The more I read up on parenting, child development, homeschooling, unschooling, and everything in between, the more I am convinced of the importance of reading aloud. I continually am reminded of the 1985 Commission on Reading report Becoming a Nation of Readers that concluded, “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” And the many studies since that have similar conclusions.
And reading aloud doesn’t only help your kids help with scholastic skills such as expanded vocabulary, phonetic awareness, reading, reading comprehension, and conveying knowledge on every subject imaginable. It is also fantastic for family bonding. The act of cuddling up together on a bed or sofa or comfy arm chair (or even on a picnic blanket outside) and being entirely present in those moments to read together is priceless.
As such, one thing I am working on is making more time for reading aloud with my kids. And being a Type A and Enneagram 1, I figured a challenge would be a good motivator for me. We participate in the 1000 Hours Outside challenge every year and use their trackers to mark our progress through the year. The girls and I both get a lot of motivation from the collective of the challenge itself, the tracker, and the community. So, I decided to set up something similar for motivating us to read aloud together; a read aloud challenge. And I would like to extend this invitation to you to participate.
I created a created a printable to use in conjunction with the challenge. I left it open-ended because I wanted others to be able to adapt it to fit their needs. I am sharing it as a free PDF below!
The tracker contains 1,000 books laid out on 10x10x10 bookshelves (PDF version is available below).
Personally, I am striving for this to document 10,000 minutes read aloud, which equates to about 27 minutes a day and adds up to 7 days of reading aloud throughout the year, and we will color in a book for every 10 minutes read aloud. You could also fill in a book for every 5 minutes read aloud, which would equate to somewhere close to 15 minutes read aloud a day or 5,000 minutes read aloud or 3.5 days over the course of a year.
This printable could also be used for tracking the 1000 books before kindergarten program by coloring in one book for each book read!
Here are some of favorite resources for encouragement on reading aloud:
The Read Aloud Revival: Sarah’s website is full of fantastic resources including access to her podcast, which I love, booklists and more.
I also love these books on reading aloud:
And here is the PDF to download. Let me know how you end up using below!
Also, if you are curious about my recommendations of our favorite picture books and chapters books to read aloud, you can check out my idea lists here: Baby and Toddler Books & Picture Books & First Chapter Books
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