Monday, September 17, 2012

Confessions of an Out-Loud Reader

Almanzo Wilder has walked Laura home from the revival meetings every night this week & she doesn't understand why? GAH! When are they going to get married already & have babies??

These are my current sentiments as I read my girls book #7, Little Town on the Prairie, in "The Little House on the Prairie" series. I am so glad my girls enjoy being read to, because I LOVE reading out loud. (When I was a young girl, I would read my school assignments out loud as I did homework in my room. By myself. With different accents. Just because.)

Three summers ago I fell in love with reading to my girls. I mean, I've always read to my girls, but for whatever reason during that specific summer our appetite for big chapter books grew more intense. We were given a copy of Roald Dahl's "James & the Giant Peach", & we haven't been able to stop.

Sometimes, when I read to the girls at night, they begin to drift off to sleep. I BEG them to stay awake so we can read just one more chapter! And if I get sneaky & read ahead when they're not around, I feel guilty. It's not fair of me to cheat. We're in this together. Our own private book club. (On the side I'm currently reading "Moby Dick". Trying to attack the classics for the first time ever. My first two reads were Jane Austen's "Pride & Prejudice" & "Mansfield Park". Some chapters were read out loud. By myself. With accents. Just because.)

When my parents & grandmother were visiting so very recently ago, I even gave them a private reading of one of Zoey, Pazely & my favorite short-short stories: The Vicar of Nibbleswicke. They even quietly listened along on our 'Little House' adventures when I read to the girls before bedtime some evenings.

I was tickled this summer when the library in the tiny town of Broadwater (140 people WHAT?!) asked me to read at their Summer Reading Program all month. Even Zoey got in on the action & read to the kids one week. (And the invitation came about because of the article I wrote in the newspaper about my 37 Random Acts of Kindness. Specifically, kindness act #12, where I read out loud in the children's section at a Barnes & Noble.)

And this blog post? I've already read it out loud several times before publishing it.

This year I've even volunteered to help out in each of my girls' classrooms once a week with reading. But this time, I'll get to listen to the kids read to me. My first time listening was 2 weeks ago. I heard two excerpts from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series & another child read from Magic Tree House #30: Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve. I'm there to simply listen. And help them with difficult words Or even sometimes just let them stumble over the grammar because it's fun to see what words they come up with. I know, I'm mean.
Ironically, all 3 of the students I listened to that day had runny noses. Which got me paranoid. No, I'm not a germ freak. But those school germs are craziness, bringin' themselves all up in my home unannounced.  (Note to self: Next time bring along Kleenex, antibacterial hand sanitizer, Lysol disinfecting spray, possibly gloves & a mask, & maybe even a portable version of whatever it is you talk through at the movie theater to buy your tickets.)

And did you know that it's possible for 9 & 10 year olds to have really bad breath? 'Cause it is. Poor things, all cute with halitosis. Hey, even my own 4th grader battles the breath demons some days.
I realize that having the kids read out loud is good practice for them. But I am also realizing, while listening, that I am an out-loud reader hog. It takes everything within me to not grab that book from their little elementary school hands & take over. So, this is good practice for me as well. Although, I may need an intervention.

I cannot tell you how wonderfully awesome it is to cuddle with my munchkins & read to them. The girls say reading is just like watching a movie in your head. They are so right.
And I say listening is like watching someone watching a movie in their own head.
(Except when it's my turn to read.)


  1. My 6 yr old and just finished The By the Shores of Silver Lake. My mom mails the next in the series to us as we finish each book. She read them to me as a kid. I love that I can carry on the tradition with my daughter. Reading to her is one of my favorite things I get to do as a mom.

  2. Mr Woo reads to Matilda every night. We're on our 3rd Roald Dahl :)
    Cross of Matilda (obviously!), The Witches and now we're on Danny Champion of the World. The BFG is next!

  3. my mom read to us out loud it was my favorite. i have friends who read out loud with their husbands and i think it's the greatest. way to go mama! reading is the best! and you look JUST LIKE pazley in that picture!

  4. Did you ever read the Ramona books by Beverly Clearly? Or Judy Blume? They were my favorite authors as a kids.

  5. I like to read out loud too - I was always the dork waving my hand around around on the edge of my seat when the teacher asked for someone to volunteer to read. But, my boys don't like being read to anymore :(

    Don't you think it's weird that you can read out loud and still skim ahead a bit at the same time?


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