Reading Together as a Family


Most parents seem stop reading to their children when they are somewhere between second and fourth grade. The bedtime ritual is dropped, the time for homework starts to pick up, and more classes and lessons are added after school. It’s no longer easy to fit in reading time.

One of the things that we have done to keep our family close together is continue the family reading time at night. Now that my children are 17 years-old and 14 years-old we may not meet until 10 pm to read for 20 minutes or half and hour but we make the time and do it 5 to 7 nights a week. I think it has benefited all of us. I can read the “tough” theme books with them and we can talk about our perspectives and discuss our family beliefs (religious and societal) in context with the ideas. This has expanded both their vocabularies and fostered a love for good books and stories.

We started with Little House on the Prairie books when my daughter was 8 and my son was 5. We made snow candy like they did on the prairie, and I found the all sugar peppermint candy sticks like they had and we had those for a Christmas treat. We read the My Side of the Mountain trilogy by Jean Craighead George and talked about the differences of doing what he did then and could it be done now.  Later, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and the Hunger Games series how are they similar and different. Could these things happen in our lifetime?

Now we are re-reading the entire Harry Potter series. We read them when the kids were younger but now re-reading they talk more about foreshadowing and how did we miss these clues before? The stories take on a whole new meaning to them. We debate is Voldemort or Umbridge the personification of evil. Why?  We are almost half-way through book five – “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” I am almost sad to see us getting through the end of the series. My daughter will be moving away in a few months and I will only have my son left to read with but I will continue. I think we both will need it.

31 Comments Add yours

  1. Azkaban is the third book – Order of the Phoenix is the 5th. Sorry, Couldn’t resist.
    Do you read aloud to your children or do you take it turns, like in English class? Or do you just each read quietly from your own copy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I read aloud to them right now. When they were learning to read independently we would all take turn reading and did much more vocabulary and plot device explanations than we do now. The last two years or so they have wanted me to read to them. I figure they are reading Shakespeare plays and Frankenstein for school being read to at night is very relaxing for them. We used to have copies for them to follow along with when they were younger. We would get 3-4 copies from the library so everyone could take turns but now unless they have their own copy on their books shelves or get one from the library I only have one copy.

      By the way, thanks for the correction! I can never keep the order straight anymore. I know 1, 6 and 7. But, the rest all blend together.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d love to do this with my kids. My son (9) reads by himself and my daughter (4) still has a bedtime story. Maybe when they’re older.

        (Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite, that’s how I knew – I’ll be honest, I had to check which one was 5th. Order of the Phoenix is probably my least favourite)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          I used to say that too but re-reading it now it has moved up the list to probably my third favorite behind Sorcerer’s Stone and Goblet of Fire. Prisoner of Azkaban is my least favorite.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. syl65 says:

    That is a wonderful family tradition and I’m glad you’ll be able to continue it for some years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. syl65 says:

        You’re welcome, Marci!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kim says:

    I would never have thought about this. My children are still little enough for me to have to read to them. But given how much I love reading and how I hope they will too, this is an excellent idea that I hope to keep in mind as they get older. I especially like how you read the books together and can then discuss the relevance of the themes as a family. It’s like a family book club but so much more vital to raising a family. We hope to start HP this year too.

    Like

  4. mistimaan says:

    Nice post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A lovely post, Marcia. I read to Greg (now 15) from birth until he was 7. Then he suddenly started reading on his own and didn’t want to read with me anymore. I have read with Michael from birth until about a month ago (when he turned 12). He has suddenly started reading on his own and doesn’t want to read with me anymore. He prefers his own literature now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It took quite a bit for us to keep it going during the tween years. I let them take turns picking books so we read “A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Hobbit,” “Island of the Blue Dolphin” and “The Golden Compass,” books we may not have read otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this, my daughters and I get into my bed every night and read our own book. I started this when they were little I used to read to them every night and as they got older we stayed together reading, but our own book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      That is awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. confarreo says:

    I still read to my 11 year old son. It is our “quiet time”, and as you say, it leads to fascinating conversations and debates. Some days he reads to me. These are special moments that will be wonderful memories when he leaves home one day. Although I’m not thinking about that yet, it makes me tearful even though it is years away!!! 🙊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      How awesome! They grow so fast. Hold all these memories in your heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yvette says:

    Reading to and with your children from infancy is key to their education and love of knowledge. As a family we always read together even in high school we would sit around the kitchen table and read.

    Like

  9. This is awesome! I couldn’t imagine a world without books! I have the entire Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games and I though the book your printer series was the longest one. I loved the books but I didn’t care for the movies! It’s great you all still read together! Great post! I’m always reading a book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It’s hard for me to finish a book right now other than the ones I read with the kids. I carry it around with me for weeks and read a page or two at a time. I need to increase my own reading time.

      Like

      1. I read one blog a lady said she finds more time to read while cooking. Hmm. I’ll read in afternoons or in bed then I get tired! It’s sleep time!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          I would probably burn dinner!

          Like

  10. Blended Hope says:

    I need to start reading to my children at night again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It takes a bit more effort as they get older but it is probably one of the best things I have done.

      Like

  11. This is awesome Marci!

    Like

  12. Gritty Momma says:

    Love this! Some of my fondest memories growing up, and my husband’s fondest memories, are of being read aloud to. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I love hearing people having good memories from something I have shared. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Madam Mim says:

    My family are all big readers, and one of my favourite memories of childhood is being read to and reading with my mum or grandparents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Those are the type of memories I want for my children. Just the other day one of them said, “Remember when we read, “My Side of the Mountain”?”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Madam Mim says:

        Honestly, there are books I only remember because they were read to me as a child. And it sparked my love of reading

        Liked by 1 person

  14. heatherjo86 says:

    Reading to your children is so important. I’ve always appreciated the Bible based books and stories I used to read as a child. Not only were the stories interesting but they taught me valuable lessons about honesty, humility and caring for others. I found this website that specifically designed for parents to review with their children. Here’s the site https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/children/teach-your-children/

    Liked by 1 person

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