Yes, my oldest is 13 and my younger is 11 1/2. Yes, they can read on their own. Oh yes, they read a lot! They love to read. They also love to listen. They love the luxury of listening to a story while drawing or crocheting or beading or... Of course they don't know it's a luxury. Not yet. They just know it's something we do. Something we have always done.
We read fiction and nonfiction. Sometimes we read hard books that they wouldn't read on their own. We often read our "school" books together. Sometimes we just read fun books that we enjoy. And so yes, occasionally I read books the kids could read on their own. But we enjoy the books together. We have a lot of private jokes that come from our stories. That wouldn't happen if we weren't reading together. Even if we all read the same book, but separately, it wouldn't be the same. And I would miss out. If I hadn't read the Swallows and Amazons books to my kids, I would never have known the Walker kids and Nancy Blackett. What a grim prospect.
No, I don't think I'm holding them back. Holding them back from what? How can hearing great writing hold anyone back?
Yes, it does take up a lot of my time. Of course I think it's worth my time! Why would I do it if I didn't?
I don't think my kids are embarrassed about it. I suppose my 13 year old doesn't tell the guys at Scouts about the great book his mom is reading to him. My kids know we do things differently from most other people. Do they mind? I don't know. It doesn't seem like it, because they are not asking me to stop. They are the ones asking me to read. They are the ones putting the book by my place at the table at breakfast time.
Yes, I will miss it when I have to stop doing it. I'll miss it a lot.