Read aloud times have become one of our favorite family activities. Before our boys drift to sleep, we treasure the time spent in a good story. These times have given our family shared experiences, shared laughs, and a shared language.
As our boys continue to grow, it is becoming more difficult to carve out time to read every evening before bed, but we still love the moments when it does happen. Hopefully we always do. Like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, I hope our boys never grow too old to hear a good story read aloud.
A few years ago, I came across a fantastic resource to keep track of the stories we have read together as a family. It is Douglas Kaine McKelvey and Jamin Still's, "Stories We Shared: A Family Book Journal". The journal is such a simple concept, but it works beautifully. Within the pages of the journal, there are places to keep track of each book you have read, quotes you want to remember, favorite characters, memorable moments and so much more.
Filling out the journal has become a favorite part of the read aloud experience. As soon as we finish the final page of our latest story, the boys are asking us to grab the "book that we write in". We usually make them wait until the next day so that there is more time to savor the memories we have shared. Each boy gets a chance to rate the book we read and to tell us one of their favorite parts from the story. We write all of these things down so that we don't forget.
One day, the boys will out grow their bunk beds. Schedules will change and read aloud time will inevitably stop. When that day comes, we will still have the stories we shared, and a place to retrace our steps through them. If you are looking for a resource to help you remember the stories you are sharing with your kids, grab your copy of "Stories We Shared" and let the journey begin!
Here are a few pages from our journal.
Map out a sky full of bright story constellations together. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the stories. Enjoy the hours spent together.
-Douglas Kaine McKelvey
Looking to add "Stories We Shared" to your bookshelf?