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How do you balance their need for independence with the need to be accurate?


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My dd (6) is highly independent. She reads very well and prefers to read books on her own. She makes big strides in short amounts of time. Initially, I wanted to keep her reading aloud to me because she had some slight speech slurs. She has almost entirely eliminated these and can now read aloud with a lovely articulate voice so I don't have that as a reason anymore. As soon as she finds out that we will reading a certain book, she picks it up and begins it on her own. If I read something aloud to her, she almost always runs off somewhere private and rereads it. It is almost as if she needs to read it herself to own it. Hmmm. Does that sound odd?

 

How do I balance her need to do something on her own with my need to help her develop accuracy? For example, she saw Favorite Greek Myths and Viking Tales out as two book we would be reading soon and she is nearly done with the first and has started the second. I've asked her to come to me for help with pronouncing words but for now have just let it be. What do you think?

She read The Door in the Wall on her own and I don't remember her asking me for very much help at all. She was done in just a couple of days. I don't mind with these types of books. They are just supplemental. But, I do worry about some of the more foundational books.

 

I always feel like I should ask more of her than I do. Will I ever figure this out?:confused::lol:

 

She and older dd enjoyed watching The Liberty's Kids series from Netflix. She surprised me (she does a lot of writing in private) with a 2 and 1/2 page narration of one of the stories from Liberty's Kids. Should I ask more from her or is this normal-just-because-I want-to- type work? Right now I am just beginning to teach her the basics of sentences and we are doing oral narrations.

 

Sorry, once I start writing about this I can't stop. What do you think? Should I continue to just let her be?

Edited by Kfamily
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I haven't posted here in forever, but I did want to address your some of your questions.

 

My children are now 13 (ds) and 15 (dd). Both were very young and very strong readers. Both have always been accelerated learners. Now that I've gotten many years under my belt regarding strong readers and strong students in general I'd like to share some of what I did.

 

First, your daughter is only 6yo, I would not under any circumstance "just let her be". Being 'independent' conjures up a strong willed child in my mind. Forgive me if I've overstepped. Having an independent young reader requires more of your attention on many fronts. She is still very young and needs to be under your direct supervision. It is going to be imperative in the coming years that she be able to receive instruction from you regarding what work you want her to do each day. If you train her now that it is ok that she does what she wants then when you hit the middle school and especially the high school years you will regret it. Working independently is a work in progress that takes years of discipline. My daughter is highly organized and requires little direct supervision from me. It took years of training her in time management and accountability to get to that stage. Now that she is in 9th grade my role is facilitator and not primarily instructor. My son is in 7th grade and still sits with me in pre-algebra and Latin classes. Otherwise, he, too, is working toward total independence.

 

How I handled this early on was to let them read any book they wanted but it didn't count toward school. Early on I did half day school four days a week except for my read aloud time which was every afternoon. When I gathered them for our afternoon reading time I would read aloud and that counted toward school. For years on end I would read no less than one and a half hours aloud a day...every day during the week. No exceptions. I am still reaping the benefits of those hours. I had a 'read pile' in the living room. It would be mostly history, then some poems, then literature, then anything else I saw that I wanted to share. In turn they each had a book that they read aloud as well. It did not count as school unless they were reading aloud to the rest of us during afternoon read time. It could be anything they were interested in and not necessarily related to what I was doing. It has only been this year that I've lost that window of reading aloud. High school certainly changes things. I regret we can't continue but will never regret the hours I spent reading to them. Yes, they both knew how to read, but reading aloud allowed me to stretch their minds by reading far beyond their scope.

 

If your daughter gets into the books you are reading then I would count this as a discipline problem. If you tell her what book you are reading from then her hands should be kept off of it. Period. Many times my kids were tempted due to their interest in the story, but they knew to keep their hands off and not read ahead. I actually read myself hoarse a number of times because we simply couldn't put the book down. Ah, those were the days.

 

As far as asking more of her it would be my observation that she needs to control what she does do. Again, forgive me if I'm overstepping. Having an avid reader is a good thing. Having a child who can't follow your instructions is something entirely different.

 

I hope my post is received in the instructional spirit in which it is intended.

Edited by Mary in Florida
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Thank you Mary!

 

I promise I'm not having discipline issues with her at all. She is very obedient. The books I mentioned were books that I never said she couldn't read. I had them laying around the school room (and we have a lot of books around:001_smile:)and she picked them up and started reading them. I think the problem is more with me. I set aside a plan for her and it may possibly not be enough.

 

However, I do take your words of wisdom to heart-especially about keeping the reading aloud alive. I agree this is very important. I also agree that keeping up with them is important so that sloppiness, poor habits, etc don't develop. When I asked if I should let her be, I didn't mean that we don't have very structured time together. I'm also spending a fair amount of time with her older sister. This means that there are times throughout our school day where she is finished and will read, write, draw, etc. during this time. I may just need to up my expectations of her again. I choose books to read aloud that often are books she can easily read herself. I'm mostly having trouble staying on top of such rapid changes.

 

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me.

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Well, now that we are on the same page, let me share some more thoughts.

 

Both of my children had what we called 'room time' for an hour a day. This was not school related. It was because I needed an hour of down time. They could be in their rooms and do whatever they wanted. This was the days before I-Pods and cell phones. At the time there were allowed no electronics unless it was a tape recorder to listen to books on tape. This one hour of time allowed them to pursue their interests without interruption. They colored, read, wrote stories, played with toys or whatever else they could think of. This caused them to focus on their interests. Along with our read aloud time this was probably the second best thing I ever did for them and myself.

 

I would also caution you about thinking you need to find stuff to do to keep your 6yo busy. You are not her entertainer. If you have a designated area in your home for bookshelves then put her in front of it and let her be. Don't spoon feed her. You can give her some tools (art stuff, drawing, etc.) but don't tell her exactly what to do, this is where her creative side will develop.

 

Also, here are a few books that have proved beneficial to me over the years:

 

The Harp and Laurel Wreath

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Aesop Fables

Children's Verse

Rosemary Sutcliffe

Marguerite something. something. ... ugh, what is her last name? She writes horse books

D'Alaire'ss (sp?) Greek Myths

 

I've just lost my block of computer time, but will try to come up with a more comprehensive book list for young, avid readers.

 

Glad I could help.

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My dd (6) is highly independent. She reads very well and prefers to read books on her own. She makes big strides in short amounts of time. Initially, I wanted to keep her reading aloud to me because she had some slight speech slurs. She has almost entirely eliminated these and can now read aloud with a lovely articulate voice so I don't have that as a reason anymore. As soon as she finds out that we will reading a certain book, she picks it up and begins it on her own. If I read something aloud to her, she almost always runs off somewhere private and rereads it. It is almost as if she needs to read it herself to own it. Hmmm. Does that sound odd?

 

How do I balance her need to do something on her own with my need to help her develop accuracy? For example, she saw Favorite Greek Myths and Viking Tales out as two book we would be reading soon and she is nearly done with the first and has started the second. I've asked her to come to me for help with pronouncing words but for now have just let it be. What do you think?

She read The Door in the Wall on her own and I don't remember her asking me for very much help at all. She was done in just a couple of days. I don't mind with these types of books. They are just supplemental. But, I do worry about some of the more foundational books.

 

I always feel like I should ask more of her than I do. Will I ever figure this out?:confused::lol:

 

She and older dd enjoyed watching The Liberty's Kids series from Netflix. She surprised me (she does a lot of writing in private) with a 2 and 1/2 page narration of one of the stories from Liberty's Kids. Should I ask more from her or is this normal-just-because-I want-to- type work? Right now I am just beginning to teach her the basics of sentences and we are doing oral narrations.

 

Sorry, once I start writing about this I can't stop. What do you think? Should I continue to just let her be?

 

She sounds kinda like my own dd. Once she caught on to reading, she was unstoppable. Still is. At this stage, as a 12yo, she reads as quickly as I do--which is really saying a lot, as I am a former editor and have a very, very fast reading speed. (Most of the editors I worked with do.)

 

My dd reads quickly and remembers an enormous amount of detail from what she reads. She does enjoy being read to as well, but almost always re-reads what I read aloud. She always has. In her case, she re-reads because she is savoring the story for herself again, enjoying the details. FWIW I do this myself--I re-read my favorite books over and over, just because I enjoy the story. Case in point: I end up re-reading LOTR virtually every year, not because I plan it that way, but because I get a taste for it and enjoy the story so much.

 

(Edited to add--to this day I do still read aloud to her every single day, because we both enjoy it.)

 

I continued to require my dd to read aloud to me until she was 8yo or so because she had a tendency to skip words due to her reading speed. This was something she and I talked specifically about and I did ask her to work on in a targeted way.

 

I also at one point insisted that "school" lit books be at least RE-read on my schedule so that we could have our lit discussions and learning that I wanted to accomplish from the book.

 

There have been two series of books that I insisted on reading aloud to her entirely, after which she was free to re-read as she saw fit. One was LOTR and the other was Harry Potter. My reasoning was that they both have more action and intensity than the other books she had read up to that point, and also in the case of HP I wanted to be able to specifically discuss issues philosophically as they arose. (There was such diversity of thought within the Christian community I felt it important for her to consider those different perspectives.) Because they have more action and more emotional intensity (characters dying, etc.), reading aloud slowed it down, gave her time to digest it.

 

Finally, at some point I realized that I would never, ever be able to pre-read all the books she was plowing through, so she and I made an agreement about what kinds of books she could read. She had to specifically agree to STOP reading any books that contained unnecessarily graphic violence or s@xual material or that were specifically anti-God. As an example, I asked her not to read the Eragon series, because I felt book 3 devolved into senselessly graphic violence.

 

My dd and I still talk periodically about our reading agreement--I like to check in with her about what she's reading, how it compares to our Christian beliefs, and is she self-monitoring violent or s@xual content. I've been pleased and proud of her choices in this area. Our chats are usually a lot of fun, talking eagerly about books she has read and plots and so forth. It does help that I genuinely enjoy juvenile literature and do read quite a bit of the books she reads.

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As soon as she finds out that we will reading a certain book, she picks it up and begins it on her own. If I read something aloud to her, she almost always runs off somewhere private and rereads it. It is almost as if she needs to read it herself to own it. Hmmm. Does that sound odd?

 

I don't comprehend anything read aloud to me. I have to see the printed word myself. She may be like that. I can't speak to whether it is odd or not. :D

 

As far as accuracy, I always read what dc are reading and discuss it with them. During the discussion, I will correct their pronunciation. I read very little out loud to them, but we always talk about what they read.

 

Many parents do make the mistake of not teaching reading out loud to their dc though, once they are reading on their own. I think it is still very important to have them reading out loud to you some portion of something every day when they are young and then every few days when they are older. Reading out loud is an important skill, and a person's intelligence will be judged by others by their ability or inability to do so. Please make sure that you have her reading to you something each day. It is a great way to assess their skills and needs.

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I have a daughter, similar in both age and ability, to the OP. She is a very good reader, but she HATES to read aloud. It is a fight every time. It is done begrudgingly and with much attitude. It's not that she cannot read aloud fluidly; she just won't.

 

Part of me understands this. I don't like to read aloud because my eyes read ahead and cause my mouth to mess up! :tongue_smilie: I get bored reading aloud because it is too slow. Or I don't pay attention to what I'm saying while I'm reading it and have to reread the passage to myself in order to know what it was about. Any and all of these may be her reasons.

 

However, I also feel strongly that having her read aloud to me is important, if for nothing else than to correct her pronuncation.

 

I would love a list of higher quality children's literature for ages 5ish-8ish. And I would LOVE some suggestions with my read aloud issues!! I hate that it turns the day upside down every day. :(

 

thanks!!

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I have a daughter, similar in both age and ability, to the OP. She is a very good reader, but she HATES to read aloud. It is a fight every time. It is done begrudgingly and with much attitude. It's not that she cannot read aloud fluidly; she just won't.

 

Part of me understands this. I don't like to read aloud because my eyes read ahead and cause my mouth to mess up! :tongue_smilie: I get bored reading aloud because it is too slow. Or I don't pay attention to what I'm saying while I'm reading it and have to reread the passage to myself in order to know what it was about. Any and all of these may be her reasons.

 

However, I also feel strongly that having her read aloud to me is important, if for nothing else than to correct her pronuncation.

 

I would love a list of higher quality children's literature for ages 5ish-8ish. And I would LOVE some suggestions with my read aloud issues!! I hate that it turns the day upside down every day. :(

 

thanks!!

 

I rely a lot on the lists in Honey for a Child's Heart, as well as two lists published by Trivium PursuitL "Lives in Print" and "Hand That Rocks the Cradle." Another good source of classic children's literature would be the AmblesideOnline site.

 

As for the reading aloud angst, I would treat this as a discipline/heart issue. Not every piece of school will be fun, but it's still the student's job to submit to the work.

 

When my kids have added in a lot of attitude to a task, sometimes a three-pronged approach works:

 

1--Talk about the attitude. "Dc, when you flop around and moan when I tell you to read aloud, that is not doing your best to obey." I might imitate the child's behavior in an exaggerated way so that we all laugh about it. A key part to this discussion is modeling what I DO expect. Again, humor can help carry this along. I might say, "When I tell you to read aloud, I would like you to act like this." Then I paint a syrupy smile on my face and lift my hands, quirk my pinkies, and say in a bright, silly, high-pitched voice, "Why yes, Mother Dearest, I would be glad to read aloud to you. Tra-la-la . . ." Humor is good, but at the end I make sure it's clear what behavior needs to STOP, and what will happen if it doesn't.

 

2--Have a code to help your kid remember your new agreement. So when the child flops to the floor and yells, "Nooooooo..........." your response is immediate, "Remember our agreement about trying to get out of reading?" If the child straightens up right away, the problem is solved. If they do not, then there is a consequence.

 

3--Consequence for disobedience. "Since you cannot remember our agreement about reading aloud, you are going to have to [insert appropriate, pre-determined consequence]."

 

This has actually worked for me a number of times. I am presently in the midst of this process with my ds. We cuddle and read together in my bed in the morning. However, when I say, "It's time to get the day started," he will cover his ears. Sometimes he will even run away, but usually he just covers his ears so he won't hear my instructions. I don't blame him for wanting to cuddle and play all day, but we do still have to get going. We had the talk about a week ago and now, when he does it I say, "What did we say about covering your ears when it's time to receive instructions?"

 

At some point (maybe in a month?) he will have had enough time to know what is expected and to work on getting out of that bad habit. At that point I will tell ds that I will not be reminding him not to cover his ears, I'll just go straight to the consequence. In this particular case, since he is trying to avoid work, it means he gets an extra chore of some sort. (In other words, covering his ears didn't mean he doesn't work--it means extra work.)

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I rely a lot on the lists in Honey for a Child's Heart, as well as two lists published by Trivium PursuitL "Lives in Print" and "Hand That Rocks the Cradle." Another good source of classic children's literature would be the AmblesideOnline site.

 

As for the reading aloud angst, I would treat this as a discipline/heart issue. Not every piece of school will be fun, but it's still the student's job to submit to the work.

 

When my kids have added in a lot of attitude to a task, sometimes a three-pronged approach works:

 

1--Talk about the attitude. "Dc, when you flop around and moan when I tell you to read aloud, that is not doing your best to obey." I might imitate the child's behavior in an exaggerated way so that we all laugh about it. A key part to this discussion is modeling what I DO expect. Again, humor can help carry this along. I might say, "When I tell you to read aloud, I would like you to act like this." Then I paint a syrupy smile on my face and lift my hands, quirk my pinkies, and say in a bright, silly, high-pitched voice, "Why yes, Mother Dearest, I would be glad to read aloud to you. Tra-la-la . . ." Humor is good, but at the end I make sure it's clear what behavior needs to STOP, and what will happen if it doesn't.

 

2--Have a code to help your kid remember your new agreement. So when the child flops to the floor and yells, "Nooooooo..........." your response is immediate, "Remember our agreement about trying to get out of reading?" If the child straightens up right away, the problem is solved. If they do not, then there is a consequence.

 

3--Consequence for disobedience. "Since you cannot remember our agreement about reading aloud, you are going to have to [insert appropriate, pre-determined consequence]."

 

This has actually worked for me a number of times. I am presently in the midst of this process with my ds. We cuddle and read together in my bed in the morning. However, when I say, "It's time to get the day started," he will cover his ears. Sometimes he will even run away, but usually he just covers his ears so he won't hear my instructions. I don't blame him for wanting to cuddle and play all day, but we do still have to get going. We had the talk about a week ago and now, when he does it I say, "What did we say about covering your ears when it's time to receive instructions?"

 

At some point (maybe in a month?) he will have had enough time to know what is expected and to work on getting out of that bad habit. At that point I will tell ds that I will not be reminding him not to cover his ears, I'll just go straight to the consequence. In this particular case, since he is trying to avoid work, it means he gets an extra chore of some sort. (In other words, covering his ears didn't mean he doesn't work--it means extra work.)

 

Excellent! Thank you very much. :)

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We have a nightly reading time in our family. Every night we gather together and read from a chosen book just before bedtime. We each pick a book, write the title down on a piece of paper and then draw them in order from a cup to see which order we read them in. We've agreed as a family that if we all agree and have given a book a fair chance (read at least a couple of chapters) and we don't enjoy it, to put it aside and allow the person who picked the book to replace it with another. We've only had this happen once so far!:D We are reading The Enchanted Garden by E. Nesbit right now. We read The Witch of Blackbird Pond before this and really enjoyed it! The rule for our nightly reading is that dh or I read only. On rare occasions we let each girl read a page or two.

 

For school, I do expect to be reading at least the majority of her major schoolbooks and I always have one or two that I may let her read but she reads them aloud to me. I am reading Understood Betsy to her for her literature read aloud along with Peter Rabbit and Friends and Anderson's Fairy Tales. I also read her history (Child's History of the World and Our Island Story and 50 Famous Stories) as well as all her other subjects. She may reread school books after I've read them. I absolutely agree that reading aloud is important. We work on poetry too because I think this too takes practice. I think I need to increase her work load a little. She seems to really thrive when I give her things to work on independently. I don't think I've set her up with enough independent work so I need to get busy!:D

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My dd (6) is highly independent. She reads very well and prefers to read books on her own. .... As soon as she finds out that we will reading a certain book, she picks it up and begins it on her own. If I read something aloud to her, she almost always runs off somewhere private and rereads it. It is almost as if she needs to read it herself to own it. Hmmm. Does that sound odd?

 

 

 

... She is a very good reader, but she HATES to read aloud. It is a fight every time. It is done begrudgingly and with much attitude. It's not that she cannot read aloud fluidly; she just won't.

 

Part of me understands this. I don't like to read aloud because my eyes read ahead and cause my mouth to mess up! :tongue_smilie: I get bored reading aloud because it is too slow. Or I don't pay attention to what I'm saying while I'm reading it and have to reread the passage to myself in order to know what it was about. Any and all of these may be her reasons.

 

However, I also feel strongly that having her read aloud to me is important, if for nothing else than to correct her pronuncation.

 

 

 

Well, if either of these two kids are "odd" then so is mine. She is exactly the same. If I get a book, she wants to read it herself.

 

Last week I started reading a book aloud while the family was out driving. DH pulled up to the post office so I could run in, and when I got back... you guessed it.. the book was gone off my seat. I just knew she was itching to get it herself because she always does.

 

I think my dd finds reading aloud too slow, and she doesn't like to be corrected. I had to sit her down one day at 5yo and explain to her that I'm only trying to help her express herself clearly. Now she is much better at not balking when I gently correct.

 

She's a very advanced reader, but we still read aloud every day. Also, I pick and choose from among the books she reads to herself to have discussions about what she read.

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:lol: Your story sounds just like my dd. We do our read alouds in the afternoon and I will read her books first so that she can go while my older dd reads. As soon as my older dd begins reading my younger one will pick up the one we were reading and run off with it. She also likes to sit with me or dh as we read aloud. She really likes to read along with us. She can and has gotten better about staying in her own place and listening but I really thought a lot of this had to do with her age. I remind dh that reading a chapter from The Witch of Blackbird Pond to a 6 year old requires a lot of sitting still and patience on their part. I think her looking on has a lot to do with her way of tolerating this level of patience. He also gets frustrated with how much she moves and fidgets while she is reading...but again I try to help him see this is because of her age. In the end she is still in the beginning of first grade.

 

It is good to know this is normal as far as normal goes...:D

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Well, if either of these two kids are "odd" then so is mine. She is exactly the same. If I get a book, she wants to read it herself.

 

Last week I started reading a book aloud while the family was out driving. DH pulled up to the post office so I could run in, and when I got back... you guessed it.. the book was gone off my seat. I just knew she was itching to get it herself because she always does.

 

I think my dd finds reading aloud too slow, and she doesn't like to be corrected. I had to sit her down one day at 5yo and explain to her that I'm only trying to help her express herself clearly. Now she is much better at not balking when I gently correct.

 

She's a very advanced reader, but we still read aloud every day. Also, I pick and choose from among the books she reads to herself to have discussions about what she read.

Yes, I think this is my dd's problem as well. I'm going to try the explaining thing and see how that goes! :)

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My dd (6) is highly independent. She reads very well and prefers to read books on her own. She makes big strides in short amounts of time. Initially, I wanted to keep her reading aloud to me because she had some slight speech slurs. She has almost entirely eliminated these and can now read aloud with a lovely articulate voice so I don't have that as a reason anymore. As soon as she finds out that we will reading a certain book, she picks it up and begins it on her own. If I read something aloud to her, she almost always runs off somewhere private and rereads it. It is almost as if she needs to read it herself to own it. Hmmm. Does that sound odd?

 

How do I balance her need to do something on her own with my need to help her develop accuracy?

 

I think it's wonderful that she enjoys reading independently, writing narrations on her own, and eagerly plunging into the books you've selected. It's not necessary to have her read every assignment or book aloud, particularly if your objective for having her do so is to assess her understanding, pronunciation, etc. Having her read a couple of pages aloud to you each day should suffice. If she plows through her books quickly, get her some more. :) You can gradually teach good study habits to a six year old with a gently disciplined approach toward math. A child of six should be encouraged in a love of reading, which an overly regimented approach might tend to undermine. As another poster mentioned, learning style might also play a role in her reluctance to read aloud. As a visual learner myself, I prefer to read rather than listen. My six year old is also a voracious reader, and since we've been homeschooling for 12 years, we've amassed a large number of books in various subjects. He reads whatever he wants from our family library, fills notebooks with writing and drawing, and now appears to be reading at an adult level. I've seen the same interest in reading in some of my older kids, and it leads to tremendous intellectual advancement over time. They are also well-disciplined in their study habits and successful in outside courses, so a bit of a laissez-faire approach to reading in the early years hasn't had a detrimental effect in that regard. So, I think I would let her be, with the exception of a bit of targeted reading aloud. In my experience, when someone reads a lot, accuracy develops naturally over time. :)

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First, your daughter is only 6yo, I would not under any circumstance "just let her be". Being 'independent' conjures up a strong willed child in my mind. Forgive me if I've overstepped. Having an independent young reader requires more of your attention on many fronts. She is still very young and needs to be under your direct supervision

 

Because otherwise the book might EXPLODE and HURT HER!!!!

 

These recommendations are a very good way to get a child who had a love for reading to hate both reading and you. If you have any desire to have a future relationship with your child after adulthood, I strongly recommend against it. (Well, conversely, the child might never actually grow up.)

 

Wanting to read ahead is a discipline problem? Yeah, if you think loving school is a discipline problem.

 

So, you want your child to be a good reader, right? Good readers read SILENTLY because silent reading is far faster than oral reading. You should skim the book quickly and find tricky words and/or names and discuss those at the close of her reading each day. Other than that, leave her alone, for goodness sake. If she's a good reader, you're asking her to do a 50% or more slowdown out of the fear that she MIGHT mispronounce a word.

 

She'll figure it out over time. She'll hear words and correct her reading of them. It is NOT worth making a good reader into someone who finds reading tedious over this.

 

Additionally, most people remember far more that they read than what is read to them. If she is re-reading what you read, it's because she wants to understand and retain the information better. This is a good thing. Transfer the reading of most subjects on to her, and spend your time in discussion instead.

 

Honestly, what's the very, very worst thing that could happen if she reads books silently?

 

She could mispronounce some words.

 

If you make her read them aloud?

 

She could come to hate reading and school, both.

 

Leave her alone. Obedient independence is to be strongly encouraged!

 

I took a one-hour nap today while DS did spelling and the written work of Science, Latin, and Spanish, as well as art and his Bible reading. He did history in the car on the way to swim club, about which I just asked questions, and he'd done his reading for the day yesterday, for fun. He's 6, too--AND he's ADD. 6-year-olds can be pretty independent, given half a chance.

 

I switched reading over to him this summer for all subjects. He does it faster and understands better. Forcing him to listen to me read aloud would be punishment.

Edited by Reya
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My DS reads books to DD. I would not require reading aloud otherwise until he's eight. Sound weird? Well, in a lot of ways, reading aloud is a more advanced skill than silent reading! Once you're a fluent reader, you have to balance your reading and speaking speed and be enough ahead that you have a "natural" intonation. This is a very sophisticated skill, especially when kids are at an age in which they are still working one natural intonation in spontaneous speech!

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My DS reads books to DD. I would not require reading aloud otherwise until he's eight. Sound weird? Well, in a lot of ways, reading aloud is a more advanced skill than silent reading! Once you're a fluent reader, you have to balance your reading and speaking speed and be enough ahead that you have a "natural" intonation. This is a very sophisticated skill, especially when kids are at an age in which they are still working one natural intonation in spontaneous speech!

This sounds really interesting. Can you explain in more detail, or perhaps more simply that my exhausted brain can figure out? :tongue_smilie: Thanks!

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If your child is brilliant, then don't listen to me LOL. Mine are just brightish. My youngest, especially, wanted (and still wants) to just do it himself. He is not bright enough, though, to learn everything he needs to by doing it himself. He needs to be able to be taught by me when necessary. Like Mary, I am really, really grateful that I insisted on this when he was young. Now, in high school, I have a child who will sit next to me on the sofa and let me read the textbook aloud to him, elaborating the points that are unclear and relating the text to things he already knows. If I hadn't kept insisting on doing this for some subjects, I would now have a big problem. If I hadn't insisted that some work be written and accurate, I would now have a big problem. Did I spoil everything doing it this way? No. Did I spoil the occasional thing? Yes, even though I tried to be careful. However, I have noticed that my child isn't nearly as fragile as he feels like he is. Things that I spoil tend not to stay spoiled if he was truly interested in them in the first place. If I were really good at teaching, I would be able to find an interesting way to study everything and I would be able to judge exactly where the accuracy/spoiling/independent line is. I'm not. And I'm not sure that is bad. It isn't a bad thing to learn how to learn something in a style that doesn't exactly suit you or how to learn something hard and boring.

 

Here is the problem: I want my son to learn some things that he isn't interested in learning at the moment, and I don't have the unschooler's faith that he will be able to learn them fast when he needs them later. I know he could learn them fast-er but perhaps not fast-enough for him to bother. I also know that he probably (being only brightish) has to jump through a fair number of hoops in order to get into an interesting college to study something interesting. That means he has to learn some things in which he reluctant to put lots of effort. Those are the ones he is happy enough to let me teach to him, usually with a textbook. (Textbooks usually efficiently cover the basics, if you know how to use them.)

 

Practically speaking, this means that like Mary, we have school hours. During school hours, I do the teaching if I think I should. I don't always, but if I want to teach, he has to listen to me. Outside school, he is welcome to learn as much as he wants, in any way he pleases.

 

A normal spoiled (but not really spoiled) subject goes like this: we sit on the sofa with the textbook (or whatever) open on our laps and I read it and he listens (because I get bored if I'm not doing the reading). We pause often to talk about things. We do most of the questions orally. Then he goes off and does a few for homework.

 

An example of a subject I'm trying not to spoil is programming. I scheduled a time slot for it during our school day because I want to encourage it because I think he'll need it to make him competative for engineering school and I'm not sure he'll give up his own precious time to it left to his own devices. I told him he had to choose a project and do it. He spent a few days looking for a project and found a music programming language. He showed me, all excited, and asked if he could download it onto his laptop (he has to ask before downloading things). We spent the rest of the timeslot figuring out how to set a restore point (boring) and setting up a sensible folder system (really boring). Then school was out and we kept going. He downloaded the program but couldn't get it to work. So he came to me. I spent an hour figuring it out (finally I asked my father - sound familiar LOL), then showed him how to make the example programs work, and then insisted that he read the short tutorial. Then he went off to play with it while I hastily downloaded the manual and started reading about it. I hadn't gotten past the first paragraph when there were shouts of my program won't work please help me. Fortunately, I know a few programming languages and could guess. I made a few more guesses while I frantically gobbled down the manual. An hour later, he had written several short programs and I had managed to swallow 2/3 of the manual, enough to keep us going for awhile.

 

I am not bright enough or knowledgable enough or energetic enough to tackle all subjects that way. This is a major reason why we don't unschool all our subjects. That and I shudder to think of the misconceptions my sons would have developed about math and the total lack of writing they would have done.

 

And this is probably way, way more than you wanted to know, but it was a very good question, one I am still struggling with. For reading, I don't think you have to worry as long as she has lots of input of spoken language at a fairly high level (I insisted on books on tape and on reading aloud). Other subjects, though, you'll probably have to compromise on.

 

HTH

-Nan

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Thanks Nan,

Your post is full of good advice and answered many of my thoughts and concerns.

 

For now I will continue to read aloud to her and have her read aloud to me (she prefers this over my reading it- it is our compromise. I want to read it but she really would rather so I let her read to me...this way we are both happy:001_smile:).

I always keep a strong eye on handwriting (this,like piano, is to develop good habits) and math. If I can come up with some independent work that she can do that I don't need to keep an eye on, I think we will be all set.

 

Thanks again Nan! I will subscribe to this tread too so that I can refer back to it.:001_smile:

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I try to have a mix of things, so he doesn't get frustrated. One thing I did that worked well was to go to the library each week and get out a bag of books. I got folk tales, nature books, history books, community books (Meet Your Fireman, My Father is a Lawyer, I Can't Hear, etc.), how-to books, books about the universe ... and I told my son to read them every week. This let him feel like he was learning independently at least part of the time. I also got a few workbooks (much as I dislike them) for drill in things like proofreading. Those he could do independently. He did Rosetta Stone. One year I had my children read a science article and tell the rest of us about it. Some things were a compromise, like Draw Squad, where I read the main lesson and made sure they got the point, and then they went off and did the excersizes the rest of the week. I also try to take into account the social nature of some things. Great books, for example, could be done independently, but it is more fun to read and discuss them together. I think your compromise of having her read to you will work very well. Just don't correct her too many times or she will stop liking it. I still have to resist the temptation to correct every mispronounciation and stop my son to check to see if he knows the meaning of every hard word. I try to do it only a few times every day (or session). A few times seems to work fine, though, even for French.

 

-Nan

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Here's another example:

 

Dd is reading The Golden Fleece by Padraic Colum (sp?). It is full of greek mythology words that we are trying to pronounce correctly. I have a couple of guides to use but not all the words are in there. So, I am helping her. She is motivated because she is using the guide herself sometimes. She's on chapter 7 and is really enjoying it. I guess we will just keep doing this....

Edited by Kfamily
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I know. Those are exactly the sorts of things that worried me. I read D'Auliers aloud onto tape and had no idea how to pronounce all those names. I probably taught half of them wrong. However, it doesn't seem to have bothered anyone in the long run. It sounds like she is doing really well. Learning to look things up and keep going are wonderful lessons, much more important than learning to pronounce any one particular word correctly. -Nan

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I'd just add that the dynamic that works for a family with multiple kids doesn't necessarily work when you have an only or an almost-only. Your 6 yo is functioning almost as an only and sounds pretty normal in that respect. She doesn't need room time (haha), because she's already alone (except for the 12 yo, do they play together a lot?). And no, I wouldn't be freaky about her reading. Let her read. You can check on her pronounciation by having her reading a bit, once or twice a week, from a reader of some sort, just to make sure she's pausing for punctuation, enunciating correctly, etc. She's going to come across words she doesn't know and mispronounce them, so just get used to it. It will all pan out in the wash. I just wouldn't sweat it. You have plenty of ways to keep her disciplined without making her personal reading an issue, kwim?

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Thank you so much ladies!

 

I will let it be...in the end I think we're doing okay. She really has started to read aloud very well. She has a little lilting voice that she uses with excitement, etc. She even sighs when the character sighs...:lol:. I should record it one day to save forever.

 

Surprisingly, even to me, the girls still play together and very well! I've finally decided that my older dd is very young at heart and my younger dd is very old at heart and so they meet well in the middle. They play with their Am. Girl dolls and other things together but mostly they love dress-up and role playing. My older dd has a couple of friends but spends a lot of her time with her best friend who lives down the street. They have a younger dd too (5) and the four girls play together so well. They are sooo cute when they are all wearing their Civil War dresses or prairie dresses complete with bonnets.:001_smile:

 

Thanks for the comforting words!

P.S. Elizabeth, I can't believe your little boy is 1 already! They do grow so quickly!:001_smile:

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This sounds really interesting. Can you explain in more detail, or perhaps more simply that my exhausted brain can figure out? :tongue_smilie: Thanks!

 

 

Sorry. Didn't check the thread until now.

 

When you're reading for yourself, you only have to process the words once--words to meaning. When you read aloud, you have to do it twice--words to meaning to speech. You have to read at a rate that is appropriate for natural speech instead of a rate for best understanding, and you have to read ahead just enough to get natural expression but not so far you get lost, and as you're reading ahead, you have to say words you've already read.

 

I found being read to unbearably tedious as soon as I got up a good reading speed, personally. I don't mind reading to my kids, but it literally puts me to sleep, so it's a struggle when I was doing a lot of it last year! I guess my own voice bores me....

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Dd5 is reading very well, but I still have her practice reading aloud to me. I have a book that we go through together specifically for this purpose and have her read 4 or 5 pages to me each day, with corrections. When we aren't reading this book, it goes in the cabinet out of reach. :D

 

What if you switch her reading practice to something that she won't be tempted to run off with and read on her own? I'm thinking of a leveled reader or collection of short stories or passages, or a topic that she is less interested in, where you can finish one in a single sitting and she won't be dying to find out what happens next? And let her read the books you know she will enjoy on her own.

 

I like reading alone because I like thinking about and processing things alone. Maybe she just wants to read the book and figure out her feelings in her own space? I don't think there is anything wrong with her wanting do this, but I also think that being able to listen to someone read aloud and process what you are hearing, as well as reading aloud yourself with fluency, are skills that need to be taught and practiced, so I wouldn't cut them out of your lessons.

 

Of course, I am just starting off too so just know this opinion is coming from a new homeschooling mom who is trying to figure out all of this stuff as well. :001_smile:

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Sorry. Didn't check the thread until now.

 

When you're reading for yourself, you only have to process the words once--words to meaning. When you read aloud, you have to do it twice--words to meaning to speech. You have to read at a rate that is appropriate for natural speech instead of a rate for best understanding, and you have to read ahead just enough to get natural expression but not so far you get lost, and as you're reading ahead, you have to say words you've already read.

 

I found being read to unbearably tedious as soon as I got up a good reading speed, personally. I don't mind reading to my kids, but it literally puts me to sleep, so it's a struggle when I was doing a lot of it last year! I guess my own voice bores me....

 

That makes so much sense!!!! I have a feeling that dd is the same as I am in this respect, and that is very similar to yourself! :) The only person I like to read to me is my mom. And the only person dd likes to read to her are my mom, my hubby or myself. But she HATES reading aloud, as do I, and I suspect that is due to what you described! Thank you!!

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Dd5 is reading very well, but I still have her practice reading aloud to me. I have a book that we go through together specifically for this purpose and have her read 4 or 5 pages to me each day, with corrections. When we aren't reading this book, it goes in the cabinet out of reach. :D

 

What if you switch her reading practice to something that she won't be tempted to run off with and read on her own? I'm thinking of a leveled reader or collection of short stories or passages, or a topic that she is less interested in, where you can finish one in a single sitting and she won't be dying to find out what happens next? And let her read the books you know she will enjoy on her own.

 

I like reading alone because I like thinking about and processing things alone. Maybe she just wants to read the book and figure out her feelings in her own space? I don't think there is anything wrong with her wanting do this, but I also think that being able to listen to someone read aloud and process what you are hearing, as well as reading aloud yourself with fluency, are skills that need to be taught and practiced, so I wouldn't cut them out of your lessons.

 

Of course, I am just starting off too so just know this opinion is coming from a new homeschooling mom who is trying to figure out all of this stuff as well. :001_smile:

 

Good idea! Do you have any suggestions?

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Good idea! Do you have any suggestions?

 

I think it's a great idea, too, and we now do something similar. We use 50 Famous Stories retold to go along with our history. My dd will read 1 or 2 of the stories that correlate to the time we are studying.

 

On other days, she'll read a couple of the Aesop's fables from the Milo WInter collection. This works because she's read them to herself numerous times already and likes to read her favorites to me.

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I think it's a great idea, too, and we now do something similar. We use 50 Famous Stories retold to go along with our history. My dd will read 1 or 2 of the stories that correlate to the time we are studying.

 

On other days, she'll read a couple of the Aesop's fables from the Milo WInter collection. This works because she's read them to herself numerous times already and likes to read her favorites to me.

Neat! That sounds great! Thanks

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I think it's a great idea, too, and we now do something similar. We use 50 Famous Stories retold to go along with our history. My dd will read 1 or 2 of the stories that correlate to the time we are studying.

 

On other days, she'll read a couple of the Aesop's fables from the Milo WInter collection. This works because she's read them to herself numerous times already and likes to read her favorites to me.

 

Off the top of my head, Story of the World would be good too, the chapters are a good length.

 

I know there are more around here we have used for that purpose... but I can't think of them right now. I'll have to browse my bookshelves. But I think any collection of short stories, myths, biographies, etc. at her reading level would probably be a good bet.

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