Ralph Moody’s The Fields of Home has been our read-aloud of the summer. We’re a few chapters shy of the end, so I’ll save my final thoughts for a full review later. Something happened today, though, while we were reading that reminded me so much of why I love reading aloud and think it is so valuable to what we do as parents, home educators or not. In one of the last chapters, Ralph is sent to work on the road to pay part of his grandfather’s taxes. I explained to the girls how it used to be that that’s how roads were maintained–local citizens had to give their time to it once a year or every so often. I talked a little bit about various materials that were used to build roads, etc. The DLM has been listening fairly well to this story (which totally astounds me given how busy he usually is), and it’s not a simple story. It’s dense, with lots of vernacular and lots of emotion. While I was explaining to the girls about the road work,
he piped up with a comment about his Roadwork book, the one I had read to him at rest time just yesterday (again, for the 436th time). This made my morning.
This–THIS–is why I love reading aloud. It’s amazing how many connections my children can make if I get out of the way and let them. Yes, sometimes I lead them (as in today, also, when I realized that something that happens in this story is very similar to something that happens in an episode of Little House on the Prairie, and I led them to recognize it). In addition to the connections, though, there is the sense of family culture that I love. Any time a three year old can somehow join the conversation, I call that a successful read-aloud session.