We have read aloud to our kids for years and years. When our older childen were little, they would get read to by me or Ray (through Bible, unit studies, devotions, and story time) three to five hours every day. Now neither of us has time to read aloud that much with the kids (and I admit I use talking books to substitute for me quite often!), but we still enjoy reading to and with the kids every day.
You have heard it all before–if you want to raise readers, you have to read to them. Children who are read to daily are x times more likely to become readers themselves, etc. etc. Guilt trip aside, we have found that reading has built a strong educational foundation–and tied heart strings at the same time. We have so many memories of “Jack, Max, and Axle at the Acme Painting Company” and “Morris learning to count,” as well as inspiring devotional materials and awesome creation science books. And, yes, we have raised several readers. Even the ones who do not read lengthy pieces of literature love to read the Bible and inspirational materials. And we all still love gathering with a stack of Christmas books in December for long evenings of reading aloud.
Again, think baby steps. Just read from a Christian adventure chapter book every night towards the end of dinner. Or read two stories to the littles before naptime. Or stick a book of short stories in the van and read aloud while Dad drives. You don’t have to read three to five hours a day. And you don’t have to read certain books. Just enjoy reading and learning together.