We primarily use living books for our content subjects and require a considerable amount of reading per day from the kids. We are unusual though, as we do not read classic or historic books aloud. I recognize the benefits many families take from reading aloud, and it sounds wonderful in theory, but it simply hasn’t worked in our family. I’ve accepted that, and am content to do the good things which work for us instead of aiming for the perfect things which fall apart or never happen.

To begin with, I am legally blind, and my husband has a sleep condition which is exacerbated by reading, which makes it a challenge from the start for either of us to physically read to them. We have tried audiobooks but both my husband and I never liked being read to as children. Before a certain age it was boring, and once we could read ourselves we found it slow and tedious to try and listen to someone else do it. Even in adulthood I dislike having instructions read aloud to me and struggle to process them, I much prefer to read them myself, as does he. My children have shown in many ways that they learn in very similar ways to my husband and I, which includes their lack of patience for being read aloud to, and lack of comprehension for books read aloud (even though they have perfect comprehension when they eavesdrop on mummy and daddy conversations!). I think being able to understand auditory information is important, but we have decided, for our family and circumstances, requiring audiobooks is not the way we want to work on it.

I do try to read aloud one picture book at the beginning of each school day, sometimes fiction and sometimes non-fiction, for the little ones. Anything beyond that is left until the kids can read them independently, and we begin assigning independent reading as soon as they are capable.


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