I love reading books to the kids. When they ask me to play, I usually interpret that to mean "read a book out loud to me." It's easy, of course, to find time to read to Dorothy and Cooper. Bedtime for sure, and we used to do nap time. Now that they don''t take a nap (you guuuuuys! we had 2 beautiful years of simul-naps and now NO NAPS AT ALL and it's so haaaaaard), I have to try harder to squeeze in a second or third story time. In the bath, sometimes, and sometimes when I don't want to play a game. (I totally suck at joining my kids in their pretend play, BTW).
But the boys! It's really hard to find time to read to them, especially when they read to themselves. I don't want to supplant independent reading time. Right after school is no good because Dorothy and Cooper are so glad to see the big boys that I can't interrupt that playtime. And Dorothy and Cooper are not quite ready for the same books Harry and Jack are, although Jack and Cooper are big Roald Dahl fans, and Harry isn't really anymore. My point is that all-kid story time doesn't quite work for us.
After I read Better Than Before, I realized one of the habits I really want to solidify is reading aloud to the big kids consistently. (I mean duh, consistency is implied in a habit, I guess).
Jack and I read All of the Kind Family pretty efficiently in a couple of weeks of evenings, and the three of us have just started reading Auggie and Me and we have the newest Lisa Graff on tap next. But there just doesn't seem to be a great time of day to make it happen. Mornings are a bit rushed. Afternoons are for siblings. Sports in the early evening and the mess of dinner and cleaning up dinner and packing lunches. So, we read right before bed. But I'm tired. And they're tired. And they stay up too late and sleep in the next days and we rush even more and then bam! I am exercising from 8:45-10:00 and just now blogging. Slippery slope. I live on the precipice.
We read about 20-25 pages a night, which means it will take us 12-14 days to finish Auggie and Me, which is due back to the library way before that because it took us so long to be ready to start it. My plan is to have a read-in on Saturday night where we make a pillow fort and wear pajamas and have snacks and try to knock out 100 or so pages. This is OK for a special occasion but not a sustainable model.
So, I ask you: How do you make time to read aloud to older kids?