Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Benefits of Mother Reading Aloud to Her Older Children

"My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck."
~ Proverbs 1:8-9

As mothers, we feel like we are always teaching, preaching and lecturing (and rightly so!). However, I wanted to share a more peaceful and enjoyable approach to instilling values into our children. What I have found to be very beneficial, is saving some of my "little sermons" for our special reading time together.  For once you enter that world of literature, much instruction from mother can take place in a natural and non-invasive way. The bonus is all those wonderful memories being shared together with wonderful books which also imparts a broader knowledge of vocabulary, history and human nature. And please don't forget that a cup of tea always nurtures a cozy and peaceful atmosphere which sets the stage lovingly.

Radient Morning by Lisa Auger

I am not merely speaking of children who can not read but more specifically, those that do. Older children have a lot of physical, emotional and spiritual needs which reading time with mother can help to nurture.  Reading a variety of literature, inspirational and instructional books help to place experiences and ideas in front of our children prior to them experiencing them in the "real world". This is so helpful because we can not follow our children around all through their life (though some may want to!). They are eventually going to be unleashed and left alone in this wicked world. We may wonder if we taught them enough? Are they prepared for what is ahead or what situations may lie in their paths? This is where the beautiful bonding of reading together comes in!

Through the pages of noble books, we are placing thousands of different scenarios in front of our dear children and, we are available at that moment to offer gentle instruction in a "should this happen to you, sort of way". We are placing a scene detailing the importance of honesty, purity, mercy or perhaps even safety before them! We are watching a character from a book being introduced into a potentially harmful situation. Or, perhaps the girl in the novel is facing a spiritual dilemma. Now, at that point, we can discuss the appropriate way to handle the obstacles that are placed before the main character in the book. What does Scripture teach about this certain situation?  This would be applicable for all ages and reading, whether it be picture books, chapter books, classics or instructional books. We have the perfect opportunity to share the wisdom of God to our children through carefully chosen literature.

Reading by James Shannon

For example, in the book, Dear Princess: A Book for Girls by Mary M. Landis, the author places some girls in a situation where they are alone, walking on a country road when a car of strange boys drive by and start to interact with them. There are many safety lessons at that point that can be discussed with your daughters. What would they have done in a similar situation? What would you suggest is a good approach to their predicament? You are able to place the seed of safety into your young maiden's heart prior to experiencing something on her own. She is that much more prepared and wise for the outside world.

When reading Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale, the "Dreams" chapter beckons us to ask our daughter's to share their dreams. Have they changed since she last spoke of them?  Are they godly goals? If so, what preparations can be made in order to facilitate them? If they are lacking in noble direction, your motherly instruction described in Proverbs would be in order.

Another example would be, when reading something as pleasurable as Anne of Green Gables together, we can stop at the chapter when Anne loses her temper and hits Gilbert over the head with her slate. We can ask our daughter casually, "what would you have done?" We can talk together about a more "fitting" way to have handled that test of patience and we can laugh about how we may have wanted to handle it like Anne!

A Story Read by James Tissot

Reading together gives you the opportunity to see how your children react to certain circumstances. It is the perfect time to talk about situations hypothetically instead of waiting for something to happen in "real life" when you may not be available to help them. Discuss different scenarios with them so that if they ever experience it in "real life" they have your loving insight to fall back on should the need ever arise.

As I don't have a son, my examples are geared toward young ladies. However, it is worthy to mention that the same concept applies to your young men. Books can foster the development of character of a true, godly, courageous, noble gentleman who will one day lead a home of his own in honor to God.

Mother and Daughter by George Goodwin Kilburne

"My son, keep your father’s command,
And do not forsake the law of your mother.
Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
When you roam, they will lead you;
When you sleep, they will keep you;
And when you awake, they will speak with you."
~ Proverbs 6:20 - 22

Dear mothers, this message of "teaching" is written TWICE in Proverbs which only stresses the importance of passing knowledge down to your children. What better way than by your example, the influence of good and proper books and the Scriptures to guide you through life's lessons. It prompts the question in your child's mind, "What would Jesus do?" and by God's grace and your diligent instruction, the Holy Spirit will strengthen them to do it!

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising Homemakers, The Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up, Five Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). This article has been slightly adapted from our original article here.

Greetings, dear ladies! For the new few months, I will be sharing a few pre-scheduled posts (and round-ups) as I prepare for and enjoy a wonderful extended visit with out-of-town family. With that being said, I will not be able to do much online "visiting" and commenting but would still love to hear from you in the comments should you desire to share. Thank you for understanding and have a lovely week!
Love, JES


  1. This is an excellent post, JES. The books we read to our children make a huge impression on them. And I've never known a child that didn't want to have a story read to them.
    I hope you're having a lovely visit. :)

  2. Love your post and your pictures. We are still reading aloud as a family with teen and young adult children and much discussion is generated as a result. It is a lovely way to wrap up the day as well.

  3. One of my favorite family time traditions is our read alouds... my daughter will be twenty one soon... and we still read together. My husband, myself and her... enjoy it greatly.

    Great post JES

  4. Reading with and to children is so important! Very nice post ♥

  5. I remember reading to my son and he had his favorites and sometimes I got tired of reading the same ones all the time but I did it anyway. He is 39 years old and still loves to read to this day.

    Jes, I do have a question for you that is not related to this post but has to do with the lotion bars in in the 100+ DIY Projects to Make With Fruit Scraps. I am using orange peals to make the lotion bars but was wondering if you had ever added a little bit of ginger to the oil with the orange peals and if so how did it work? Bath and Body Works has a lotion that has this combination and I love the smell. I have already infused my oil for this batch of lotion bars but was thinking of making another batch using ginger too. What do you think?
    Paula in Kansas

    1. That should work just fine and is a great idea! I too have recently come across that scent combination and have been experimenting with some additional recipes for the ebook! According to Dr. Mercola, ginger oil "helps relieve backache, arthritis, muscle pain, rheumatism, and fractures, as well as stimulate your circulatory system and revitalize your libido." Just add a bit in with the peels as it is strong. For quicker results in preparing the oil, see the shortcut version in our post here:

      Hope this helps! Well, I am off to do some prepping for my guests! :)

  6. I love this post!!! I love reading aloud and plan to do it with my son for ages (he's only 1 now). My mom read to us a ton as kids and it has a huge impact on me :)

  7. "...You may have tangible wealth untold
    Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold
    Richer than I you can never be
    I had a mother who read to me."
    ~Strickland Gillilan

    We had this quote on our refrigerator all the years our girls were growing up. The rest of the poem is about a grateful son whose mother read to him.

    Children who are read to are smarter and better readers, aren't they? I was a firstborn of four and never read to; my husband was a middle child and never read to; so it was a high priority when we reared our own children that they be read to daily, and often many times daily. We began reading to our firstborn at three months of age, so of course when our second child came along, she was read to since birth. What memories we cherish of reading to them.

    I read to them book after book while Daddy drove the car on road trips. "OK, Mama needs a voice-break."

    "No, Mama! Please don't stop there! Drink some water, Mama!" Haha! Precious memories.

    Loved this post.


  8. Nice post, it's very important, indeed. It makes us closer to each other, it is one of the things that makes us a family, not just people living together.
    Thank you.

  9. You are so right, we can extend our moments of teaching while reading, and then interacting with our children. Reading time has always been a blessed time in our family too. Now that our kids are grown, I don't get to do it much anywhere, but it is fun if I find something to share and get to read it to them, always a blessing. May the Lord continue to bless all you do for Him and your family :)

  10. This is SO true, JES. It really resonated with me, as we practice this often in our home. We do not have a daughter, we only have a son, and I can tell you, that this surely applies to either gender. He loves for me to read to does my husband. We read a variety of books aloud together...his curriculum literature books, books about missionaries that he admires, etc., and we have recently started reading Tim Tebow's latest book together. Our reading aloud times are sweet and precious times of family togetherness for the three of us, and I cherish those moments so much!

  11. There really are many teachable moments in reading. I can tell that my older children are still hungry to be read to, even though they are voracious readers themselves. I should make an effort to read more chapter books aloud at our reading times. Excellent points!

  12. I'm so grateful to you, cherished JES, as a blogfriend, as a woman admiring and esteeming you so much, as an educator, blessed be !
    So many things belonging to passed times are lost and should be regained, since are so important for children moral and formal education.

    Hope you're having the best of weeks,
    I'm sending blessings of joy on your Thanksgiving Day ahead,
    with utmost gratitude

    XX Dany

  13. My dear Jes,a long time, I didn't read your posts, but I have missed them! I'm back....Love, Carolien from the Netherlands


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