Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Activity: Reading Aloud

    Supplies

  • None
  • Prep Time

  • N/A
  • Difficulty

  • • •
  • Cost

  • N/A
  • For Ages

  • All
  • Activity Types

    Linked Activities

    • None

    Files

    • None

    Linked Recipes

    • None

    Linked Prayers

    • None

    Feasts

    • None

    Seasons

Maria Trapp emphasizes the importance of reading good literature aloud in the family from the children's earliest days.

DIRECTIONS

One of our favorite evening pastimes has always been reading aloud. In the old country, when I could do it in German, I would read what amounted eventually to a small library, while the family would be knitting, darning, or whittling. Among the books were historical novels, which led quite naturally into talking and discussing the period of that time; short stories; and one or the other of the great novels of world literature. Stevenson's Treasure Island, Kipling's Kim and, of course, his Mowgli Stories delighted the younger listeners. Such readings would go on over several weeks; we would hurry from supper into the library and settle around the fireplace for a few hours' intense enjoyment of one of the world's literary masterpieces. (In this way a great many Christmas gifts got finished, too.)

Then we discovered the great pleasure of reading plays together, each one reading a part aloud. Some of Shakespeare's tragedies and comedies should be read this way in every home.

If the children are led by stages from the fairy-tale age to Winnie the Pooh, Little Women, Oliver Twist — to mention but a few of the childhood classics — they will come to demand another such session every winter. In later years they will refer to those times as "the winter we were reading Great Expectations" or "that winter when we were plowing through War and Peace."

Quite apart from acquainting us with the best works of the world's great writers, it cannot be stressed enough that reading as a group is altogether different from reading for oneself. Family reading provides another valuable thing in great danger of dropping out of our lives — the ability to form an opinion and state it — which is the very essence of group discussion. As the children grow up, the books will change in character. There will be biographies of saints, books on the spiritual life, and books of philosophical character. The discussions that grow quite naturally from our readings may later be long to our children's most cherished memories.

Activity Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Making Moral Progress? July 3
Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision July 2
Political battles vs. sacrificial service: The Brooks paradox revisited July 2
A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15