I didn’t grow up in a reading home, but when I was in the sixth grade my family moved next to a library and that changed everything. I fell in love with books, and I was swept away to imaginary worlds. Yet so many times I wished I had someone to talk to about the stories I loved. I wanted to share the experience.
Later, after I dedicated my life to God, I made it a habit of spending my early mornings in my Bible. I loved the ways that God spoke to my heart, and I kept note of the many truths that I learned in journals. These truths helped me as a mom of young kids.As my kids grew older, I struggled with the feeling that I was not doing enough to share God’s truth with them. I’d make goals to prepare devotional times during the dinner hour, but too often my kids were eager to eat quickly so they could return outside to play with friends.
I also tried to encourage my kids to read their Bibles on their own, but some of my children struggled to read. Even if they could make it through a few pages of the Children’s Bible it was hard for them to be able to tell me what they’d just read.
Everything changed when I started reading aloud to my kids on a regular basis. I realized I didn’t have to come up with my own devotional thoughts, I could simply read wonderful, Christian books to my kids.
Also, I didn’t have to worry if my struggling readers were comprehending or not. They understood more as I read to them. My kids experienced great joy listening to me read — especially when they didn’t have to struggle over the words.
The more I read to my kids, the more I wanted to read to my kids. Our favorite things to read are missionary stories, devotional books, and even picture books. Now my kids love to help me pick what to read next. The only problem is our pile continues to grow! (A good problem to have!)
Here are some of the books next on our list:
The Cow Said Neigh
The Gift That I Can Give
Love Does for Kids
The Chronicles of Narnia
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of reading aloud to your children and how to get started, you may want to check out The Read-Aloud Family. Author Sarah Mackenzie is the founder of a popular podcast called the Read-Aloud Revival, and in her book, she offers book lists, strategies, and tools parents can use to form deep and lasting connections with their kids.
I’m so thankful for wonderful books like these that have help me to plant deep truths in my children’s hearts. As I share great stories in our read aloud time, I’m providing my children with deep truths that will last for a lifetime.
How Can You Do the Same?
- Visit a local Christian or online bookstore and ask your children to help you pick out books. Talk together about topics or stories that look interesting.
- Set a time for reading. Some of our favorite times for read aloud are at breakfast or at bedtime.
- Feel free to pause and talk about what you’re reading. Enjoy the time of connection and sharing.
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What are your favorite books to read with your family? We’d love to hear about some of your recommendations or about strategies for encouraging young readers. Come share your thoughts with us in the comments!