Reading to the children have been quite an invaluable activity in our home school. Even before any child officially began “schooling”, they were read to. For most of their younger grades, reading aloud to them took up most of our days. When they could read on their own, read alouds consisted of books that were beyond their reading level. One of my oldest daughter’s posts, “Toast, Tea, and Adventure at the Breakfast Table” (see Words + Pictures most likely under the category “Books”) will attest to this. We were constantly checking out what else we could read from Jim Trelease’s “The Read Aloud Handbook“, the current Sonlight Catalog we had, and from places like Ambleside Online or 1000 Good Books List
As the children became more voracious readers though, they naturally became more independent readers. It grew more challenging to keep up with their pace and continue to read aloud to them the books they wanted to read. This was especially so since I already had assigned books (history, science, literature) to read to the younger ones as part of their curricula. The gaps in the ages of the children also made it difficult to choose books that will hold everyone’s attention. It’s a blessing though that the older ones volunteer to read aloud to the toddler every now and then.
It was refreshing to have thus spent time reading aloud Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” to my 15-year old the past couple of weeks (even if she has read the book herself several times). This time, it was no longer me calling out, “Come on, let’s read!” It was her reminding me, “Let’s read, mom.” Though I was excited as we rushed to finish the last few chapters (for those who have watched the movie but have not read the book, there is much in the written one that was unfortunately omitted, especially the author’s many references to Scripture and God) , I was quite saddened when the reading aloud came to an end. It was a joy though to look back at how our time spent reading together brought meaningful discussions about love, courtship, morality, marriage, God’s word…and yes, some time analyzing about Bronte and the literary devices she used (applying our Tapestry of Grace literary analysis discussions).
Actually, no need to be saddened. On to the next book!