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5 Ways To Read To Your Kids (So They’ll Actually Listen)

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Today is a guest post from Tyler Hogan from Bright Ideas Press. He is the creator of the wonderful Wondermaps program. He has some great ideas on reading.

Bedtime stories at my house are a zoo.  The preschooler tries to delay bedtime by asking a bazillion repetitive questions. The toddler does not want to sit still and read. The baby is ready to nurse. My wife has a bad case of end-of-the-day frazzles. Inwardly, I’m bemoaning the fact that our kids have yet to fall in love with books (because they’re supposed to be reading before age 2, right?).  We’re all a bit cranky.


So you know what we’re doing?


We’re giving up.

That’s right. Bedtime stories, that beloved childhood staple, are going to disappear from our home.

Instead, we’re replacing them with the following story-times that totally work for us:

  1. Breakfast Stories. The kids are captive and are too busy eating to interrupt unnecessarily.
  2. Bath-Time Stories. The older two love playing in the tub and will listen quietly so as to prolong the fun.
  3. Wake-Up Stories. It takes the kids a while for their hyperness to kick in, so we can squeeze in a story while they’re still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes. Plus, they’re extra snuggly when they wake up. 🙂
  4. Grandparents’ House Stories. Me-Ma and Grandad could sort socks with them, and the kids would be thrilled. No chance they’ll turn down an opportunity to read a book with them.
  5. In-the-Car Stories. While we don’t spend a lot of time in the car, the kids love to listen to audiobooks anyway, so this is a no-brainer.

We may not get rid of bedtime stories altogether. Some nights it works out really well. But at least we’ll stop making it the most important reading time of the day, knowing that there are plenty of other times and ways to read to the kiddos.

How about you? When do you find reading to your kids works best?


Tyler Hogan is a homeschool graduate, and holds a degree from Bellhaven University in Theatre Ministry. At Bright Ideas Press he creates and develops products, teaches homeschool classes, and works in tech support. He and his wife, Helen (a homeschool graduate also) have two young daughters.


About rcwriter

Being a freelance writer, book reviewer, dedicated mom, and popular teacher at her homeschool support group—Renewed Moms Ministry keeps Rhonda Clark extremely busy. She writes most all of her own curriculum for her classes that have varied from elementary science, to middle school history and literature, to high school computer. Her middle school history class, A Renaissance World, will be featured at fall of 2014. When not shuttling her daughter to soccer, archery, bowling, or any other number of endless activities, she devotes time to writing homeschool curriculum and her first novel. Scrapbooking, paper crafting, and reading are downtime activities, but the one thing she enjoys most is spending time with her husband of 20 years. They have two children, a college age son, and a high school age daughter. God blessed Rhonda with a quirky and funky sense of humor. This combines with down home charm, and allows her to connect to readers as a friend. With an ability to put a fresh twist on basic thoughts and Biblical teachings she brings a new perspective to her audience.

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