What Does Read Aloud Time Look Like at Our House

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And how do those kids listen for that long?

Like most homeschoolers, great literature is a constant part of our diet. We’re not just chowing down on one book at a time, but generally consuming several.

We each have a personal stack of reading. We also have our family basket of reading. We read the Bible after many meals (although not a perfect science. You can read about family Bible ready time here) . I read to the younger children while the older boys complete their independent work. I read to the older children while the little ones nap. We take personal reading breaks throughout the day. And, our days end with more family read aloud time before bed.

Yeah, it’s a good life.

homeschool read alouds

What Does Read Aloud Time Look Like at Our House

Before we start reading, I give the children time to pick a quiet activity. Anything that keeps their hands busy while their ears are listening.  In this picture above, Naomi is dressing up her wooden magnetic doll set.  Zion is my engineering guy.  He enjoys building with tangrams or our Melissa & Doug pattern blocks. He’ll also work on Erector sets; Pringle chip can creations {he has created some pretty cool inventions using those cans ;0}, and Legos. Lots and lots of Lego love here.

What is not allowed during reading time:

  • Reading another book while mom is reading to the family
  • Leaving the room
  • Loud play with toys


We enlist a variety of quiet activities during family read aloud time.  At age 2 1/2 Gabriel engages quietly in sewing Melissa & Doug Lacing cards, sorts in his pre-school sensory tub works on puzzles or draws. Although Gabriel and Liam take their nap during our afternoon read aloud time.  Gabriel does, however, sit through longer bedtime reading. Right now we’re reading the gospel of Luke and Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates (free on Kindle) in the evenings.

Drawing Time

Here’s a peek at our bedtime reading time.  The children are drawing and listening.


Jadin has always been an artist. As long as I can remember, he is always creating something phenomenal in the art arena. He usually is drawing sketches for whatever the latest story is that he’s creating.  In this picture, he’s drawing Jesus on the cross.


Sewing Time


Naomi is a little mother-in-training. Recently, I started her on sewing. She loves doing needle work while she listens. 




Mothers of boys; you know what this is, right?  The Lego tubs have been pulled out for afternoon family reading time.


Painting/Craft Time


The children also work on handcrafts during reading.  They can paint, use play doh, sculpt with clay, draw.  I’m pretty flexible with whatever they’d like to do.  As long as they can narrate back to me what is taking place in the story, then I know they’re soaking it up.


I will guarantee you though that family reading can certainly get messy.   This is the reality of a very fulfilling, yet messy, reading time.  Yummy, yummy, reading!

Here’s a recap of simple activities for children during reading time:

Read Aloud Homeschool Update 2016 


I wrote this article four years ago and really nothing has changed. The children are older, and we now have two more blessings, Amelia and Daniel. Jadin, the little boy who was drawing the Jesus picture earlier, now has a full beard and his own car (be still my heart and slow down life!). Zion, who was playing with his hot wheels cars in the main picture above, now sports his own mustache as well. Naomi still sews often, only now she sews dresses, pillows, and dolls. Gabriel and Liam are the little boys with the Lego tubs in recent days. We also have almost four-year-old Amelia in on our Read Aloud Homeschool time. 


I’ve shared updated pictures of our #readaloudhomeschool time on Instagram. I’ve been trying to go back through my many years of sharing and add that hashtag to find books I’ve shared easily. Honestly, four years later, not too much has changed.

Reading aloud to my children has been my homeschool mom heart beat and still is to this day. It’s the main thing I started to purposely do with my children, back when Jadin was a toddler. Reading together, in my opinion, grows our hearts together.

What are some activities that your children do during read aloud time?

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