibling).
At the same time, I know that some of my kids will be reluctant to participate in "Mom's-great-idea-summer-reading-aloud-program-it's-good-for-you-to-read-more-books-idea!"
I would love to hear your ideas on how to incorporate more reading aloud (or even silent reading) into a family (especially for the teens)--and especially without turning kids off to reading.
Up next, some of the read-aloud chapter books my kids have enjoyed the most--and some on our list for this summer.