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Sound It Out

Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Arriving late to the Read Aloud party

March 10, 2011

Who knew March 9 was World Read Aloud Day? I'm sure lots of people did, but sadly I didn't until very late at night on March 9. And besides the directions on the box of brownie mix, I'm pretty sure I didn't read anything aloud to my girls that day. As our girls get older, I'm finding it harder and harder to find that family read aloud time. Soccer schedules, Destination Imagination (DI) practice, and playdates all result in one rushed (and tired!) dinner — shower — bed routine. On top of that, both girls are highly engaged in their own reading these days. Anna (our 8-year old) cannot get enough of Garfield, and Molly (our 10-year old) disappears into one of the Artemis Fowl books. It's tough to get her to put those books down.

But, in some form of divine intervention, March 9th's book in the Book-A-Day Almanac was about Anita Silvey's favorite recent read-aloud, Inkheart. Her review included this, "All the chapters are just the right length for reading aloud; they contain a lot of action, cliff-hanging endings, and beautiful language. The book has been perfect for use with nine- through fourteen-year-olds, in class or at home. Reading this book slowly, savoring the scenes and the details of the plot, actually makes it more enjoyable than reading it independently." I read that, and headed to the library!

So, while I missed World Read Aloud Day, I have a rejuvenated interest in Family Read Aloud, and got our next book. Hopefully we'll start tonight! (although we have soccer and DI…)

Related posts:
Dropping a dud of a read aloud
The best way to sell a book
Choosing the year's first read aloud

Learn more about World Read Aloud Day.


Reading aloud with family is such a enjoyable time for family members and helps young kids develop their literacy skills as I experienced when I was young. Thank you for sharing a good book and your experience.

My oldest kid just learned to read to himself, and it is surprisingly tricky to make read aloud time for him a priority. Activities and the ease of letting him read by himself get in the way. I think it is important -- and fun! -- to keep reading with him.

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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase