As a 5th grader, Nick does plenty of reading on his own, and that solitary time is a necessity. But I see reading aloud with my children as sacrosanct. Mostly because I'm bossy and crazy about spending time with them. But there are some wonderful benefits in reading aloud with your children.
Safety. We create a sanctuary of safety when we read to our children. We can cover every topic under the sun without sounding preachy. Yes, I've been told I can sound preachy; but amazingly enough, not when I'm reading.
Structure. We are building a beautiful life when reading aloud: compassion, emotional growth, critical thinking skills and insight into a variety of situations. I pick out the books we read from the library - again, mostly because I have control issues. Also because it helps keep a solid balance of different genres. Nick will pick out five books on Jeff Gordon, and completely slingshot past the poetry - but when I read Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson with him, he enjoys it.
Sharing. My favorite part? We connect and get to know each other in a more meaningful way because we are surrounded with new ideas, situations and dilemmas ~ and who doesn't love a problem, especially when it is someone else's problem? More book inspiration here.
BONUS: I get to pretend I'm all cool and celebrity-ish.
Me: I hung out with Bill Bryson today, he's such a cheeky chappie. Nick: Mom, that's just creepy.
Nick will let me ask him hundreds of questions ~ and he provides heartfelt answers ~ that under different circumstances would harvest crickets. Reading makes me feel like a more confident, competent parent. I know, it always comes back to me me me.
How Much Time Is This Going To Take?
My goal is twenty minutes each night, but I'll let you and only you in on my secret squirrel knowledge about books and time:
Books can manipulate time like no other medium.
Reading aloud with your children can change your thinking on time and how to spend it.
If you have tips and secret squirrel schooling that help in reading aloud with 5th graders (or teens - I'll be there soon and would love some insider knowledge), please share. I love, love, love hearing from you.
You can find the entire Library Living At Home series here.
I'm often asked, how do you find the time to read to your children every day*?
I make it a priority, and I make it super simple.
We read in bed.
And I keep a shelf of books right by my bed.
This quote inspired me years ago to make our home a living library:
"There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents' interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me." ~ C.S. Lewis
How and What To Read Aloud
I try for 20 minutes per child; for me that's an hour. I have regrets about how much time I spend on the internet and TV, but I never regret this time. Reading to your children will quickly become your favorite moments of the day, not to mention theirs. Not sure? Read this. Or this. And this. Need inspiration? This father and daughter encourage me to read daily.
Picture Books - Eighty percent of what I check out from the library is picture books. Why?
You are never too old for picture books. If you're walking past that section of your library thinking "too young for me" you are missing out on an endless source of educational beauty. Try this, or this, or this. We learned so much from this and this. Pictures books are priceless knowledge for every age.
Picture books are quick reads. Some nights you may not have 20 minutes to spare per child. Picture books will graciously give you peace of time. Try this, this or this.
Chapter Books - My goal is a chapter per night. I should mention that we start a lot of chapter books together, but the kids finish them on their own. Nick complains that I don't read fast enough - but this also isn't a regret. He may not have started the book if I hadn't read the first chapter.
Tip: If your children aren't begging you to read another chapter, you may have the wrong book. I have two or three back-up chapter books just in case. That is another gift from the library: trying without buying = you'll take more risks on books that you might not otherwise pick up. Try this(thanks for the recommendation, Amy, my son loved this read), this (thank you, Pam, we all loved this great read), this, or any of these.
Tomorrow I'll share Nick's shelf and how I read aloud with a 5th grader. Do you have tips on how you read aloud with your children every day? Please share!
*My Definition of Every Day: Almost every weekday night unless we are out late for some strange reason, mostly mornings on lazy weekends, and practically the entire morning and late evening during the summer months. But there are many days when we don't read - I'm not completely insane.
Welcome to my wild and crazy idea of sharing how we library at home.
If you are a parent, you are a teacher. The library has the tools you need to create a creative and inspiring home-school of learning without stress or spending. I'll show you how we shop the library and turn our home into an enchanted world of wonder.
The library provides the material, but you have to make it accessible. Give your kitchen a Mini Library Makeover.
Make Room on your kitchen or dining room table for a mini library. Use your favorite bookends and a bright tablecloth, even if it's really a shower curtain (mine is). Put a lamp on the table. Make it a place you'll enjoy slowing down, sipping tea and reading for five minutes.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life. Choose topics that appeal to you and your family, but select a few new genres that encourage growth. Take these great reads back to the library each week and pick up a new mini-library for your kitchen. Before long, your children will help pick the table reads.
Kiss The Cook! While my hubby does most (okay, all) of the cooking, I completely drool over the cookbooks. Arielle and I have had a blast making bread, pies and countless treats because the library lends us this love:
Shopping the library should be exciting. I look at the shelves see small cities. What do you see?
If you have some tips on library living in the kitchen, please share. We all would benefit from your knowledge.
I want to do a linky party. Should we do a linky party? How does one go about doing a linky party?
Today I'm celebrating imperfect beauty with The Nester.
Say hey to my smoochie bunny bookend with the imperfect ear.
Knowing all of Sir Georgie's brokenness just makes me love him more. He's borrowed beauty (a great yard sale find), just like the books he supports (they came home with us from the library).
Beauty can be borrowed, that is what the library has taught me. And borrowing rather than buying has opened my eyes to another truth: sharing makes life simpler, sweeter. Really. There is less stress on so many levels when you share. Did you ever notice how serene libraries are? Yep. It's because they have perfected the art of sharing.
Thank you, Nester, for sharing your imperfect beauty with all of us. When a brave soul shares, others feel less embarrassed to be real. Especially when your tablecloth is really a shower curtain, and it clashes with the pattern on the lampshade. And the oranges can't stand the madness any longer so they roll across the table... but are ultimately foiled by the bulwark bananas. Madness I tell you.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
~ C.S. Lewis
Share your lovely, imperfect self with others and let the library share its borrowed beauty with you.
The bookshelves I heart don't even reside in my home, and yet they are my bookshelves.
If you library, they are your shelves, too.
We borrow all kinds of beauty and set up shop all over our house. I would love for you to come back tomorrow and take a peek at how we library at home. Just promise me you'll ignore the bedraggled carpets and dust bunnies everywhere.
We'll start with my Achilles heel, I mean the place with all the food...
Let's meet back here tomorrow. Grazie to Lilly for the encouragement and inspiration - you make me feel loved every day!
You can click on the links below to enjoy this entire series.
Thank you for stopping by: I'd love to hear from you.
You can find a complete listing of all her books here.
I'm taking some time off to read and enjoy my family.Actually, I'm completely behind on doctor and dentist visits, my hair is blue from a slight mishap with at-home color in a bottle, and the dog hair under my bed is starting to bark. If you check out Maira's books from the library you won't even miss me.
I am so thankful for my bloggy friends and family.
They were inspired by a book from the library. They used felt hearts rather than construction paper, and stuffed the hearts real puffy. But the idea started within the pages of a book. And that book came from one of the sweetest places on earth.
Libraries inspire a lifetime of learning and loving others.
Guitar lessons have commenced in our home, and the amount of music we check out from the library has increased. Do you remember spending half a Saturday afternoon holding that record cover in your hands and studying it as you were listening to the music? I did that with this and this and this as a child.
There are so many options now on how to receive music. If you're downloading music you are missing out on the photos, the lyrics and sometimes even a letter from the band, like on this cd from The Avett Brothers.
But if you purchased every cd that sparked an interest, chances are we'd eventually see you on Hoarders. So how do you shower your family with a myriad of musical geniuses without breaking the bank? Library.
The library welcomes us to bring home the artist and then share their beauty with others.
Last night we devoured the Grammys. In our Jammys. It never fails to inspire spontaneous dancing and shrieks of delight when Adele or Taylor Swift take to the stage. But we also discover new talent, like this duo* that rocked our socks off (they are teaming up with Taylor Swift on the upcoming Hunger Games Soundtrack). And opportunities to school our children on her and him. And him. You just know Carl and I live for these moments.
All of this musical beauty is available at your local library. What will you borrow today?
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” ~ Maya Angelou
The first time I checked out a coffee table book from the library I was sweating the thought of security stopping me at the door. Was I dreaming? They were seriously letting me borrow this beauty, without paying for it?
The library caters to your interests, and carries the classics as well as modern marvels. My hubby loves photobiographies, including this and this. He's thrilled when I remember to bring home a Sports Illustrated coffee table book, especially this one. But he also loves this and this, and even this.
My children are exposed to new ideas, artists, the wonders of our world, even the great beyond. National Geographic coffee table books also make a gorgeous gift because you'll carry those images in your heart long after you've returned the book.
The travel coffee table books take me there when my wallet can't. I share my pillow with VersaillesandGalapagos because I'm bi-hemispheric and have absolutely no shame in admitting this. Oh, and this one, too.