HOW to handle your read aloud time

Mother and Daughter Reading Together

I had a lovely conversation in the comments section of another post with a mom who was trying to figure out how to do the reading aloud for back-to-back 1st and 2nd graders.  I thought I’d post my answers.

In our house, there’s ONE read aloud time each day for K-5 saints, liturgy, bible, fiction, and all out-of-reach supplementary history (except 4GRD-5GRD chapter books).  The only other exemption is textbook stuff for kids not ready to do it themselves.  I don’t make everyone listen to a chapter of Pioneers and Patriots if the 4th grader can’t read it alone.  The whole session takes about 20-30 min depending.

If you have more than one child K-2, there’s TOO many saints and liturgical choices, so I made a single rotation of the resources we like best.

Here’s the details of my answer:

“It’s ALL the same reading time in our house (but the actual retelling goes in religion class.) I look over the plans each week and see who has a retelling. I try to read a saint’s picture book on that day. I always point out to the child, “You will be giving me a retelling on this in religion class tomorrow, so pay special attention.” When we get to religion class the next day, or two days later, I hand them the book to page through and refresh, then they give me the retelling.

Some weeks, there are several saints readings, so I point out to the appropriate child that he has a retelling this week, and he can choose whichever saint story he liked best that we read, but again, before each daily saints reading, I remind him that he has a retelling and should pay attention. (I do all this reminding because reading time is also artsy time and they draw and build or whatever while they listen, so I make a point to let them know the eyeballs need to be on the book for this story.)

Some weeks, there’s a retelling, but no saints reading. In this case, I just pick one of my summer saint favorites and read him/her during group time, again letting the appropriate child know that he will be expected to remember it later.

Our daily family read aloud time is first dictated by the weekly assignments. Who has bible story retellings or picture books in history or a saint’s retelling? I schedule that in first. K-4, we do it together. The child who NEEDS to actively listen is notified. There’s never been a complaint about having to listen to something they heard last year.”

The thing that’s missing from this explanation is what to do about those books in 4th and 5th that may be out of reach for those kids and need to be read aloud?  Answer:  I get it on audio so they can follow along (increases fluency) or I hold that book until the summer after and assign it as summer reading.  But all supplementary history books in 2nd and 3rd that are out of reach are read during group time.  Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims is a perennial favorite.

Did I miss anything?