Encourage Learning by Reading with Your Children

Dec 16, 2020

Guests Post by Yvie

Reading aloud with your children is an excellent way to educate them. Whether your homeschool or not, your children will greatly benefit from time spent reading together.

mother and child reading together

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When you were a kid, did you learn more from textbooks, or from reading books just for fun? I definitely learned a lot more from historical fiction than from any history textbook! When you use living books in your homeschool, your students are also apt to retain more once the year ends.

Reading together as a family helps to encourage a lifelong love of reading and literature. It provides a sense of cohesiveness, as the family is involved in a singular activity. Whether you begin when your child is a newborn or as a teen, there are so many positive effects! 
** If you do not start reading aloud until your child is a teen, there will be a transitional time as they become accustomed to this new concept.  Don’t give up!**


How Living Books Help Children Learn

Living books bring a story to life! They pull the reader into a subject, allowing him to visit another era, and experience the culture or history. They get you emotionally involved with the characters, so it’s easier to remember the events and facts.
It’s helpful to read multiple books about the same event. Seeing different perspectives help students to learn critical thinking skills.

A well-written book allows your children to experience different cultures and places that they may not otherwise see. The more detailed the descriptions, the more vividly your child will relate. It is through learning about and relating to other cultures that we break down barriers.

It's helpful if you have some background knowledge to incorporate the protagonist’s perspective — so if you are going to read a book set during the Civil War, do a bit of research on the Civil War before reading the novel. It will help bring the story to life!

Tips for Living Books Read-Aloud Time 

Nothing gets children engaged in a story faster than having a different voice for each character. Challenge yourself to pull off as many different accents and dialects as possible!

Keeping little ones (and even big ones!) active with Legos, play-doh, and coloring books will keeps hands occupied and ears listening. When you stop to ask questions, you’ll probably find that they are more engaged than you think!
Read from many different genres, including historical fiction from multiple eras, contemporary fiction, and the occasional non-fiction. Also read from various reading levels. Sometimes a children’s book is the perfect way to illustrate a complicated concept. Books above grade level will spark conversations about vocabulary and events.

Whether you read for five minutes or an hour, set aside some time each and every day to read. 

Naturally, busy days mean shorter reading times, but it’s too easy to get out of the habit, so make it a priority!

If you’re unsure of where to start looking for living books, check out this post on Historic Novels for Middle School. It includes ten series that cover a wide variety of eras.
Whether you’re studying American History, World History, science and technology, or writing concepts, there are Literature-Based Studies to help you incorporate those concepts with novels. 
About the Author:
Yvie is a veteran homeschooling mom and the high school counselor for The Homeschool House, a non-profit organization. She helps to create unit studies and enjoys helping other families on their homeschool journey. When not teaching or counseling, she enjoys reading, spending time in her garden, and traveling the country with her boys. You can find her at Homeschool On the Range, on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.


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