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How do you read to the children? (when there are 3)


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I have all these great books I want to read to my children. However, I am faced with them going every which direction. It definitely does not work to read to them at bedtime as it turns in to a huge fight as to who gets to sit right next to me. Due to my injurying my shoulder a while back, having a child leaning on that shoulder for more than a few seconds really hurts. So I cannot just sit on the couch and have one child on each side and then the third wherever. Even if I could have a child pressing against that shoulder (because I have tried it where I just taken ibuprofen and then work through the pain) the third child gets so worked up and upset, the fights don't end.

I am thinking sitting at the table and giving them paper to doodle on might be a good idea. But am wondering what everyone else does. I would love more ideas. Thank you.

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We have two chapter books going at a time--one I read to the kids while they are doing handwriting practice on school days, and the other is an audiobook that we listen to in the car.  Even taking the book in in 10-15 minute chunks while going on short trips is fun for them, and I have been surprised at how quickly we actually work through books that way. It's nice to be able to work through two books at once. I choose super high interest books for when I read in person and have been doing classics in the car.  My kids are younger and focus better on the classics when they are a captive audience.  Optimal attention span is tenish minutes.  I read until the attention begins to wander, then find a stopping place so it stays fun. We've done them in person, too, which is still worth it but this just works better for now.  Doing it this way we are able to work through 4-5 books per six weeks.

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I'm just getting to the topside of a shoulder injury. The table could work if that's your preference.

I'd sit in a chair that doesn't invite others to sit with me, or the step stool if nothing else. They can have the couch. 

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You might be surprised to have the children help you solve this? (You might not, I do understand, but - my kids have surprised me with their solutions more than once.)

Example: Hi, kids, I love reading to you, but we need to figure out the BEST way to make this happen for 10 (?) minutes a day without hurting my shoulder. Can you think of any ideas? 

(And reading together has been SO VERY WONDERFUL for my own over the years, that - yes, I'd bribe / reward them in the beginning for VERY SMALL wins, and then build up from there. My teens now LOVE for me to read to them, and beg for it, and make it work into their crazy schedules. We didn't start out that way, but - I'm so thankful. ❤️ )

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If you can sit on the floor, then you could do that with your back against a couch or bed. Then you have two spots beside you on the floor and two (or more) spots on the bed.  
 

or you could do the same idea with you in a recliner/upright chair with the kids on their own barstool peering from behind. 
 

or switch to audio books or non-picture books. 😛. I think some picture books are read aloud on YouTube or amazon premiere or books or Tumblebooks (we get access to this via our library). You could cast/project that onto a screen and all watch the “read aloud”. 

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10 minutes ago, domestic_engineer said:

If you can sit on the floor, then you could do that with your back against a couch or bed. Then you have two spots beside you on the floor and two (or more) spots on the bed.  

This is what I did when my kids were small.  It's one of my favorite memories with them.  ❤️

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I know some people like to read aloud during meal or snack times. Audio books or reading aloud while they draw or play with building toys also works. And of course audio books in the car can be a lifesaver.

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I sometimes can't sit because of physical issues so my three will sit on the top bunk and I'll stand and read to them. A couch would work too if you sat on a chair across from them. You can also print an icon on a piece of paper for them to stay in their spot on the floor, then the fight could be who gets to sit on what icon instead of who gets to lean all over mom.

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Here’s another idea assuming you’re reading picture books.  Take pictures of the pages and read from those. Give the book with the pictures for the kids to look at together and on the floor. 
 

BTW - I’ve done the doodle paper at the table and that works too. Not as cozy but peaceful. 

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I have four + two extra I’m homeschooling this year.  There’s not enough room on the couch for all of us!  We have 4-5 (short) read aloud sessions per day. For several, I sit in a chair and they sit on the floor or the sofa, as they prefer.  For many they are around a table or on the floor with clipboards drawing or playing with a fidget.  For at least one (sometimes more) they are sitting at the table having snack.

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My kids have colored, drawn, played with quiet toys, etc on the floor while I am on the couch reading. Or they are in the bed & I can be on the floor next to the bed.

I hope your shoulder heals completely.

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I read at breakfast and lunch. I do intermittent fasting and eat at 10 or 11 so I don't eat at those times.

I read again during tea. Kids on the couch, me in the swivel chair.

My 2nd reads children's books to my 3rd while I school my 1st.

We do Bible at bedtime but everyone follows along so their hands are full.

Audio books for about 30 minutes after lights out. The boys use a tablet, the girl has an Alexa.

 

 

I don't have an injury, just don't touch me. :ph34r:

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Always during meals and snacks; otherwise they are just too antsy and disruptive.

I read poetry and Spanish during morning snack, history during lunch, and a novel during afternoon snack and dinner.
We also have audiobook short stories and the like going in the car - well, not right now because the kids are rarely in the car.
Then DH and I read individually to anyone who wants us to at bedtime...often horrible twaddle like Plants vs. Zombies graphic novels. 🤢

All told, they typically listen to 1.5 to 2 hours of read alouds a day.

 

 

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On 10/11/2020 at 10:51 AM, Janeway said:

I have all these great books I want to read to my children. However, I am faced with them going every which direction. It definitely does not work to read to them at bedtime as it turns in to a huge fight as to who gets to sit right next to me. Due to my injurying my shoulder a while back, having a child leaning on that shoulder for more than a few seconds really hurts. So I cannot just sit on the couch and have one child on each side and then the third wherever. Even if I could have a child pressing against that shoulder (because I have tried it where I just taken ibuprofen and then work through the pain) the third child gets so worked up and upset, the fights don't end.

I am thinking sitting at the table and giving them paper to doodle on might be a good idea. But am wondering what everyone else does. I would love more ideas. Thank you.

I sit in a comfortable chair and they sit in various places - drawing, Legoes, whatever. 
 

In the good old days, lol, I had little carpet squares. However, I learned some of mine listen better with busy hands. 

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I do a variety. Some audio books in the car, some where I read in a desk chair while kids color (or not) at the coffee table, some in bedrooms rotating whose room. The child whose room it is gets to cuddle closest. If a specific child is the primary target, like when I bring a picture book in to make the lesson more accessable to the four year old, that child gets invited to cuddle close.

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I have never, ever given this much thought. I just...read. Whenever, wherever. Usually for us, that means on the couch. The kids squeeze in however they can. Sometimes it means a kid is sitting on the back of the couch. Sometimes the toddler is standing. Currently, our youngest isn't even a month (yet), and somehow we still RA. I've been doing a lot from the love seat in our bedroom, as that is where I do a lot of nursing. Yes, we've squeezed all 5 kids (NB in my lap, everybody else squashed in or on the arms) on the love seat. Often one will decide it's too squished after a while and move to our bed. 

In your case, I'd choose a chair where my shoulder would be fine and let everyone else be wherever. Reading at snacks/meals doesn't work here.

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When my older ones were still being homeschool Ed I would read at tea time. I am a very fast eater, so I would be able to get a chapter in while they were eating. 

 

Atm I am only homeschooling the twins. They have interlectual disabilities and are really struggling to learn to read, but are fascinated with books. 

I read to them during morning school work. They do narration on what I read.

They listen to 1 hour of libervox after lunch. All classics, this year  they have gone through all the Oz books, reassure Island, little bear, the secret garden, wind in the willows, mysterious island, and are currently listing to Dr Doolittle. 

I also read them a bedtime story, something with very short chapters, we have done several nate the greats, lots of those l can read books, the mouse and the motorcycle, current reading is snow treasure. 

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On 10/12/2020 at 11:41 PM, Melissa in Australia said:

When my older ones were still being homeschool Ed I would read at tea time. I am a very fast eater, so I would be able to get a chapter in while they were eating. 

 

Atm I am only homeschooling the twins. They have interlectual disabilities and are really struggling to learn to read, but are fascinated with books. 

I read to them during morning school work. They do narration on what I read.

They listen to 1 hour of libervox after lunch. All classics, this year  they have gone through all the Oz books, reassure Island, little bear, the secret garden, wind in the willows, mysterious island, and are currently listing to Dr Doolittle. 

I also read them a bedtime story, something with very short chapters, we have done several nate the greats, lots of those l can read books, the mouse and the motorcycle, current reading is snow treasure. 

My youngest absolutely loved the Oz series on Librivox.  Phil Chenevert (reader) was a huge celebrity at my house.  We sent him fan mail.  He wrote back.  Kid was so excited!  Thanks for reminding me of such a lovely Librivox memory!

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I used a lot of audiobooks in the car.  Read aloud while they were playing quietly with LEGO or kapla.  But mostly audiobooks because reading aloud makes my voice tired.  During meals or snacks did not work here - I need to eat too!  Can't chew and read at the same time, but sure can listen to someone else read an audiobook while we all eat together LOL

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For chapter books, I read at meal times (I either don't eat or eat before serving them) and again at bedtime with everyone in their separate beds and me on a stool in the hallway between their rooms. We used to do a ton of audiobooks in the car, but we don't do much driving around together anymore in this age of covid; however, I do often throw on an audiobook while everyone plays/works in the backyard.

My youngest gets his picture books read to him 1-on-1 by everyone. Each older sibling, DH, and I all take turns reading to him. It works out so that any one person only reads aloud every other to every third day or so, and the little guy gets 2-3 read-aloud sessions per day.

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