Reading books together is one of the BEST ways to be intentional with your children! There is just something so wonderful about diving into a story together and it can bond a family like nothing else! Sometimes we think we can only read to our children if they are small. I see parents all the time reading bedtime stories to their toddlers/preschoolers, but often giving it up once their children start school or begin reading for themselves! Some of our greatest times as a family have been reading great books together. The kids get so excited talking about the characters, begging for another chapter to be read and excited about the anticipation of the next day wondering what the story is going to bring. Sometimes mom gets so choked up during a chapter I have to let dad finish it. Those sad ones are hard!
I had a 5th grade teacher that read all kinds of classic books to us-everything from Charlottes Webb to Bridge to Terabithia. She had the attention of everyone in the room, including students that were typically a challenge. I could not wait until reading time where she would get these stories out and introduce us to all the wonderful characters of the stories! I LOVED it! I was so close to her, I even wrote her after I left her school; she still stands out as one of the most influential people in my childhood. Books are powerful!!
Benefits of reading!
When you read to your kids you get such wonderful opportunities for great conversations. You will be amazed about the topics that come up.
You get to use your imagination and encourage your child to do the same, picturing in your mind the characters and places that you read about!
You help your child become more educated. They say if you did nothing but read tons of books all the time and did no other subject you would be more educated than most people! I totally believe that! Children who are read to have higher test scores and do better in reading comprehension, writing, and spelling! This alone should give you reasons to read together!
Ways to make reading fun and rewarding:
Read in voices – it is so much more fun if you read with expression and fun voices. Practice your English accent in Narnia books and sound like the villain when reading about the bad characters. It makes reading so much more fun and kids love it!
Audio books – sometimes it is hard for mom or dad to read aloud. Maybe you are working parents and there is very little time or your voice gives out easy. Audio books can be the way to go! You can get them at your library for free and they are perfect for car rides.
Book basket – Not only do you want to read great books to your kids, you want them to have great books to read on their own also! Have a book basket in the center of the home and fill it with great books for your kids of all ages. Have books in there with authors they love, subjects they are studying, and fun picture books!
Some wonderful ways to get books cheap or free:
Library – oh, what would we do without the library? If you are on a tight budget the library is so valuable. You can check out books for FREE and don’ forget if you are living in a place that doesn’t have a huge library you can usually do an inter library loan.
Paperback Swap – I LOVE this site. You get to clean some of your books out and pass them on to other families and swap them for the ones you want. You have to stay on a waiting list for many books but this site is SO worth it. I have received books that retail for 30-50 dollars for FREE!
Half Price Book and Used book Stores – If you are going to buy books, this is a great source to get them discounted, sometimes by a LOT!
Amazon – I have found so many great deals on Amazon, and if you’re going to buy new their prices usually can’t be beat. You can find tons of free ebooks for the kindle by following deals blogs!
Friends & Family – It is great when you have friends and family you can swap books with. You both get more titles this way and you save money!
How to find booklists! This is great for read alouds and readers!
There are a couple of catalogs I love; one is from sonlight where they give you a great list of books you don’t want to miss! They are separated by grade level and there are readers for your kids to read as well depending on their reading level.
The other is from Lamplighter where they have taken classic books from the 1800s and reprinted them. Stories about deep character that really gets to the heart! They even put the books in covers that look authentic to the time period-they are beautiful books and we are hoping to read lots of them together in the years to come!
You can request free catalogs on their website or just look at them online!
There are some great blogs that have reading list. Just google book list and ages and you will find many!
Two of my favorite books are Honey for a Child’s Heart and Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families – These books have wonderful book lists for your children! They are books that I am constantly reaching for!
A couple of years back I did another 31 Days series called 31 Days of Character Building Books and you can find our favorite books on character there!
I encourage you to find at least one read aloud this week you can read together! If you do read together, what are some of your favorite books?
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates loot on Treasure Island…and best of all you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” Walt Disney
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