Why I Prioritize Reading Aloud
From the time our three older kids were little babies, I prioritized reading aloud to them. And not just reading picture books — although we enjoy lots of those! — but also reading chapter books.
I know that some people find it strange that I would read chapter books to babies and toddlers. Yes, they can’t understand a lot of what is being read when they are little, but developing a long for reading and learning can begin at a very young age. Plus, as they get older, they will begin to understand and comprehend much more quickly than we often give them credit for.
One of the biggest reasons why I love reading aloud to kids — even when they are little — is because it encourages them to develop a love for books and literature and it helps me establish the habit of reading aloud from a very young age. When they are tiny, I’m the one who enjoys the books more than they do. But as they grow, they quickly begin falling in love with read aloud time, too (or at least that’s what happened with our older three!)
Our older three will tell you that they learned so much from the books we read when they were little and the audiobooks and audio dramas they listened to. And I have so many special memories of the hours and hours we spent reading together.
(The three older kids when they were much younger. Oh the sweet memories I have of all the reading we did together!)
How to Get Started Reading Aloud
If you are looking for some advice and ideas for reading aloud to preschoolers and grade schoolers, be sure to read my post on How to Get Your Kids Excited About Reading Aloud + this post on 10 Tips to Read Aloud to Kids.
By the way, I have listed some of our favorite read alouds when my kids were younger here. I also have a few more suggestions and chapter book ideas here.
For a long list of book ideas, check out my post on 37 Books I Planned to Read Aloud to My Kids in 2013 (this was when they were 8, 6, and 4 and we were homeschooling). Spoiler alert! We didn’t get through that entire list, but we read a lot of them.
When I Read Aloud to Kierstyn
Right now, Kierstyn and I read together in the mornings. It’s either usually while I’m nursing her or right after I nurse her. We read a chapter from the Bible, we read through her ABC verse book, and we read a chapter from our current read aloud. We also often we a picture book or two. By reading a chapter of a book aloud almost every day, we can pretty easily get through more than one book a month!
12 Books I Plan to Read to Kierstyn in 2021
I picked out the books I want to for sure read to Kierstyn based upon what books we already had on our shelf. I tried to go for a variety of books — some I loved reading to the older kids, some that are classics I’ve wanted to read aloud, and some that are newer.
I love the E.B. White classic book shown above because it has three E.B. White books in one. We’ve already read Stuart Little (the first book in it) and now we’re working our way through the rest of it. So these are the first two books on my list for 2021:
And here’s the rest of our stack:
4. The BFG
11. Robinson Crusoe
12. Amy Carmichael
What are your favorite children’s chapter books?