We are huge readers in our home. Nearly everyday of our learning we start with a morning basket, which is a basket filled with a variety of books covering many subjects. We read again in the afternoon; diving into Science, History or following other interests. We love the routine that reading has given us but we were facing struggles with reading books that captivated my older kids. My new strategy is to read-aloud chapter books with the bigger kids before their bedtime.
Adding Read-aloud Chapter Books into our Bedtime Routine
Originally when we were getting our kids settled to bed we did all the usual stuff. Pj’s on, teeth brushed, family scriptures & prayers before giving out hugs and kisses and tucking everyone in. It was a good routine. The nights mostly flowed but we were beginning to sense a shift.
The shift was that our older kids (7&5) were being pestered by the littles (2&3) and weren’t having an easy time falling asleep. I liked everyone being in their beds shortly after 7 but sleep wasn’t finding them til after 8. Instead what we were finding was fighting kids, grumpy parents and short tempers. Not an ideal situation for anyone.
Since sharing rooms is important to us the solution was to stagger bedtimes. At first we just had the bigs read independently but found it quickly became a wrestling match instead of a quiet time that slowly drifted into bedtime.
We needed the kids to slow down their bodies and prepare for sleep. We fell back onto what we know works, reading aloud. When we read to the big kids they sit down, cuddle up and listen as I read to them. I wasn’t necessarily planning on reading Chapter Books to them every night but they have consistently asked me to read and it has been working wonders for bedtime.
Now we do our original bedtime routine just before 7:00 and get the littles in their rooms. They read to themselves for a bit and I start reading aloud to the bigs in our library. Before we have finished a few chapters from our book the littles are passed out and wont disturb the bigger kids once they head to bed. I try and finish our chapter book before 8:00 so they still have plenty of sleep at night.
Chapter Books at Bedtime we Loved
Instead of just sharing the titles of books that we have enjoyed as a family I wanted to give you a brief review of what we liked about the Chapter Book and why we chose to read it to our oldest kids.
Check back for often for our updated list of Chapter Books we read.