More and more I am becoming convinced about the power of stories in our lives to shape and teach us and inspire us to greatness. Just consider the number of stories that Jesus himself told!
First, if you are looking for a fun idea to get your children reading this summer, and also help them learn about other cultures and countries, check out the Read the World summer book club. This can be a very simple thing (i.e. read one book each week as a family) or it can be more involved (i.e. read lots of books each week, try recipes from different countries, give your children prizes, raise money for a charity, etc). The great thing is that you can customise it for your family. Our family is excited to participate. The book club starts this week but it’s not too late to sign up! If you don’t own Jamie Martin’s, “Give Your Child the World,” you can still glean book ideas from friends, google for ideas or use the library. (If you live near us, we are happy to suggest and loan books!)
Read the World is being promoted by Jamie Martin and also Sarah MacKenzie from the Read Aloud Revival podcast.
A friend pointed me to The Read Aloud Revival a few months ago and I have been eating it up ever since. I don’t get much time to listen to podcasts. They are my “treat” if I have to drive somewhere by myself or I am actually cooking in the kitchen alone! (which rarely happens). The tagline of the podcast encourages listeners to “build your family culture around books.” So many of us think that reading aloud is something we should do only with young children. Not so! The research (and our family experience too!) shows that reading aloud is an incredible way to build family bonds and of course to develop a moral foundation, imagination, English skills and much, much more!
I recommend you listen to podcast number one first but then just pick out which ones look interesting to you (feel free to ask me for my favourites!). Sarah also has a list of the most popular episodes here. There have been episodes with Sally Lloyd Jones (author of the Jesus Story Book Bible), Sally Clarkson (one of my very favourite writers) and her daughter Sarah Clarkson and many more wonderful authors and speakers. Don’t miss the incredible true story of a girl and her father who read aloud every night for nearly eight years!
If you read aloud to your children for only 10 minutes a day, that adds up to 60 hours a year! From our family experience, it’s totally worth it to start this as a new habit! Audiobooks work great too if you don’t fancy reading aloud yourself. If you are already into reading aloud in your family, this podcast will be the source of fantastic book ideas.
One book idea I got from the podcast is The Green Ember. (Check out the fab video at this link with the author and his children.) With Mariah and Joel having chicken pox this past week and me having a heavy cold, we have been listening to it as an audiobook together. It would be a great family read-aloud for middle grades on up (this nearly 40 year old is loving it!). I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Thankfully, the chicken pox Meadlings (Hannah, Mariah and Joel) are feeling much better. They are now just waiting for their spots to heal and so they are non-contagious. The trip to Cadbury World tomorrow with our homeschooling friends is looking in doubt for Mariah and Joel but hey, we’ll have the Green Ember to listen to and maybe we’ll have to get some of our own chocolate to munch while we listen.
Happy Summer Reading!