Reading Aloud: Time Together Well Spent

Nov 13, 2017 | Posted by Jessica Walker


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! by Dr. Seuss

As the leaves begin to show their colors and the air becomes crisp, I start thinking about curling up with a hot cup of tea, warm blanket, and a good book. As a former teacher, I used to love this time of the year with my students. There are so many good books to read about the fall season! Perhaps you would like to encourage your students’ parents to read aloud more of these books with their children, but are unsure where to start. Let us help you encourage them with a few tips:

  • Sitting still for most children is a difficult task, even during a read-aloud. Encourage parents to allow their children to draw or play with Legos® or playdough while listening.

  • Stop every ten to fifteen minutes to stretch or pull an activity from a Wiggle Jar.

  • Audiobooks allow everyone in the family to keep their hands busy. Parents and students can listen while doing an activity, such as knitting or putting together a puzzle, alongside their children.

  • Connect the read-alouds to real-life experiences. Before or after reading a book about a fall walk is the perfect time for parents to take the kids on a leaf hunting expedition. If parents are reading about apples, they can take their children apple picking or make an apple pie!

  • Asking their children questions will help the children make memorable connections with the books parents read. Does the story remind the children of another book they have read or an event in their lives?

  • Read with expression. Changing the reader’s voice gives the different characters interesting voices. Children love listening to an expressive reader, even if it’s not perfectly done.

  • Switch up where the reading happens. Parents can read in the kitchen before school while their children eat breakfast, at the doctor’s office, on a picnic, in a homemade fort, on the floor, in the bathtub, on top of a bunk bed, or upside down. The more they hear, the better!

  • Children should be allowed to predict what comes next in a story and ask questions about the characters, for example, “Why does the character feel this way?” or When will he realize that she left the door open?”

For more guidance on how to have valuable read-aloud discussions with children, Teaching the Classics is an excellent resource, and for tips to help parents learn how to read aloud to their children, visit Sarah Mackenzie at Read Aloud Revival.

Here are a few of my favorite fall read-aloud suggestions to get you started:

Andrew Pudewa states that parents reading aloud to children of every age is "the number one most important thing [they] can do with [their] children to develop reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns." That sounds a little intimidating, but don’t let it be. Reading aloud as a family is a wonderful way to build family culture and fill children's moral imaginations with beautiful images and inspiring heroes. For many families, reading aloud together is a treasured experience. Parents will likely even find that the stories they read aloud seep into everyday conversations. Hopefully more of your students’ families will make time to grab a warm blanket, a hot beverage, and an inspiring read-aloud. They just may begin a new family tradition!


Jessica Walker was homeschooled in Southern California and graduated from CSULB with a degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Elementary Education. She moved to Oklahoma after getting married to Mikael Walker. Before Jessica began working for IEW as a Customer Service Agent, she taught kindergarten and first grade for two years. Jessica enjoys working with the IEW team, spending time with family, and making crafts.

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