In response to a question left in the comments section about reading, I will answer a couple of questions here about reading to the kids and maybe go a bit broader than the actual question. Then you all can feel free to ask anything in follow-up.
The goal in our home to is show a faithful and consistent pattern of reading, individually and corporately. We want the boys to be comfortable in the world of ideas, to learn to think thoughts outside of themselves, to be filled with all sorts of stories of adventure and heroism and bravery, to learn truths in story form. We want them to learn to sit still, to wait as a plot develops, to ask questions, to wonder, to be amazed, to hurrah good deeds.
So from the earliest days, we have read all manner of books with our boys. Starting with simple stories and simple picture books. The first thing I remember spending a lot of time on with Karsten (he is 6 1/2 now) was board books full of colors, objects and numbers. When he was three, he lived with this atlas in his hand for months and months. He memorized hundreds of animals from it.
Certainly the amount of individual reading time (among other activities) wanes as the number of children grows, but that doesn’t mean that the children are read to less, hopefully. Our goal is that Chrissy and I both try to have reading times with the kids every day. And since we moved to TN we hit that goal almost all the time when we are home.
We definitely always try to read books above their levels. I have an unofficial policy that I don’t read readers to kids. Readers are for kids to learn to read, not for me to read. We have plenty of storybooks around that I don’t have to read readers. Chrissy’s regular time of reading is after lunch and before 1:30 naptimes. I often read after dinner.
I needed to do the math on this one, but I think Karsten was about 4 1/2 when we started to read through Narnia. It took us about 13 months and I think I read regularly 3-4 times a week. Haddon would have been 3 when we started and I remember that through the first half probably, I didn’t require him to sit down but he needed to stay in the room and he usually came back to look at pictures. Sometimes he would fall asleep. Karsten was captivated from the first lines. We used this single-volume edition (which apparently isn’t in print now).
We finished Narnia last January and then had a crazy Spring being away and moving. I tried to get through 100 Cupboards and we didn’t make it. We’ll try again later. Currently, the boys and I are on book three of the Little House on the Prairie series and Kar and Had are smitten. Linc almost always sits with us but may do a little roaming. This summer I read Kar and Had a biography of Mueller and I can’t remember what else.
Right now Chrissy is reading these three to the boys: The Fellowship of the Ring (they read the Hobbit this year), Hero Tales, and D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. Then for Karsten’s schoolwork they often read all together and right now they are reading among other things Genesis and The Story of the World, Volume 1.
I will maybe start listing on TBAP the the books that we read to them–like I list the books I’ve read–and then some recommendations for other books that aren’t storybooks.
You get what you honor. And some books are just plain fun, some are inspiring, some are informational. But God must be the warp and woof behind all of it, and the kids need to see it. It’s totally unnecessary to explain the nuances of every little bit, or even every story. But our children should see in us a pattern of loving and cleaving to the things that are true, good and beautiful and chucking the other books across the room–so to speak.