Nearly every night we have family devotions and then pray together. We read a portion of the Bible and then the kids all get a chance to tell us what they heard/learned. As the youngest, Lily gets to start. Tobi has the hardest job because David has quite the audio-memory and often says most every possible thing. It's good for Tobi to have a challenge. Then Bayo shares some thoughts with the kids. Recently we have read Acts, Esther, & Ruth. We just started Genesis. I enjoy seeing how all of the stories fit together chronologically.
After our devotions, if it's not too late, I read a couple of chapters from a book. Currently, we are really into the Ralph Moody autobiographies/memoirs. They are such good books that I'm wondering why I've never heard of them before!! They remind me a bit of the Little House on the Prairie books--telling stories of the way life was in the western U.S. 100 years ago. If you have boys in your family, these books are definitely the way to go. Ralph is about 8-9 years old in the first book. The Moody family perserveres in the midst of hardship, and above all, the children develop their character and their work ethic. We as a family have been inspired by the ingenuity of the Moody family and their ability to face their situation in life head-on.
We're on the second book now, but I caught Tobi reading the last few pages yesterday. (I might have to lock it up!) But I guess he comes by it naturally: I've already skimmed all of the second book and most of the third book. In fact, I had to get on Amazon early this morning and look at the remaining books in the series (there are 8).
The books do have some swearing--of the cowboy variety. Since we're doing the books as read-alouds, I'm able to make proper substitutions.
In this era of constant videos and TV, I think it's good for children to be able to sit and absorb a story purely from words without having to depend on a visual.
I read once that when you're choosing a family read-aloud, choose a book that is at the interest level of your oldest child--the younger children will pick up what they can. I have definitely found that to be true. These books are at Tobi's level or above, but David still understands about 95% of the story line, and Lily about 50%.
I'm looking forward to the chapters we'll read tonight. I'm sure we won't be disappointed.