I had to write a topical speech for my class, and I thought I'd post it here. I'm sorry that it's in speech form, and not too easy to read, but I hope the content is at least somewhat interesting! If it helps, you might want to read it out loud in my voice. In front of a mirror. . . :)
Intro: On a snowy blowy day in January, the winds blew drifts around our big house in the Wisconsin countryside. I sat in the front living room with my brother and sister, listening to our mother read to us from a thick chapter book. The room was golden and glowing, not just from the sunshine that fell through the window, but also from the story we all soaked up together. We could sit, lay, or cuddle as Mom’s voice read on and on. And when it would stop, we’d all beg for just one more chapter! We loved having her read to us, even though we were all certainly old enough to read the book ourselves. It was more than the story that we loved, it was the togetherness, and the way her voice brought it to life. I would like to share with you some of the joys and benefits to reading aloud to your children.
I. Who? Everyone! As much as possible, gather the children together for reading
A. Babies and toddlers – a child is never too young to be read to! Begin by reading even just a few pages or short board books to your littlest ones.
B. Younger children – benefit from hearing stories they would not be old enough to read themselves. Early readers can learn to love books and reading because they are engaged in stories they would otherwise not yet be able to access.
C. Older children – don’t stop reading aloud just because a child can read for himself. You are still modeling good reading habits, and engaging your older children in the story.
1. Reading aloud to older children can keep a child-like spirit in them, teaching them a “willingness to be enchanted” (C.S. Lewis) that is lacking in our modern technologically-driven world.
2. Reading aloud to older children can give you opportunities to reach their hearts in ways directly speaking to them cannot. A story can touch us deep inside, and make us think about deeper things.
II. What? Your options are unlimited! There are more good books to read than you will ever have time to uncover. Here are some suggestions:
B. Books that Build Character by William Kirkpatrick has many good suggestions
C. Think outside the box – I’m thankful my mother read us Treasure Island and other “boy books” that I would never have chosen to read to myself. She also read us all of Little House on the Prairie books, which I’m sure my brother wouldn’t have chosen!
a. Start young – keep going til they leave the nest
b. Every day if possible. If your children go to school and you don’t see them all day, try to read together before bedtime at least. If they are still at home or homeschooled, find a good restful time that everyone can relax and enjoy, like after lunch.
a. In a golden living room
b. On Mommy and Daddy’s bed
c. Around the table after dinner
d. Get creative! Build a pirate ship, take a quilt outside under the apple trees, make a tent in the basement. . .
Conclusion: You will never regret the time you invest in knitting your children’s hearts together when you read aloud to them. You will be building memories for them to hold onto for life!