Don’t beat yourself up if your schedule doesn’t allow much time for read-aloud books with your kids. Learn how you can enjoy read-aloud books with your kids despite a busy schedule!
I began this school year with high aspirations: As my firstborn is now in 1st grade and my youngest is three, it was high time we moved on from short children’s books and dove headfirst into chapter book read-alouds.
It became apparent that:
1. Our schedule is a bit too packed for long read-alouds each day.
I could say I wish it weren’t, but I also kind of love our set-up.
We part-time homeschool, so that means that three days out of the week we aren’t at home until the afternoons.
Then, the girls need to stretch out and play–especially outside. I need to get dinner ready. And, at night, we place priority on reading our Bible story book.
2. Although our girls have now all exited the baby and toddler stages, they are still not all on the same attention span–not at all!
I’ve learned that a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old do not sit still for anywhere near the same length of time!
Quite by accident, I discovered a way in which we can still enjoy read-aloud books with our kids despite a busy schedule and without making our 3-year-old sit still for too long.
Enter: audio books.
I had heard friends raving about audio books for at least the past year, but I had never given them a try until the print copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up had a nine-person waiting list at our library, but the audio book was ready for check-out.
I borrowed it on a whim, really.
But as I began listening to the soothing voice of the narrator read through the book on our mini van CD player (the only CD player we owned!), something magical began to happen: My girls loved it!
Listening to that audio book together opened up all kinds of conversations with the girls about how to keep a home tidy and organized.
Sure, much of it probably went way over their heads, but this showed me that they were, indeed, ready for audio books–and, just maybe, this could be one way we could enjoy read-aloud books together!
I then opted to look for more audio books in the children’s section of the library.
Not only did my girls and I delight in listening to the first book in this series as we were riding around town, going back and forth to school and church, etc., but, to my utter surprise, my husband (who is not a life-long lover of Little House on the Prairie) also began to fall in love with the Little House series!
We are now almost finished with book two in this series, Little House on the Prairie.
The books are teaching them (well, us too, if I am honest!) American history and tons of life lessons, and listening to them is something we all look forward to every time we get in the car.
(And in the car, my 3-year-old can’t wander off when she gets bored! If she wants to tune out the audio book and daydream, that is fine by me!)
Discussing what we are learning from the Little House audio books is the norm right now, and I can’t wait to introduce more quality read-alouds to my girls this way.
If you’ve been beating yourself up because you see all of these other moms or bloggers talking about how many wonderful read-aloud books they are conquering with their children, give audio books a try.
I’ve found that many of the moms who are able to read plenty of read-aloud books with their children homeschool full-time.
Not everyone can (or even wants) to do so, and, if we’re honest, it is harder to fit in reading to your children when you are not all home together all day every day.
Listening to audio books in the car together can be a great alternative to enjoying read-aloud chapter books with your children.
If you aren’t sure where to get started with read-aloud books, I’ve found the following resources incredibly helpful in even knowing what books to read:
Overdrive App for audio books and eBooks
Sparkle Stories (a fun podcast for kids that can help you gauge whether or not your kids are ready for audio books yet)