Reading Aloud As A Family

I am obsessed with reading as a family.  Because I am a storyteller by nature, sharing story with others brings me incredible joy. 

Love the Books

A trip to the library or bookstore is exciting for me because I love books.  Looking through all the book covers, flipping through pages of text and illustrations literally lights up my day.

Book-lovers are famous for hoarding books in their Amazon carts. Likewise, my Amazon cart is loaded with hundreds of titles that I dream to one day read.

Honestly, my greatest joy is when we are reading as a family. Some of the sweetest times that we have had in our homeschool is our time enjoying books together.

When I think back over the past 10 years of school, my heart swells the most when I reflect on our times sharing a story together.

Family Read Aloud Memories

  1. Those beautiful spring days when my girls and I would read for hours while relaxing on the screened-in porch;
  2. Or the freezing-cold winter snow days when we would all curl up on the couch and get lost in Narnia;
  3. Exploring my son’s latest interest through books… think the anatomy of spiders and butterflies;
  4. And with my girls, hanging out in one of their rooms late at night, reading devotions together;
  5. Heck, even reading from our Science book is amazing!

I simply love reading anything with my kids.

family read aloud

Flexibility is Key When Reading As a Family

Regardless of where we are or what season we are in, we can always find a reading spot and a good story to share.

During our read aloud time, the girls (and my son, who is now interested in listening in), draw or doodle. 

My oldest went through a Rubik’s Cube phase as well. She would manipulate that Cube the entire time I read to them. However, she was always engaged in the story line despite the “distraction.”

Remember that all of our children are wired differently.  Many children are auditory learners and learn best when they engage their hands and eyes in a mindless activity.  

Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Children as Family

By and large, reading aloud TO your children provides many benefits:

  • The exposure to beautiful and well-written language
  • Similarly, exposure to ideas and principles that are common in higher-level literature
  • Encourage our kids to develop a love for books as a form of entertainment (no screens!)
  • Additionally, for those with Auditory Processing Disorder, reading aloud gives your child opportunities to develop the skill of listening and visualizing
  • Family cohesion and bonding
  • Much needed mental break after more laborious school tasks (math, reading, writing)
  • Sharing stories creates conversations that may not otherwise occur
  • the list goes on.

While eating dinner with my family about a year ago, we had a conversation about our favorite books that we have read throughout the years.  We decided to put together a list for you.  Capture this summer season to spend some time reading aloud as a family.  

Hope you enjoy!

The Read Aloud Authors 

C.S Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis

Undoubtedly, this is one of C.S. Lewis’s best books ever!   The story of Aslan and Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy is a classic story that can be read over and over again.

The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis

We love C.S. Lewis. Consequently, we believe the entire Narnia Series is phenomenal! Every story of the land of Narnia is filled with rich concepts and language and yet so intriguing for all ages.

Beverly Cleary

The Ramona Quimby Series

Who doesn’t love Ramona? For one thing, she is hilarious and quirky! Her antics are always getting her into trouble and yet she is so lovable. Keeping this in mind, our kids can often relate to her questions about life.

We love Ramona! In fact, my middle daughter loves her so much that she falls asleep to the audiobooks every night.  Stockard Channing narrates them and they are so well done!  

Thank you, Beverly Cleary, for this heart-warming character!  The Ramona Quimby series is a classic for all ages.

The Henry Huggins Series

If we are going to talk about Ramona, we can’t forget Henry Huggins.

Once we find an author we enjoy, we tend to stick with them. As a matter of fact, according to my 13 year-old daughter, the Henry Huggins series, “is like Ramona Quimby except its Henry. Its fun to read about Henry and his adventures with his dog.” 🙂

Without doubt, Beverly Cleary will always be a favorite author in our home.

Kate DiCamillo

Flora and Ulysses 

Three summers ago, I held a book club for my middle daughter and some of her friends. We read Flora and Ulysses and had a blast. The illustrations made the book even more engaging. 

K.G. Campbell did an amazing job of capturing the essence of this story through his comic-style illustrations. The book is NOT a comic, but it is about a little girl who enjoys comics and squirrels. Fun!!

Because of Winn-Dixie

In addition to Flora and Ulysseys, Because of Winn Dixie is another favorite by Kate DiCamillo.

It is such a sweet story about a young girl who lives with her father. In spite of her mother’s recent absence, Opal adjusts well under the circumstances. One morning, she befriends a precious mutt and takes him into her home. 

She and her dog spend their summer on adventures in their tiny town.  There are many quirky characters in this story which makes this story even more dynamic.   This story sucked us all in and was an easy, relaxing read!

Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan

This is an intriguing story about a gorilla living in a mall zoo. Yes, you heard that correctly.  There is actually a gorilla living in a mall. 

Given that the animals live in captivity, there are scenes that are pretty disheartening. Thus, more tender-hearted children may want to skip this. The relationship between Ivan and a baby elephant is precious.

Elizabeth George Spears

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

My oldest and I absolutely LOVED this book! There is a major romance component that is simply magical. For this reason, I would recommend this book for 5th grade and up. Historical fiction at its best!

This story follows the journey of a beautiful young lady who is suddenly living in Puritan New England. She befriends a lovely woman whom the townspeople refer to as a “witch.” In the long run, our protagonist shakes up the town. The story is amazing!

The Sign of the Beaver

As mentioned previously, Elizabeth George Spears is an amazing historical fiction writer. Accordingly, the Sign of the Beaver does not disappoint.

It is based in the newly colonized Americas. story follows a young boy left alone to fend for himself in early America. Despite this, he develops a friendship with a Native American teen and shows an incredible story of survival. In short, this story is phenomenal.

I cannot more highly recommend all of Elizabeth George Spears books and recommend them as complements to any history unit in your homeschool.  They are sooo good!!

Clara Dillingham Pierson

Among the… People Series

Clara Dillingham Pierson is not well-known in the culture at large, but she is a secret treasure in the Charlotte Mason homeschooling community. 

She wrote this series of children’s books each set in an animal-based settings.  The characters include farm animals as well as creatures found in meadows, forests and bodies of water. 

The series titles are:

  1. Among the Night People,
  2. Among the Meadow People,
  3. Among the Pond People,
  4. Among the Forest People, &
  5. Among the Farmyard People. 

Miss Pierson does an incredible job weaving in scientific fact into her personified characters.  They are an excellent way to enhance science and nature study.  These stories are highly-engaging read-alouds and are incredibly well-written literature.  

From time to time, my oldest daughter has experienced insomnia. In fact, at the age of 7, her insomnia lasted for about a year. I couldn’t let her suffer alone in the dark of night. Because of this, I would lie on her floor and read this series aloud to her from my Kindle.

As horrible as the insomnia was, God did create a sweet memory for us through this shared series.  In light of that, this book series has a special place in my heart!

I have just begun rereading Among the Farm People as a read aloud with my children now ages 14, 11 and 6.  We love it just as much now as we did then!!!  Yay!

James Baldwin

Fifty Famous Stories Retold, by James Baldwin

This is a collection of classic stories told in a highly engaging format.

When short on time, Fifty Famous Stories Retold is a great choice.   Grab it on your Kindle and throw it in the car in the event that you become stuck in traffic.  These are sooooooo good! 

Each of the short stories has an historical element to it and that makes these stories all the more charming.    

Read Aloud As a Family & Create Sweet Memories 

Even if you haven’t developed the habit of sharing stories aloud as a family, give it a try. 

The summer is going to be long.  Might as well make a new memory and connect with your entire family.

Choose a title and read it together over the next month (or two). Even five minutes together in story will create a safe and cozy memory for your family.

Your turn… share your favorite family books below.  I am always excited to receive book recommendations.  Can’t wait to hear from you!  🙂

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