Sunday, December 22, 2013

On reading aloud and learning to read

I've always loved reading aloud to my kids. Heck, I think I loved reading aloud even before I had kids. Must be the theatrical side of me. (My mom always was an animated reader and I think her school children love that most about her!)

A book really comes to life with a voice, and for little ones, gives a glimpse into the mind of a reader. A quick google search can give you all the reasons in the world to read aloud to your kids and the research to back up its importance. 

But here's our story... I read an article written by an experienced classical homeschooling mother, and among many amazing things she claimed to do with her children, one of them was read aloud for two hours a day. What?! Two hours? I started adding up the minutes and quickly saw that the time I was reading aloud did not even come close. 

Shortly after, I was encouraged by two local moms to read aloud and not to shy away from big books. (Our first attempt at the Narnia series last year fell flat).

Encouraged by the success and experience of these crazed reading aloud moms, I tried reading novels again, and wouldn't you know… we were off! Peter Pan was our first chapter book, and with a few pictures sprinkled here and there, it was a great way to start. After each chapter we talked about what happened, what might happen next, and then spent some time dreaming our own ideas of what Neverland might be like.

Our second book was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from the Narnia series, followed by Prince Caspian. Grace Louise's older homeschool friends incorporate characters and ideas from these books in their imaginative play all the time. Oh, her bliss to now be in the loop! 

I set a goal to read aloud two hours a day, from children's books, novels, and the Bible, and honestly, it is a discipline! Not always coming easy!

Recently, Grace Louise started her own journey with books! Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons has been a great guide for us! At Lesson 14 she is an expert with her sounds and has just started reading a few words- sat, see, eat, etc. I love knowing I will have a reader in 2014 and am excited for her to start exploring the world through books!

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