Friday, March 13, 2009

Living Lovely with Family

I love this new meme at Mt. Hope Chronicles. Heidi's blog is one I never miss. I actually feel peaceful, serene and inspired when I visit her blog! When she announced that she was starting this new meme, I had to smile because for about a year I've had a note to myself to start a "Family Friday" meme. I am so glad she is doing this!

This week's theme—the inaugural edition—is to simply share on your own blog what you do (hope to do in the future, have done in the past, or remember from your childhood) to make daily connections and memories with your family.

The first daily connection that popped into my head is the family dinner. We do, indeed, eat supper together every night with few exceptions. But what really connects us—and what connected my own family growing up—is that we read together every day.

We have been reading aloud to our children from literally the first day that we brought our oldest home from the hospital. It didn't matter then what we read; I can remember Randy reading such things as the Journal of Systematic Botany and Western Civilization to Jesse when he was 3 weeks old. More than anything, we wanted our children to hear language and the sounds of our voices and the way that words fit together.

It seems that in the early years, we spend most of our days reading. All three literally cut their teeth on a hefty board book edition of Good-Night Moon. We always read three books at naptime and three books at bedtime, until they reached the chapter book stage. For awhile we read three chapters each evening, but as the books become longer, the chapters do too! I was blessed to be able to read to my oldest in the evenings until he was probably 12. I think our last evening read-aloud was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, right after Watership Down. Our younger two are eight and 11 now, and we continue our tradition of evening snack and a couple of chapters in the current book(s).

Because we homeschool we also read together during the day, as well. I probably spend an hour to two hours each day reading aloud to my younger two children. We always have a read-aloud going on (right now it's Across Five Aprils), as well as various history, science, and Bible readings. Of course I don't read to my oldest anymore, who is a junior, but his love of literature is deeply rooted. Rarely a day goes by that we don't talk about what he's reading and how he likes it. I love that he tosses away books that are clumsy and trite or have painful dialog.

I have two other posts on reading with children at my SmallWorld Reads blog: here and here (finding books for children).

If you have a daily family connection that you'd like to share, head on over to Mt. Hope Chronicles!

And if you'd like to win a $20 gift card so you can buy more books at, check out my 20th Anniversary Bash to find out how you can win!


  1. Every day I wish I could give my kids a complete education simply by reading to them. Great post. I'll go check out the meme, too - that's a new blog to me!

  2. I'm so glad you are participating! Reading is such an incredible way to bond with our children. Not only do we have the time spent physically close to them, but we have that shared landscape that reading books together brings. Stories, ideas, information. So much to discuss. So much to work into our daily lives. Love it!

  3. Reading is one of the main ways we connect as well. Reading and conversation are about 90% of education from what I can see. (We'll throw in 10% for grammar and math, just in case.) We have so many shared memories because of our reading. Really, I can't imagine our family without it.

  4. lately we have been sharing some of the reading because, like you said, some chapters are really long! just yesterday, my fourteen year old said that he missed my reading ... not that we had stopped completely or anything, but I had been preoccupied and wash having them read more and more on their own. then today happened, and it was back to me doing the bulk of our reading out loud, and it was a good day.
    a really good day.

  5. I was not washing ... was, WAS ... sheesh.

  6. Hear, hear!! Nothing builds character and dreams and hope into the heart of a child like GREAT books and the lively discussions with family that inevitably are born from reading them aloud together. My oldest is a voracious reader now, and still sneaks in to curl up and relisten to some of her old favorites as I read them aloud to the boys. Neither of my boys love to read yet (which breaks my heart) but they will both sit for hours and listen to me read. I'll take it. There is still time for them to adopt the desire to dive in on their own.

    Recently I splurged and bought some books from Lamplighter Publishing to read together as a family at night. I've always wanted some but have never taken the plunge. We are about to start Teddy's Button. Have you ever shopped from them before? I drool all over the descriptions of their books! :)

    This is a wonderful idea for a meme. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I enjoyed your post so much! Books truly are fabulous... in so, so many ways! It's just so neat to read about other families and their routines-- thanks so much for sharing :)


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