Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bedtime Stories

Today was a day chock full of reading; my kind of day!!! It started with the completion of the audio book I started 3 days ago, continued with the first book in the series (yes, I am reading them out of order-I had no idea it was a series), moved to reading a loud to my nephew (Elephant and Piggie books are meant to be read aloud), and concluded with the featured sleep story, The Velveteen Rabbit, on the Calm app.

As I started to drift toward sleep while snuggling with my younger son and listening to the story, I thought about the fact that we don't read together anymore. This thought made me sad. My sons and I have listened to countless audio books together: the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson series and most of the other series written by Rick Riordan (that is until hew was able to read those tomes on his own), and many others and we have done a tremendous amount of "lap reading". But book selection has primarily been the job of my older son, and then, once my 9 year old was able to read bigger, harder books on his own, we moved on to other audio consumption...namely podcasts.

As a former 1st-3rd grade teacher, with experience in 4th and 5th grades, I know the importance of reading aloud to a child. There is data to show how the read aloud increases fluency, comprehension, and listening vocabulary. I have always been a fan of audio books; I look back fondly on my days as a little girl sitting with my cassette player playing side A of the audio tape while I followed along with the book, waiting for the beep that would prompt me to turn the page. I recall the pride I felt as I moved to side B and was able to keep pace and turn the pages without the guidance of the prompt. And I remember the sense of accomplishment when I was able to read faster than the narrator and graduated from the cassette tapes all together.

I am proud that I live in a household of avid readers. My 12 year old, if engrossed in a good series, can often be found with his nose in a book. My little guy was slower to grow into his love of reading, but is an avid re-reader of books, despite the number of new titles waiting for him. My husband and I haven't always been the type of couple to share titles, but since we read Harry Potter together back in the early 2000s, we frequently make recommendations to each other, though my husband is much more successful at finding books I will like, recommending titles like Pride and Predjudice, The Book Thief, and the Divergent series (which he and our older son read together).

So, why am I writing about this? Well, in my quest to find balance this year (you can read about my One Word here), I thought that the re-introduction of audiobooks and the read aloud might be one activity to find that balance. My younger son has already instituted a weekly game night; perhaps a weekly game night will be another way for us to disconnect from our electronics and connect as a family. We may cheat a little and use my favorite audiobook app, Overdive, but I think in the end we will come out as the heroes in our own story.


Thanks for sharing some great bedtime stories. You always come up with some interesting and worth-reading podcasts. I am going to bookmark your blog for future references.

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