Friends, I am so excited to be back in the read aloud reporting saddle again! I have missed sharing our read aloud experiences, and I’ve missed reading yours. 🙂
My reading aloud is divided into two distinct camps these days: the boys and the girls. Oh, I try to make our read alouds overlap at times, but the boys are busy and the girls are over many of the books I read to the boys. Still, I would say that it is the DLM, age six, who benefits the most from the cross-over books. That’s a good thing because he’s definitely the one I feel gets the least amount of age-appropriate, concentrated read-aloud time with me. He is also the only one who would choose reading or being read to only about half the time and would be just as happy to do almost anything else. (Yes, this makes me sad, but I have come to accept that it’s okay. It’s who he is! He’s a busy fellow.)
This month we added some math to our circle time. I haven’t shared the details of January’s circle time yet, but our routine is to sing a hymn, read a Bible passage or chapter, and work on memory work. That’s the general framework, but this month I decided I wanted to read aloud, too, so I chose The History of Counting by Denise Schmandt-Besserat as our first shared math book. At forty-five pages, this is a an information-rich picture book. It deals with some pretty complicated concepts, like abstract versus concrete counting, systems other than base-ten, and more. Michael Hays’s illustrations are helpful and even necessary due to the nature of the information. This book contains a two-page glossary and a two-page index. I learned a lot by reading this book, and all of my school-aged children engaged with it. We read it at the rate of two pages a day, and because it is so information-dense, this was just about right. I’ve had this one on our math shelf for years, and I’m glad I finally pulled it off and read it aloud! (Scholastic, 1999)
Another nonfiction picture book that all of my children (and I!) enjoyed quite a lot is Giant Squid by Candace Fleming. I gush about it here. It’s a not-to-be missed title.
Do y’all know Stephen Savage? Oh, my goodness! What a fun author/illustrator! We fell in love with his Supertruck a few years ago, so when I saw The Mixed-Up Truck at the library, I had to bring it home. Bold, graphic (digitally created) illustrations and no more than two sentences (in bold, sans serif font) per two-page spread make this a book that really appeals to little boys with short attention spans. 🙂 It’s the humor, though, that really hooks them. The helpful cement mixer wants to do his part, but instead of mixing up cement, he keeps mixing up the wrong white powder with water. The results are hilarious (and sometimes tasty)! Three year old Benny loves this one. I do, too! Highly Recommended. (Roaring Press, 2016)
One of my read-aloud dilemmas is how to read as much as I want to to both sets of my kids. My girls and I have a good read-aloud routine. It’s my boys who get shorted in the read-aloud department, which causes me no end of guilt. I have finally turned some of their reading aloud over to Steady Eddie. While I definitely miss sharing all the literature with them, I also know that it’s just as important for them to have a read-aloud relationship with their daddy. 🙂 Their first chapter book of the new year was The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill. I actually read most of it, too, so I was able to share a review of it. The DLM has never met a Esther Averill book he didn’t like.
The girls and I always have a couple of books going at once. We finished up Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool early in the month (I reviewed it the firs time I read it here). It was a fun book for us to read together, and the girls surprisingly also picked up a few math-related concepts (which have shown up in their official math lessons) from it since pi figures heavily into the story. The only disappointing thing about this read is that I purchased my copy from Thrift Books and ended up with an ARC instead of the final version. I wondered, especially at the end, if anything about the copy I was reading aloud had been changed in the final version. I couldn’t remember since it had been so long since I read it myself the first time.
The girls and I are still enjoying our Year of Anne, too, though it’s turning into more like Eighteen Months (or more!) of Anne.
Most days I feel like there could never be enough hours to share all the stories I want to share with my children. Some days I get to the end of the day and realize that I haven’t read aloud much to my boys at all. To combat that, I’ve decided this year to make an attempt to keep up with what I read aloud to them on Goodreads. I know I’ve already missed recording a few books, and my Goodreads account is something of a mess right now, but it is motivational for me to have some way to hold myself accountable. If you’re on Goodreads, I’d love to be your friend. 🙂
Well, this blog post is about as chatty as they come. Thank you for reading to the end of it! It feels so good to “talk shop” about reading aloud again! It is the cornerstone of what I do in my home, and I can’t help but love sharing it. I love hearing about your read aloud life, too, so link me up! 🙂
It’s good to be back!