10 Tips to Lower Read-Aloud Frustration

Use these strategies to revamp your family's read-aloud time.

By Amy Mascott
Nov 03, 2017




Nov 03, 2017

Editor's note: This post was originally published on September 5, 2016. 

For many families, read-alouds aren’t the relaxing, calm, wind-down activity that they're supposed to be. And for many families, reading-aloud together is frustrating, anxiety-producing, and stressful.

For whatever reason that your family’s read-alouds need a revamp, here are ten ways to lower read-aloud frustration.

(BTW, these ideas are in no particular order. Choose one and try it if it sounds like a good fit!)

  1. You take the reading lead. Really, it’s okay if the parent reads and the child listens!
  2. Let your child choose the book. Kids want to read books that they choose.
  3. Read funny books. Kids also want books that make them laugh, and laughing will lighten the atmosphere for sure!
  4. Make reading together a habit. When kids know that a certain time of the day is ‘reading time’ there’s often less pushback.
  5. Get the whole family involved. Everyone reads. Everyone. Reads. Less stress if everyone is doing the same thing at the same time.
  6. If the child is game, agree on a SOS signal. Make the SOS (Save Our Ship) signal a hand wave, a snap, a clap, or a thumb’s up. That way, when the child comes across a word he does not know, he flashes the signal, and the parent can dive in to help.
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Small errors? Let them go. Unless they’re meaning-changing, they can be skipped. No need to stress.
  8. Keep it light. Funny books, light text books, comic books. It doesn't matter what you're reading to your kids, or what your kids are reading to you -- as long as no one's taking anything too seriously.  
  9. Listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks can do wonders for struggling readers. They can also do so much more. In fact, I'm such a HUGE fan, I wrote a post about them: 5 Reasons to Listen to Audiobooks NOW!
  10. Have fun! This one speak for itself. But ... if you find that frustration creeping back in, take a deep breath. Restart. Remember just one of these tips, and you'll be fine

What would you add to this list? What has worked in your family to lower read-aloud stress? Share your ideas on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, and let’s continue the conversation!

Read all posts by Amy Mascott.

Featured Photo Credit: vectorfusionart/Fotolia

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