Why do I read aloud to my kids (now ages 11 and 7) when they can—and do—read to themselves?
Reason #4: For The Cuddles
When I was a little girl, our neighbors had a Springer Spaniel named Candy. He started out as an adorable little black and white ball of fur and soon grew into a big, tall dog. He was as affectionate as ever, though. When my friends’ dad sat down on the porch to put on his running shoes, the dog used to try to climb into his arms. He used to laugh and say, “Candy still thinks he’s a lap dog.”
That story comes to mind as my long-limbed boys fold themselves into my chair and a half with me. They’re really too big to sit on my lap anymore. But they’re not too big to cuddle. That’s one of the nicest parts about reading aloud to them.
As they get older and busier with homework, sports, and other activities, it gets harder to find a time to read together, of course. But it’s worth it for me to have a book with each boy (and sometimes a third shared one too) in progress all the time. That way when we find a spare half hour before bed, on a school holiday, or on a lazy weekend afternoon, we can curl up and pick up where we left off.
How long will I keep reading aloud to them? As long as they let me.