Monday, January 5, 2015

A renewed focus on Reading Aloud

I'm attempting to participate in the Virtual Curriculum Fair again this year, but am struggling to get words on the screen.  Funny, since this week is about Playing with Words.  This is hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds, and co-hosted this week by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses.

I had no idea what I was going to write about for the Playing with Words subject, as it seems like I'm doing pretty much the same thing as I did last year.  See my post on creating a high school English credit for those nuts and bolts.

But something that has been gnawing at me as of late is how I really need to get back to seriously reading aloud.  For all of the kids, not just the 8- and 10-year-olds.  My teens, by the way, are 14, 16 and 17.

So I'm heading into 2015 with the idea of being very intentional about read alouds again.  Like I used to be.  Maybe not getting back to the time when I was pretty consistent about reading aloud for at least two hours a day.  But I am getting back to reading aloud daily.  To everyone.

An old photo.  They don't fit on my lap anymore.


Oh, let me count the reasons.  Reading Aloud does amazing things for kids, and I think it does especially amazing things for kids who struggle at all with academics.  I once stated that Andrew Pudewa's Nurturing Competent Communicators talk was something I needed to listen to at least once every quarter.  I'm actually going to go scheduling that this year.

A couple of years ago, I started posting every week about what I was reading aloud.  I had been using All About Reading with Trina (something I'd love to use with her still, but I just can't afford to!) and she was urging, as part of that program, that we do 20 minutes a day of reading aloud.  Her statement was that would be 10 hours a month (that would be if you read aloud every day, not just school days) or 120 hours a year.

I still have nine and a half years left with Trina...  which would be over 1100 hours of reading aloud I could still do with her, before she graduates.  In 20 minutes a day.

How huge could that be?

Even with the boys, I still have 900 hours for Richard, 540 for Thomas, 420 for William, and 180 hours for Connor.

Reading aloud helps get bigger ideas into their heads, better vocabulary, and grammatically complex sentences that go *into* their brains.  Reading aloud gives us a common frame of reference for talking about all kinds of things.  Reading aloud gives us the chance to explore what makes a hero, or what causes a good person to fall.

Plus it is just fun.

Realistically, I am not going to regularly read aloud on weekends.  But during the week, I want to be getting back to doing something more in the 45-60 minute range.  That would be more like 200 hours a year, which leads to even more staggering numbers.


That's the big question.

I am going to start off by getting more intentional about reading aloud the lit options for Richard and Trina's history.  Veritas Press New Testament, Greece and Rome.  So that means -
  • Black Ships Before Troy
  • Twice Freed
  • d'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths
  • A Triumph for Flavius
Which is roughly the first third of the course.  My statement to my teens was that I plan to be reading these aloud, and if we are reading titles they've never read, I will require their presence.  When reading titles they know (Black Ships, for one) they will be able to opt out.

I am also going to be grabbing titles that are more high school appropriate.  One source will be the College Bound Reading List that Lee Binz put together.  What I'll probably use most, though is the Reading List that IEW has created.  I don't know that they sell it, but it is frequently available as a free item, so watch for it.

Bottom Line:

My kids are excited, I am excited, and we are going to work through some great (and not-so-great) literature this year, as a family.

To see what others are saying about Playing With Words, check out some of these blogs:

Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker
Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace
5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats
Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays
Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 � 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun
The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees
A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma
Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins


zekesmom10 said...

Every one of my yahoos love read aloud time. And when Dad reads, I enjoy listening, even when I've already read the book! I hope we never stop reading aloud to each other. Some day, when I'm old, I hope the boys will read to me!


Brittney said...

I've pulled out all of our winter themed books for January and February's read-aloud books. We have quite a diverse collection from picture books to poetry, to chapter books, to historical stories thankfully! That will BE our school for awhile after the baby is born, and I think that's a pretty good way to spend our time together each day!


I need to be more intentional about reading aloud too. Think of the other things we do in 20 minutes, I.e. Facebook, blog reading etc. I know the benefits but seem to let it "slip"...sigh! However, this is one of the Habits that I wish to re-learn this year. Thanks for the reminder 😊