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3 Tips to help you enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool a whole lot more {Episode 90}

April 13, 2020 4 min read

Get three tips to help make your read-aloud times in your homeschool soothing instead of stressful.

In our last episode, I said that we were reading aloud a lot more these days. But if you have one (or more) of those wiggly children, bursting with energy, reading aloud may end up as stressful instead of soothing. So this week, we are going to chat about three tips to help you enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool.

Hi, I’m Paige Hudson and welcome to season 6 of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show where we are breaking down one of the lofty ideals of teaching science into three building blocks you can use in your homeschool. In this episode, I'll share three tips for reading aloud in your homeschool.

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Episode 90 Transcript

So you are reading aloud more these days, or at least you are trying to read aloud more. But you find that one of your kids is rolling around and making funny faces. Another one interrupts every five seconds. And then one of them jumps up to "grab something" so often you wonder if you will ever finish the chapter!

You are not alone, all those pictures of families cuddling together during a read-aloud time – those ones that you are aspiring to match. Well, the truth is that most of those are staged.

Read-aloud time looks different from home to home. Sometimes you are all on the couch together. Sometimes you are doing an art project as an audiobook plays in the background. Sometimes the kids are building the tallest tower as you read. Sometimes the kids are eating a snack while you read. And sometimes, the kids are listening to an audiobook while you are doing your workout.

Our read-aloud times have looked like all of these scenarios at one time. The point is to make your read-aloud time work for you, not to have some Norman Rockwell homeschooling moment.

And these three tips will help you to enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool.

3 Tips to help you enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool a whole lot more

If you have a wiggly child, reading aloud can be stressful instead of soothing. Get 3 tips to help you enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool in this podcast.

Tip #1 - Read after breaks.

I like read-aloud after we take a break in our homeschooling day, especially after we have done something active. We may read aloud after we clean up from a meal or after we have been running around outside.

The idea is that the kiddos have been up and moving around before I ask them to sit for an extended period of time. I have learned that asking an active child to sit for a while is much easier after they have just worked out a bit of their energy. Plus, reading after a break helps to rein things back in and allows my children time to refocus on learning for the day.

Take a break before you read aloud and you’ll find that you enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool a whole lot more.

Tip #2 - Keep hands busy.

When I read-aloud to younger kids, I keep a bucket of LEGOS, a set of MagnaTiles close, or something that they can quietly build with. This way if they get a case of the rollie-pollies or the I-just-need-one-thingies, I can direct them to build with their hands instead

I have found that actively listening works wonders for kiddos who have lots of pent-up energy! Here are two videos about how we handle reading-aloud:

But basically, my rule is if you can do it with very little to no noise, you can do it while I read aloud. The only exception to this is electronics. I have found my kiddos cannot listen and play on the computer at the same time.

Keep their hands busy as you read aloud and you’ll find that you enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool a whole lot more.

Tip # 3 - Pause and discuss.

Every few pages or after an exciting part in the chapter, I will pause to ask questions. I do this because I want to see if my children are actually concentrating on what I am reading and that their minds aren't wandering.

I'll ask questions like:

  • Can you believe that happened?
  • What do you think will happen next?

This helps me to know that my kids are listening! Then, 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. If we are reading for school, I will ask them to give me an oral or a written narration. If we are just reading for enjoyment, I’ll skip the narration.

Pause and discuss as you read aloud and you’ll find that you enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool a whole lot more.

Wrapping it up

So if your read-aloud times are more stressful than you would like, switch things up and find what works for your family. You can read-aloud after a break, you can use building toys to keep their hands busy, or you can pause and discuss as you read through a book. These three things will help you to enjoy reading aloud in your homeschool a whole lot more.

Thanks for listening and I hope you have a great week playing with (and reading about) science! If you have any questions or want to share some ideas you have used to make reading aloud more enjoyable, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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