Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Literature lessons

I am trying something new this year with the children. I have been concerned with the children's lack of quality books choices for reading on their own time and decided it was time to intervene a little to try to encourage a wider range of reading materials.  I read a lot of books to the children on things relating to our school work but I wanted the kids to be more willing to read quality books on their own time not just in our "school day."   Firedrake is a ferocious reader but only for fantasy books, while MarioFan will read the same books over and over again even though he reads well above grade level.  Over the years I have found or purchased many books that I think the children should read.  I have tried putting the books on their book shelves hoping the kids would pick the book up on their never happened:( I have suggested books for the kids to read when they are searching for a book to read but my suggestions go unheeded:(. What is that saying you can show a horse water but you can't make them drink, that is sort of how I have been feeling about this area.   So I had to get more structured in my approach and the kids just completed their first assigned book of the school year.  The kids manage to read the book in about a week and then spent about a week or so completing the lap book that aligns with the book.  Eventually I hope to get them to write book reports but we aren't there yet.

Firedrake read the book on her own (she doesn't like to be read too any more:) I had her read approximately 3 chapters per day.  Then I had her verbally answer some questions about each chapter.  If she didn't know the answer she had to find it.  Most of the time she knew the answers without difficulty.

Next I had her work on a Lapbook that I purchased from curriclick .  I cut out all the mini books and she completed the books.  

Her finished project and tonight she will show it to Daddy and tell him all about the book she read.  She has already pick the next book to read (I gave her a choice of three different books) "My Side of the Mountain"

MarioFan read This book.  We started off reading the book together about 3 chapters a day.  However soon he grabbed the book on his own and completed by himself.  MarioFan was able to discuss the book in detail with me.  As a family we sat down and watch the movie once the book was done and then MarioFan and I did a comparison of the book versus the movie.

I found several free lap books on the web and used various sections from each one and complied our own lap book.  I did cut out all the mini books ahead of time for him.

His completed lap book that he plans on showing Daddy when he gets home tonight.  I have already picked Dr. Dollittle for the next book for us to read together or maybe he will decide to read it on his own which would be even better.

All and all I thought this experience went well.  It was a bit of a challenge for me to keep up with the reading of both books.   I needed to do this so I was prepared to ask the kids questions about the books they were reading:)!  I am hoping we can move on to the kids actually writing a book report, but the kids aren't interested in writing anything longer than a sentence, so this is why we are doing the lap book thing.  I am hoping we can move along from here after a few more books:)


  1. What fun books they got to read. We have read them both. My daughter doesn't like me to read to either and reads much faster than me. I have given up on reading all the books she reads long ago. Instead I fill her shelves with books recommended by other homeschooling curriculums.

    My kids didn't want to write either...... until I told them they had to write for 1/2 hour per day, but could choose to write about anything they wanted. Today my son wrote 3 poems. I was so surprised.

  2. I think reading books is such an important element of education. I like your plan. I love to read myself and I feel sad when I learn tat some of my grandchildren aren't excited about reading books. Life is so enriched by good literature. You are such an awesome homeschooler.

  3. I usually have my kids read (or be read to) one "literary" book at all times. I take their tastes in to consideration, but unless they absolutely hate a book, I don't have them choose the book (partly because I used to read only one book for Primo, Secunda, and Tertia and they never would have agreed on a book). Right now, Noctis is using Oak Meadow curriculum, which has pre-selected books. He has liked most of their books, though hated The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy last year. I try to read ahead of my kids also, not just so I can check for comprehension, but also because I want a head's up about any potentially upsetting material. By the time Primo entered high school, he, Secunda, and Tertia were all reading different books, since I was using packaged curriculum. I had a hard time keeping up with all three books and the one and only book that I did not read ahead of time was, according to Primo, "the most depressing book ever written". It really left him feeling depressed for quite some time and I felt horrible that I had him read it.