Be honest. Reading aloud is something we think most teen boys are NOT going to enjoy.
I'm here to tell you they ARE and that it is IMPORTANT to continue to read aloud to our boys as they enter their teen years.
Especially if you homeschool, I don't want you to miss tending to your teen's heart - and reading aloud is the perfect way to make connections, spark conversation, and simply spend time together.
Reading aloud is also one of many ways I'm fighting for my son's heart - and it's turning out to be such a blessing.
I'm sure you've had that magical read-aloud moment, haven't you? The one when a fabulous connection is made, or when everyone is laughing out loud and you look around and realize how wonderful this time you are sharing together is.
Those moments matter. They seem to matter MORE as our children age, because we realize they are precious few.
Read-aloud to your teen boys. You won't be sorry you did!
How to Encourage Reading Aloud
I've had to be intentional about reading aloud. From carving out the time to researching and choosing engaging books, it's been an investment well worth making.
- Set a time each day to read aloud. We read aloud each morning during breakfast. It's a way to ease into the day - the house is quiet and there is something conducive about early morning and reading.
- Make reading aloud a team effort. My son and I take turns reading aloud. He's a bit of a goof (as am I!) and we love reading books where we can use our best voices and ham it up. When my son reads aloud it is also a good chance for me to train him in his speaking habits. (If you have younger children in the house perhaps your teen can read aloud to them.)
- Give your teen a choice of books and play to their interests. I have a few stacks of books (that I have already researched) and allow my son to choose which books we will read. I've included books that I know will interest him - based on his current obsession. Ownership is huge at this age! Don't be afraid to include some "meaty" books, too - we tackled The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn last year and my guy loved it! Include biographies, fiction and nonfiction, and other genres, too.
- It's all about the food. Yes, I know, this is bribery. But it works. Food is my son's love language, so if there is a steady supply of food the read-aloud time goes well. I have lots of different breakfast foods on hand - when the kids were younger I always had some fun snack that was just for read-aloud time.
- Model reading. You know I'm a HUGE reader, as is my husband. Reading is a lifestyle, so it isn't anything out of the ordinary to sit down and read a book together.
Included below are many of the books that have been a HIT in our house, including some that are in the TBR (to be read) stack as well. There are probably a bazillion more titles that would captivate your teen boy; these are just a few to get you started.
I hope you find some books that bless your time with your teenage son.
I'm cheering you on!
Oh -- and here's my teen boy in case you were wondering. He's now 6'2" and eats like a horse (sometimes we read aloud with donuts!).