Incorporating a read aloud into your daily routine isn’t only for homeschoolers. Regardless of your children’s age or school status, reading in the morning can change the entire rhythm of your household.
My oldest son is not a morning person! He has woken up in a bad mood almost every single day of his life. When he was little, he often brought this bad mood with him to the breakfast table. By the time my kids were out the door and heading off to school, we were all grumpy and fighting. Then a friend suggested something that changed everything, read during breakfast.
Starting when my kids were in second grade and kindergarten, I started keeping a chapter book on our dining table that I always read aloud during breakfast. It was also picked up during lunch, afternoon snacks, and even dinner on occasion. But mainly it was the breakfast book. My grumpy oldest child loves stories and has always used literature as a way to escape his bad moods. Starting the day with a read aloud not only quieted my kids so they could eat instead of fight, it also elevated my sons bad mood so he left for school smiling and laughing instead of cursing and screaming.
I kept up this morning read aloud tradition for years and only abandoned it when breakfast became a quick grabbing a granola bar on the way out the door and my oldest son had replaced his morning literature fix with a morning caffeine fix. To compensate, we did listen to audio books in the car during the drive to school – but it wasn’t the same as those cozy story filled mornings we had when my kids were little.
Now that we’re homeschooling, the morning read aloud is back. I don’t make my kids get out of bed until 10:00 AM. Even with this late wake up hour, my son still wakes up grumpy. The first thing on their daily homeschool schedule is breakfast while mom reads aloud. Sometimes I read historical fiction that ties in with what they’re learning in history. Sometimes I read non-fiction that ties in with what they are learning. Sometimes I just read some poetry. And sometimes, I grab a really great novel that pulls us all into another world.
“Morning Basket” is a common term thrown around in the homeschool world. Sometimes it’s an actual basket containing group subjects and activities used to start the homeschool day. For other families, morning basket is nothing but a read aloud at the breakfast table. I’ve been parenting a lot longer than I’ve been homeschooling, and I’m hear to tell you, if you’re family is low on morning people – you need a morning basket. Or just a good book for your kids to listen to over their oatmeal.