Great question, Rachel! I don’t know of any hard and fast rule, but personally I tend to look at a couple of things:
Is there information in the book that is important to know for general education purposes? For example, is the book about a significant event in history or a particular philosophy or something like that. If so, I would lean more toward requiring narration.
Is this more of a great story that doesn’t really focus on a particular event or philosophy? If so, I tend to lean more toward just enjoying it together without requiring narration.
As far as whether to read it aloud for all the family or just assign it for independent reading, I judge whether the content would be appropriate and enjoyable to all the age levels who would be listening to the read aloud. If so, we share it all together; if it’s more geared toward the older children, I assign it to them for independent work.
That’s the thought process I go through. I’m eager to hear how others make this decision too!
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