6 Ways to Add More Time for Read Aloud Books

time for read aloud books

By Melissa Batai

Do you read aloud to your kids? Whether you homeschool or send your kids to a traditional school, finding time to read aloud to your kids produces enormous benefits. But I hear you. Your schedule is already busy. How can you add in one more task? Luckily, you don’t have to read aloud very long—just 15 minutes a day—for your kids to reap the benefits. And, there are several ways you can easily add more read aloud time to your day.

How to Add More Read Aloud Time

1. Listen to Audiobooks

If you’re like most families, you spend a lot of time in the car driving from one activity to another or running errands. Use that time to listen to audiobooks that your kids are interested in.

Our family listens to audiobooks almost any time we’re in the car. By doing so, we’re easily able to listen to two to five books a month (depending on how long the books are) that we wouldn’t have been able to read otherwise.

When you listen together, you and your children can discuss the events in the story and even critique the quality of the narration. (After listening to many audios, we realize there’s a huge difference between a quality audio production and a subpar one.)

2. Read While the Kids Are Doing a Chore

If your kids have regular chores they do around the house, consider sneaking in a few minutes of read aloud time while they work.

When my daughters were little, they hated picking up their toys in the living room, so I read aloud to them. Even though they’re now in middle school, I still read aloud to them when they pick up. By doing this, each day we read aloud two to six pages, depending on the book we’re reading. (Generally, we have one book we solely read aloud for picking up time.) My youngest daughter also asks me to read aloud to her when she cleans her room.

3. Read While the Kids Eat Lunch

Another strategy some parents use is to read aloud while their kids eat lunch. This is a great time to read aloud because you have a captive audience. You can also stop the reading to have a discussion over your meal about what’s happening in the book.

4. Have Book Basket Time at the Beginning of Your Homeschool Day

Some parents start their homeschool day with book basket time. This is a designated time when the parent reads aloud to all of the children and also does any other school work that the kids do together such as art. It's also a nice way to get kids interested in chapter books.

5. Choose a Literature-Based Curriculum

If you’re so inclined, another option is to choose a literature-based curriculum. By using this type of curriculum, you’re automatically guaranteeing that you will likely read aloud at least two books a month even if you don’t read aloud any other time during the day. Imagine how many books you can get done in a full school year!

Some popular literature-based homeschool curriculum providers include Sonlight, Bookshark, and Heart of Dakota, among others. Check their websites to see what book lists they recommend you buy with their curriculum; that will tell you what read out loud books you can look forward to.

6. Give Your Child a Device to Listen to Audio Books

If you’re stretched thin most days, your kids can still benefit from listening to audiobooks. Give them a device to listen to audio books and let them listen at will. If you have quiet time , this can be a productive use of their time. When my girls were too old to nap, I let them listen to Sparkle Stories, which played age-appropriate audio stories for them.

Final Thoughts

Reading aloud to kids who are older than preschool age may seem unnecessary, but your kids can benefit enormously. Take just 15 minutes a day to read to your kids or have them listen to an audio is all it takes. These ideas can get you started finding a way to carve out read aloud time in your busy day.