Imagine for a moment that you had to choose only one school subject (excluding religious teaching) through which to complete your child’s entire education. Could you do it? Is there one subject which taken alone could equip them academically and practically for their future lives?
Would you choose science? Or literature? Geography? History? Math? Home Economics?
What If The Only Subject You Taught Was Reading Aloud?
You can learn just about anything from reading aloud. Reading aloud can teach science. It can teach literature, and geography, and history. It can teach the theory of math and home economics. Most importantly of all, it can also teach the truths of God’s word, without which all else is ultimately useless.
The majority of us do not need to make a choice of one subject. We are blessed with an almost overwhelming array of choices when it comes to our homeschooling curriculum. But one of the greatest tools in the hands of any teacher or parent is a very simple subject which has been available for as long as written language has existed. This subject is reading aloud.
In today’s post we’ll look at five great assets of this fun and easy topic for all ages.
1. Reading Aloud Cultivates An Interest In Books.
A child really can’t be too young to listen to books! The sooner they start, the greater the chance that they will grow up loving them. Reading to a child introduces them to the advantages of books, even before they have mastered the difficulties of reading for themselves.
Learning to read can be hard work. If children are familiar with books because they have been read to them, they are far more likely to be motivated in reading on their own. It can be a lot easier to read a book if you have heard it read aloud. You are already familiar with any names (often a stumbling block to early readers). And you know that the story is something you have enjoyed before—something you are eager to enjoy again by reading it yourself.
The reason I am an author today has very little to do with what I was taught about writing in school. I didn’t even enjoy writing as a subject until I was in my teens. But I always loved hearing books read aloud.
2. Reading Aloud Improves Reading Ability.
If you are looking to improve your own, or your child’s reading skills, this subject is for you! Reading aloud regularly is a great tool for fine-tuning your reading skills.
When you read out loud, you pay more attention to the pace at which you read. You enunciate more clearly. You read with better emphasis. You tackle—and learn to master!—those hard words which you might just skip over when reading to yourself.
3. Reading Aloud Is Great For Teaching.
As I mentioned above, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can teach through reading out loud. My personal favorite has always been history. It is amazing how an engaging book can transform dry facts and dates into a vivid picture of life in the past. For more details on teaching history through great books, see my post on How Do You Get Your Kids To Like History?
The learning opportunities don’t stop with school hours. When children love productive books, they carry on their education into free time, and holiday time, and just about any time that they can curl up with their favorite volume.
4. Reading Aloud Encourages Discussion.
When you read together as a group, you are all on the same page. (Very literally speaking!) You have all been listening to the same material, so you are in a prime position to talk about it together!
Reading aloud flows very naturally into discussing aloud. Talking about a book allows you to take the advantages of reading to a whole new level. It encourages you to think about what you have read in a natural and practical way.
5. Reading Aloud Brings Families Together.
This is the very best part of reading aloud. It is something that encourages families to spend time doing something they enjoy together.
Reading aloud is incredibly versatile. It requires only one person to sit still with the book. Actually, I’ve known of exceptions even to that rule! If your schedule has already allotted time for any sort of group activity that keeps your hands busy, but your mind free, why not assign someone to read out loud while you work?
I have fun memories of shelling peas, working on school projects, drawing, knitting, even running the sewing machine, while someone read aloud.
If you are not prone to motion sickness, reading aloud in the car can be a great option too!
It is a wonderful way to spend time together as a family, whether you are young or old.
Give It A Try!
We don’t have to choose a single subject with which to educate our families for their entire life. We don’t need to search through our curriculum for a single item which can impart it all.
But if you found that kind of a subject, wouldn’t it be a great addition?
Reading aloud isn’t hard. You can do it! Maybe you can’t do it as well today as you will in a year. Maybe you will learn as much from it as your children do. But you can do it. And I would encourage you to find a godly, worthwhile book, and start today!
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