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5 Sanity-Saving Tips To Maximize The Learning For Your Read-Aloud Time

September 20, 2017 3 min read

Do you find that you are losing your mind during your read-aloud time?

This kid is rolling around and making funny faces. Another one interrupts every five seconds. And that one jumps up to "grab something" so often you wonder if you will ever finish the chapter!

Well, you are not alone! Paige has a whole bunch of funny "read-aloud-antics" type stories to tell. And we asked her to come by and share 5 tips she has learned over the years to help rescue her sanity and maximize the learning for their read-aloud times.

Let's dig in...

5 Sanity-Saving Tips To Maximize The Learning For Your Read-Aloud Time

Just like you, I had images in my head of children lined up on a couch, gently leaning into to me, as they sat quietly captivated by my voice as I read aloud to them.

But then, reality changed that beautiful picture.

My youngest needed to move - a lot. And asking him to sit for more than 5 minutes without moving . . . well, it just wasn't happening.

But he loved to have me read to him and of course, I wanted to share that time with him as well. So over time, I have found that these five tips have helped me stay sane during our read-aloud time.

1. Read aloud after a break to help your students refocus.

I like to schedule our read-aloud time after we take a break in our homeschooling day. Doing so help to reign things back in and gets my children to refocus on learning for the day.

Plus, I have learned that asking an active child to sit for a period of time is much easier after they have just finished moving around!

2. Keep your students' hands busy with legos or other small toys.

When I read-aloud to younger kids, I like to keep a bucket of Legos or a set of MagnaTiles close. This way if they get a case of the rolly-pollies or the I-just-need-one-thing, they can actively listen.

I find this is almost a must with boys who had tons of pent-up energy! See how this works for us in the video below:

3. Pause every few pages or after an exciting part to ask questions.

I like to pause every so often to make sure that my children are actually concentrating on what I am reading and that their minds aren't wondering.

I'll ask questions like:

  • What did you think about (something that I just read about)?
  • What do you think will happen next?

This helps me to know that my kids are listening!

4. Discuss what you read with your students when you are done.

When we are done reading the whole chapter or the amount I had planned for the day, I always take about five to ten minutes to discuss what we just read.

You can see my tips for questions to ask during this time here:

5. Always have your students give an oral or a written narration.

And finally, I always have my students give a narration once we finished reading. Sometimes that is just a simple oral narration with one thing they remember from the passage. Other times, we will complete a notebooking sheet.

Either way, I find that asking my students to give a narration lets me know that they were paying attention.


5 Sanity-saving tips to maximize the learning for your read-aloud time

All these five tips work together to let me know that I am not wasting my time when I am reading aloud, which definitely saves my sanity.


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