Tips For Keeping Kids Focused During Reading, You Need To Know

One of the biggest challenges we have had with kids is keeping them busy while you’re reading. We all know there is nothing more distracting while reading, but to have a kiddo wiggling all over the place, doing headstands on their chair, or talking. Over the years we have found out that it is the best way to keep kids hands busy while we are reading, so they can pay attention. While that can work most of the time, it doesn’t always work.

Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight

Will My Wiggly Kids Be Able To Sit Still For Read-Aloud’s?

One of my concerns for the school year was how well my youngest 2 boys would do while using Sonlight since it has so much reading. Sonlight has both read aloud’s and silent reading every single day. There is lots of reading with Sonlight, but that is the reason I fell in love with this curriculum.

So far after about a month of using the program, it has worked wonderfully. We have not had any issues with the boys not wanting or able to sit still at all. I believe it has worked so well due to a few things I have done to be able to help them. Some days we use 1 of the resources below, another day we use a completely different one. I’m sure we will continue to do this for the rest of the school year.

Keeping Kids Focused During Sonlight Reading Time

Over the years we have found out what is the best way to keep their hands busy while we are reading so they can pay attention. Well, it works most of the time. Here are our favorite resources we have found work great for kids.

Have Them Get Their Energy Out. If there is anything I can say after raising 6 children it is that kids need opportunities to get their energy out. That means that before you even start your school day your kiddos need to run, jump, climb, and play. Getting their energy out before starting your day will be such a huge help for the rest of your day. I also make stops through out our school day and will have the kids do a few laps around the house or something else to have them get their energy out.  At lunch time I give the kids some extra time to get outside and play as well.

Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight

Coloring. Let them color a coloring page, regular coloring book, on paper, or in adult coloring books. We have many different places for the kids to be able to color. I often print off new pages or activities for the kids to color to keep things fun and new for them. Often times the kids will keep coloring pages long after I have finished reading.

Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight


Sonlight Reading Outside 2

Find somewhere else to read for the day. One of our best ideas lately has been to bring our read aloud outside. We don’t have warm weather for too long here in Michigan, so we like to take advantage of it when it is warm. The kids love to sit in our hammocks or swings and swing while I read our stories.

The other day one of the boys even decided to sit up in the tree while I read our stories. Some days we snuggle in my bed or on the couch and read stories. I guess that’s just one of the joys of homeschooling. It can take place where ever we want it too! The only rule is that they need to be able to answer the questions about the stories we were just reading. So I can make sure they are actually paying attention.

Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight


Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight

Play with thinking putty or play dough. Squishing play dough or thinking putty is another one of my boy’s favorite ways to keep busy during reading. We keep homemade play dough, slime, flubber, floam, and Thinking Putty that we have purchased. We have accumulated many different types of Thinking Putty over the years. Our favorites are magnetic, color changing, and clear.

Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight

Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight


Have a fidget basket. We keep a basket on the table full of different fidget items for the kids to use while I am reading. It is full of all different types of fidgets. There are fidgets for any type of mood, the kids have really loved this resource box. We added it to our school expense 1 school year, and add any new items we need to at the beginning of every school year.  In my opinion, this is just as important investment as curriculum each year. The kid’s favorite items in our fidget basket are


Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight

Notebooking. Having the kids do notebooking on the different books or subjects while teaching them. It is a great way for them to be listening extra carefully to the facts and information they want to remember to add in their notebooks. It is also a great way for us parents to be able to access how much they have picked up from your particular book, and of course is just a fun way to remember things learned through out the year.

Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight

There were times years back I would have wondered if the kids were still able to learn and retain what we were reading if they used these resources while we were reading. Years later now, I realize that they can listen and comprehend better using these resources.

Those are some of my best tips for keeping kids busy while reading Sonlight books or any other books for that matter. We have found most of these ideas after trial and error. What is your favorite or best thing to have your kids do while you are reading out loud to them?

Keeping Kids Focused During Reading Sonlight

Stop over and visit the Sonlight Pinterest Board homeschool help-Sonlight for other great homeschool tips and ideas for using Sonlight with multiple children!

Follow Sonlight’s board Homeschool Helps – Sonlight on Pinterest.



Disclaimer: We were provided with the Sonlight curriculum and in exchange, we are sharing our experience with the program. We were not required to write a positive review, nor were we compensated in any other way. All opinions are the honest opinions of myself or my children. THis post may also contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure policy for more information.



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