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What kind of literature selections do you assign to your elementary ages kids?


gandpsmommy
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I'm trying to rethink "reading" as a school subject. Last year, in K5, we were all about reading fluency and just enjoying reading. Dd progressed rapidly from kindergarten books to first and second grade readers, to chapter books such as "B" is for Betsy and The Boxcar Children. This year we have been all over the place with reading. In the fall I had her reading children's novels such as Milly Molly Mandy (which she really didn't enjoy) and The Hundred Dresses (which she was somewhat indifferent about). She expressed a desire to read picture books instead of chapter books. I was fine with this and began trying to help her find worthwhile and challenging picture books. We did a few that went along with our history studies and a lot of miscellaneous titles. She discovered The Little House picture books which sparked her interest in the original books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Right now she is reading The Little House on The Prairie for reading and really enjoying it.

 

I just feel the need to do something more scholarly. It seems as if the Little House novels should be free reading and we should be doing something more academic for reading. I know this sounds a little silly for a first grader, but she is very advanced and is capable of reading on a fourth to fifth grade level. I still feel that it is important and worthwhile to read lots of picture books with her and let her read whatever she wants for free reading(with certain reasonable guidelines, e.g. no Spongebob or Junie B. Jones, etc.). She reads a lot of picture books and books such as The Mouse and The Motorcycle for free reading. I just feel as if her literature assignments for school should be deeper. Am I making this too complicated?

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is make sure quality reading is available (like the Little House books) for the kids to free read, and then have a selection of books we read together aloud, alternating pages, as part of school. I tend towards books I have read as a kid - Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Cay, etc. I always have a selection of these, too - if a book really doesn't go over well with a kid, we can move onto the next book.

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I assign books suggested in SOTW Activity guides or as part of Sonlight since they mesh with her history studies. Sometimes science reading, too. But that is all- other reading is up to them. I suggest books I enjoyed, but if they don't like them, no biggie.

 

This way I know for at least 30 minutes a day, they are reading something "worthwhile", the other times I don't care!

 

Cami

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if you want to make reading more academic is to use a program like Drawn Into the Heart of Reading. You can choose which books you want to use and it teaches different elements of literature as well as the different genres.

 

There is a lot of worksheet-type assignments invovled, but, I picked a chose which would be good for us. Sometimes we did a lot, sometimes we did a little and the next time around we did more. I tried to keep it from getting too academic so that reading wasn't always equated with worksheets and assignments. It is a good way to focus your reading without having to be "assigned" certain books. You, or your child, choose the books you're going to read. It helped us with our focus.

 

Anyway, just a suggestion. Hope it helps!

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Right now, I assign her a specified amount of reading each day. She usually reads more than I assign. i also rotate the subjects - history, natural science, literature, tales, etc. For instance, one day last week I had her choose a topic from the science encyclopedia to read and draw a picture of. She spent about an hour reading various topics and sharing what she was reading then chose the topic on the brain to draw a picture of. She also wrote a few sentences summarizing what she learned about the different regions of the brain.

 

For next year, I am using TOG for history, geography and literature. Each week they have a picture book assigned with a comprehension sheet (lower grammar level). I plan to have her read that herself as a "literature" assignment. In addition to that, I am going to put together a set of books and do a book basket for her. I will have a checklist in the basket so that she notes when she finished each book and maybe writes a response to each one. I am going to start with something like the SL reader sets and add a few science and other types of books.

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after re-reading your post, I realized, I didn't answer your question!!!!:blink:

 

The type of reading we do is usually tied in with our history studies and our language arts curriculum. For fun we read things like: Where the Red Fern Grows, Cheaper By the Dozen, Little House books, Anne of Green Gables books, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, Five Little Peppers, etc.

 

On their own my dc have read: American Girl books, Betsy Tacey and Tib books, Calvin and Hobbes (awesome vocab and creative writing!), Love Comes Softly series, several mysteries and fantasy type books

 

Hope THIS helps!:blush:

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Dd7 was reading Mother West Wind's Children aloud but she spontaneously went to her shelf to grab George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl. I'm now reading MWW Children aloud and she's reading GMM.

 

It depends on the length of the book on whether she can finish it in a week so it's not like I say read these 2 or 3 books. As far as what subject, it's different from week to week, depending on what I think she will enjoy reading because it's still a delicate situation where she might get turned off by reading.

 

I have no idea if what we're doing is right, it's just working for us.

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I don't even have reading as a subject for my first grader. I want to hear her read aloud to me regularly, and she does; sometimes from her science reading, sometimes from history, sometimes from the Bible, sometimes from some other, random source. Most of her actual assignments - history, science, lit (which corresponds with history and/or science), I read aloud to her and have her narrate. Sometimes we take turns reading to each other. We always talk about what we're reading.

 

Her free reading (chapter books mostly, like your dd on a 4th-5th grade level; she also reads a lot of nf science books just because she loves them) are her own, though usually picked up at the library by me. I don't assign them, and we don't do any formal work with them. We may or may not talk about them.

 

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing it all wrong. :lol: (sort of)

 

Is this helpful at all???

Melissa

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SL has a great selection of titles in the k-5 grade levels. Most can be found at your local library. Also Scholastic holds warehouse sales a couple times a year. Find out if you are near one of these, info is on their site. These sales are amazing, and you can get a ton of great bks for very little $. My dd7 is reading up a storm. I just try to make sure the bks she reads are challenging but fun, and make sure to let her have some say in what she reads.

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Mine sounds like she's in the same boat. I just let her read. Right now, she's got a Nancy Drew going, Bunnicula, and a Boxcar Children. We are finishing Heidi as my read aloud to her, and yesterday we read the entire Basil of Baker Street book. We are just a reading family!

 

Sometimes, I give her a book from SOTW, but she doesn't like being told what to read. I usually just read our history selections aloud. I've taken to using a lot more picture books with her--kinda the opposite of what you are doing! lol

 

I do have a workbook I picked up at Barnes & Noble, that has the child read a few paragraphs and then tell what the main idea is, and that sort of thing. It's a boring way to learn, in my opinion. I'd rather just occasionally check for understanding when we are reading out loud.

 

For me, I'm just glad reading isn't a struggle. Kids won't continue to read what they don't understand, so I know she's comprehending just fine.

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I'm not at all comfortable assigning reading to young children, even those like my oldest who can read at an advanced level. We strew good books throughout the house and let her read whatever she pleases. By making good books available, by reading classics and other good literature aloud, and by reading ourselves we feel that we are encouraging good habits.

 

One thing that's easy to forget when children can read years above their age is that they simply may not be interested enough in what's going on in some of the more skill "appropriate" books to turn the page. It may be because the themes don't resonate with their (much younger) world, or perhaps the language is archaic and tough to wade through. However, they may be interested enough to hear them read aloud. If I want my 6yo to be exposed to a book, I'll read it aloud. Often she'll go back to books we've read and re-read them on her own. Sometimes I'll read the first book of a series, and she'll continue with the subsequent books. Occasionally, I'll read a chapter and "forget" to get back to the book and she'll finish it on her own. Sometimes I know she's read ahead in our read alouds because she'll correct me as I'm reading.

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