But does family reading time have to end? No. In fact, reading aloud together is just as important for teens as it is for elementary aged children.
Sure, your kids probably won't be sitting on your lap as you read, but that doesn't mean you're not connecting with each other. When you are together reading, there's a sense of closeness. It continues the warm, pleasant feelings related to both family and reading that they had when they were younger.
Vocabulary and Pronunciation
During your read aloud time, you can choose books that are slightly above your middle schooler's level. As you work through the chapters together, you can explain any unknown vocabulary words and immediately correct any that are mispronounced. This expands your teen's language and offers confidence to read challenging books.
One of the benefits of homeschooling teenagers is the fact that they have opinions and can take part in discussions. This is powerful and will positively impact your read aloud time. Now, instead of crossing your fingers and hoping to get more than one-word answers to your simple questions, you can actually have a serious conversation with your child.
The engaging books in BookShark curriculum packages are especially chosen to facilitate these kinds of discussions.
While reading together, you can help your teen see how a character's situation mirrors one of their own. Then, you can talk about how the author resolves the issue and whether the solution would work for them as well. Reading books together opens the door to discussing issues of ethics, morals, and politics—topics teens are eager to explore.
By remaining involved in their studies, you're giving your teens a chance to experience a variety of literary styles, genres, and authors. Through this exploration, they are gaining knowledge about different subjects while being exposed to new voices and ideas.
Tips for Making your Read Aloud Time Work
Give your teen a say in what you read together.
Include the classics. It's the perfect way to introduce them to your child and remove any sense of intimidation.
Let each person read their favorite book and share why they like it. What a wonderful way to connect!
Encourage everyone to share, but don’t force it.
Ask open-ended questions such as, “What did you think about..?” and "Why do you think the author chose...?" to get older kids thinking critically.
It can be tough carving out space in your already busy homeschooling schedule to read aloud as a family. You might be tempted to give it up for more "productive" activities if you have teens. However, regardless of your child's age, spending time reading together is always worth the time and energy.
About the Author
Megan Zechman is a veteran homeschool mom of two girls. Over at Education Possible, she shares creative, hands-on learning activities for middle school.