Books & Reading

Sunday Occupations: Pre-reading My Children’s Books

Sunday is not just another day. It is a cherished day of rest, no hustle and bustle allowed. One thing I try to do on Sunday is pre-read my kids’ books for the coming week. I have three kids, so this can be quite a list. I simplify it by excluding any book I am reading aloud, and excluding most of the books I’ve read before.

From my Bullet Journal


AMAP means as many as possible. I didn’t expect to read the last three, from year 7, but I listed them anyway. (Oh, and as you can see from my little cloud, it is overcast and drizzly today, a perfect day for reading.)

The first chunk (six books: TCOO is This Country of Ours, C Geog is A Child’s Geography by Hillyer) are from year 5, the middle set of two (CNF is Children of the New Forest) are from year 3 (to save my throat DS8 uses audio books for these). As I pre-read I keep an eye on story lines, anything that I might want to discuss, difficult vocabulary (meaning or pronunciation) and places to find on the map before the reading.

"fidelity" and "grotesque"
“fidelity” and “grotesque”

The last two are physically noted in pencil in the book. I learned this trick on the AO Forums, and it is beautiful in its simplicity. For the 6th chapter of Beatrix Potter by Margaret Lane, I’ve noted fidelity and grotesque (the last mainly for pronunciation). I don’t like to write more than three things here, I cringe at four and I almost never write five. These are words that, in addition to being potentially more difficult to pronounce, are both important to understanding the text and may not be easily guessed from context.

Once in a while I will notate important people in the story. For example in an early chapter of This Country of Ours I noted the three monarchs (England, Spain and Portugal I believe) because I wanted to alert my son to their respective names and domains before he listened to the chapter.

So, with an hour or so of pleasurable reading, I am prepared for hearing narrations from my younger boys and possibly having a ‘grand conversation’ with them. In addition, I only need to read one section a day for my older son. (I write a short summary for these, so that I will be even more prepared as my younger children grow into these years).

6 thoughts on “Sunday Occupations: Pre-reading My Children’s Books

  1. I do the same thing–pre-reading on Sundays! When I finish, I feel like I’m ready to start the week, and I got some relaxing reading time in too. Win-win. 🙂

  2. I love this! Won’t be able to do it on the Lord’s Day, but I’ve known this is something I need to improve upon. And I only have one year to read. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. I have always done this too! Great idea to take notes. I should have done that more often. You do forget things over the years so I’ve reread books – sometimes more than once. If I didn’t do this how could I have conversations? Recognize misunderstandings? Or even set a good example?

  4. I love this concept. Now to figure out how to stay ahead of 6 kiddos. Giggle. I may need more than a Sunday afternoon.

    Your notebook made me smile. Love the cloud.

    1. It took me a while to get to this point. About 2 years? But the number of books I haven’t read is decreasing, soon I’ll mainly need to keep up with the eldest. And the chapters in most of the books, other than the Potter book, are generally short.

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