Reading Aloud: A Family Oasis

Here are a few of the many reasons to make family reading a priority

One of the most worthwhile activities of my parenting years has been and continues to be reading aloud to my children.  Since our family homeschools,  just after lunch on most school days, we gather, take up our book where we left off, and enjoy the perspective of an author/mentor. It has now been over twenty years since we established this family habit. Since that time we have spent several thousand hours reading hundreds of books.

Here are a few of the many reasons to make family reading a priority:

Hearing new words read aloud strengthens vocabulary. In fact, Andrew Pudewa, author of Institute for Excellence in Writing, names reading aloud as the most impactful way to build vocabulary and writing skills.

Good authors introduce valuable concepts to my children – with very little effort on my part. I’m given the opportunity to expound on their wise insights, many of which I wouldn’t have thought to discuss with my children. We can proactively discuss these topics in the quiet, receptive environment of our own family room, emphasizing a biblical perspective and worldview (or lack thereof).

Family reading gives me an appointed time to teach in an atmosphere of non-conflict. How grateful I am!

We all meet God in fresh compelling ways, which fosters personal faith. We all gain wisdom – especially me. And it is free wisdom, meaning we can apply what someone else has learned over many years, through various trials without the difficulty and pain they experienced. Learning in this way is not as impactful as experiencing God in our own circumstances, but is still valuable.
I can apply ideas and events from books in subsequent conversations with my children. Reading aloud builds foundations for deeper discussions in other seasons.
Reading aloud has cumulative benefits: it creates sweet memories, builds family identity, and bequeaths rich legacy.
      If these are not enough, my children and I have the privilege of enjoying a quiet half hour or so in the middle of the day, all together. It is like a mini-Sabbath. It’s our daily oasis. Reading aloud brightens the atmosphere of our home.

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