Fast forward a little and I sought wisdom from a few more experienced homeschool mamas. They told me to relax, allow the children to do quiet activities while reading and not worry so much about forcing them to listen - they will retain more than I realize.
I was feeling refreshed and excited to start our read-aloud time anew. And an idea was born. We needed a reading time basket! I decided to create a basket full of quiet time activities that I would bring out ONLY during read aloud time, and I would interchange the activities every couple weeks. We have read aloud time twice daily - after lunch (before nap) and before bedtime when we read a bible story along with whatever book we are currently reading.
So here is what our reading time looks like with our basket (Thirty One Tote)-
I change out the "activities" every so often. Sometimes I just remove one thing and add one new thing. You can use activities you already have or pick up some new products at your local dollar store, yard sales, or wherever fits your budget.
My children love reading time now! They look forward to it, and get upset if there is a day that we miss it. I stop often when I am reading and ask questions to see if they are really listening and paying attention...and you know what? They are! They will surprise me with how much they are comprehending. We also implemented a code word if they are getting too loud or rowdy to remind them to be quiet ( I was sick of shhsh-ing them!). Our code word is: Tootscoot :) And it has even carried over into other areas of our life!
Needless to day, I am beyond happy to be cultivating a love for reading in my children!
Just because you have failed at something once, does not mean it is a failure. If you feel strongly about it - seek advice and wisdom, use a little trial & error, and find a way to make it work for your family.
Thanks for stopping by on Teachable Tuesday! Please leave a comment & share :)
Do you have a system or tool that your use during reading time?
What is your favorite quiet time activity?
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