Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Our Family Time Was Missing

I have found a new love... reading together as a family! Sure we read stories to our kids all the time, but this, this is somehow different.

Our family time used to consist of watching a movie together. That's just who we were/are. We are movie people. I always felt bad doing it, I didn't want to be that family that sat in front of the television to enjoy time together, but we did. We played and horsed around and had fun with the kids too, but we liked movies.

As TV is ever more getting weened from this house (cable is gone, 90% of our movie collection is gone) we began to look at other things to occupy that before bedtime, settle down, quiet time. One night my husband picked up the book my oldest was reading, and started to read it to us. We sat quietly and listened, the TV in our minds watching the story of the characters unfold. It was entertaining and felt worthwhile. I didn't feel guilty about this entertainment. We laughed together, and saw each others laughter instead of staring at a bright screen. I watched the wonder in my child's eyes as my husband read. We would stop to talk about the yummy taste of maple syrup, how cold the winters must have been, and what it must have been like to play with a pigs bladder instead of barbies. This was what we had been missing!

We are now over half way through our "Little House in the Big Woods" adventure, and "Little House on the Prairie" is on it's way for when we're done. I can't wait to find other books to share together, and I hope this becomes something our children always remember and will carry on with their families when they have them. I know I'll always remember this.


  1. Same here we were the movie family but we too have more reading time family together time :-) Love that you are doing it too, it`s such a blessing :-)

  2. Good for you - our family is blessed by books we read together - it really bonds us together. Bible reading is the highest priority, but with all the traveling we've been doing the past 8 months (over 12,000 miles for our ministry) we do lots of reading together in the car. We have 7 kids between ages 1-13 so there is a wide variety of levels, but even my hubby says the miles pass much faster when I'm reading to them.

    As your family grows (congrats on another one on the way!) you'll find that one-on-one time gets harder. I still have a different chapter book that I read with my older kids - right now, a missionary biography with my 13yo, a Patricia St. John with my 10yo, "Farmer Boy" with my 9yo, and "Misty of Chincoteague" with my 7yo.

    Although it takes a lot of time to do this individual reading, it's well worth the benefit to our relationship!!

    Way to go on reading with your family - thanks for this great post!

  3. Those family times are precious! We had a friend who did not allow her kids to watch t.v., although they were allowed to watch certain videos (educational and some entertainment as well). We had some friends who had no t.v. at all.

    We allowed our children to watch 30 minutes of t.v. every day when they were little, later extended to one hour so that they could watch things like "Little House on the Prairie."

    As they got older I have to admit that we allowed more t.v., however they never seemed to watch it very much, and they still don't.

    Story time was a special time, and I read to them during the day. At night (before Bible Time) their dad read things like "Charlotte's Web" or the "Little House on the Prairie" series.

    Thank you for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

  4. When my children were smaller we had afternoon tea and cookies and I would read to them, trying to select character building stories. We have always limited TV, but it is not an area my husband feels as convicted on as I do so I have learned to submit it to the Lord. My children still do not watch much TV, and instead choose to read. Now the computer is another struggle!

  5. I love the changes your family is going through. In our 25 years of marriage, we have rarely had our tv hooked up to stations or cable (less than a year, I think) and only allow movies on Fridays and Saturdays. It has always given our kids time to seek other creative and educational pursuits.

    As much as I love reading, I have to admit, I just don't like reading outloud! I have used books on tapes instead, and we have a lot of snuggle times where we each read our own books silently, in a bundle of pillows and blankets. The times I have forced myself to, the kids do remember with enthusiasm.

  6. We read together every day - me, 7yr old boy and two girls aged 13 and 15. We've read a variety of books, and right now we're on Book 3 of Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series. We all love it, though the 7yr old boy gets a bit 'eeeuuchy' if there's any romantic being read! But we love our read-aloud time. It's precious to me, and I hope the memory of it will be precious to them in years to come.
    Lovely post. Loving the blog!
    Love, Anne x