Books do more than tell a story. Books bring people together, help preserve memories (books we purchased on vacations always bring back wonderful memories), teach us lessons, and force us to slow down. In this household, they have tamed my 5 year old's sometimes difficult behavior. My son can be in the WORST mood, displaying the WORST behavior, but if we cuddle up and read a book, all aggravation is reversed. Because my son is not one to sit down for homeschool lessons, books are my ultimate teaching tools. Books are unassuming, non threatening, demand nothing and wait for attention.
In the past, I had been pulling together a weekly basket of books to ensure we enjoyed a more well rounded selection. (My friend Melissa over at Lone Star Signers and I use the hashtag #weeklyreadingbasket, will you join us?). After my third child was born, I had such a hard time feeling better that I couldn't read aloud. This broke my heart because we all missed our reading together time. A couple of weeks of this and I instituted family bedtime reading and enlisted my husband's help. We had always read books before bed, but never as a group. So now, everyone climbs on my bed, we turn all the lights off and read 4 books (each child gets 2 selections) with a book light. This has done amazing things for our nighttime routine and for closeness as a family. Even when I was unable to read, I was still there to enjoy the stories. Now that I am feeling better, our bedtime gathering has continued and our #weeklyreadingbasket is back! Daytime reading has been revived and we are so happy to have this back in our routine.
I really want to share our books and experiences with you even more than ever before. I am starting a new blog series called "Real Life with Books". You are invited to follow along every week on Friday to see what we read and what reading aloud did for us. Did my daughter sleep surrounded by 12 books? Did one book go from the library to the playground through the house and back? What were our worst book selections? What did my kids love and I hate? I can't wait to share our real life with books and I encourage you to share with me on Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to post on my wall what you are reading or use our #weeklyreadingbasket hashtag everywhere!
**I absolutely cannot talk about reading aloud without mentioning Sarah Mackenzie from Amongst Lovely Things. Her podcast series is called The Read Aloud Revival and it is amazing. From her encouraging words to her stellar guests, you will definitely not regret listening. This revival has encouraged me to keep doing what I do with books and then some. Sign up for her Jumpstart Challenge and get great info and printables, included is an attractive read aloud tracker. (I am in no way affiliated with her, I just really, really love what she is doing).**
I hope you have a beautiful week of sharing stories.