Friday, 11 May 2012

Reading Aloud: Ranger's Apprentice

Having read Horrendo's Curse by Anna Fienberg, the author of the Tashi novels, in five nights, I decided to tackle another slightly longer term Read Aloud project. After checking out the entire Top 500 children's book list on Dymocks Bookstore's website, I chose the popular Ranger's Apprentice series, by John Flanagan, beginning tonight. I read aloud the prologue and five chapters - no, make that six - before finally closing the book for the night. Admittedly, both the five and six year olds were asleep by this time; it was after 8pm. But Joshua and Anna had begged me for more each time I suggested the previous chapter might have been the last. And from the end of chapter three, Jeff, who was listening from the kitchen where he was busy making fresh fruit juice and washing the dishes, added his voice to the pleas for more reading. An auspicious start, I believe.


Mrs. Edwards said...

I'm so jealous that you faithfully read aloud together in the evenings. Our evenings are usually over in a blink and (at least this time of year) the kids are out the door to play outside just as soon as we release them from after-dinner chores (and sometimes before that!).

How many nights a week are you all home together? We have things going on in the school year three nights a week, and often on Fridays.

When I read about your read-aloud time it makes me feel like clearing our schedule and staying home and reading every night!


Sharon said...

With Jeff unemployed at the moment, we have no evening Bible studies so our nights are less busy than last year. But I have found it is a lot easier to get the kids into bed if they know I am going to read aloud to them once they're all under their covers, so nights when Jeff is out I will make a deliberate effort to make time to read to the kids.

I'm out on Tuesday evenings at lectures, but that's the night Jeff reads. He's reading something different, so I don't miss bits of the story I'm reading (or vice versa). Since I take Joshua to karate on Thursday evenings, we usually only manage a chapter or two if the younger ones are still awake and I'm not too tired. Also, we have Brigades on Mondays, so definitely no reading then - but we do listen to the Bible on mp3 in the car on the way. We don't read every single night we could, because sometimes we are just too busy or tired.

It does help having picked several series to read over the last few years. There's a lot more incentive to get started on the next book in the series when you finish one, rather than leave it for a few weeks and then fall out of the habit. Of course, it helps if the parents like the books and want to find out what happens next as well! Jeff read the Lord of the Rings to the kids because he wanted to read it for his own interest, and I read the Borrowers consistently because I wanted to find out how Arietty's family finally found a home. Another thing is just that our kids are at the right age to be read to right now.

You know I am a big fan of routines, and we've had lots of different routines over the years, particularly early morning and evening routines. This reading aloud after dinner just works for us - at the moment. It does come at the expense of daily bath times, though, to be truthful. We just can't fit in four baths plus read-aloud every night. So the kids don't get washed as much as they could do. I take heart every time I read of the medieval times when people bathed but once a year and know that at least my kids are washed more frequently than that!