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Classics via alternative methods?

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With much work DD the older (early tweens) is reading at level, but still very, very slowly. Even with read alouds & abridgements, I have come to the realization that I am going to have to chop the classics to a much shorter list than I originally dreamed of. However I would still like to try and hit the most important ones in other ways (DVD's mostly I'm afraid) to create as strong a content/background for her as possible without actually "reading the book".


But OTH, am I going to end up just presenting a bunch of DVD and picture book style adaptations? And how can I figure out which of these are actually worth my time and energy? Not to mention that our "read the book and watch the movie" experiences so far has lead to some rather boring movies IMO ("The BFG", "Because of Winn Dixie" off the top of my head) so I don't want to pick movies like those for classic literature if we're going to "skip the book and watch the movie" instead.


So what would you consider the best/most enjoyable alternative presentations of important classic literature for kids?

And which classics do you think are easily left to a short retelling/synopsis of the "culturally significant" bits --- by which I mean stuff like, Pinocchio can be easily skipped but the basic story (wooden boy becomes real) and some specifics (nose grows when telling a lie) are part of our cultural "knowledge base".

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My kids were slow readers as well. But the good thing is we live in a rich period, where we can be exposed to the classics in so many way. We've got audio, read alouds, movies and reading the original thing or maybe a retelling or adaption. The way I've done it is to mix all these things together but to pick certain true classics to study in depth. Multum non multa. If you want a great list, I'd recommend this. Frankly, I like this 1st edition better; it is simpler and more of a outline rather than a plan, but this works too!


Take advantage of the Teaching Co too. It really helped up get the most out of our studies to have a ready made expert telling us all about whatever the subject was.


Remember, you are trying to create a life long learner. So if you don't cover every classic, that's fine!

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LaughingCat, I don't know your whole story and what all you've done, but if you're having to adapt that much at that age, I'd make sure you've done some testing, including testing for learning and vision problems. Pinnocchio is in the 4th grade reading list for VP, as I recall. That isn't something you should have to skirt around. (assuming she's of say 5th/6th gr age) If you were saying Homer, I'd see it.


Have you done standardized testing to have precise info on where she's at? The testing a psych can do will be more thorough, and they can get into phonological processing, etc. You don't want to accommodate without knowing what's going on and making sure you've addressed what can be addressed.


As far as vision, I always recommend an exam with a developmental optometrist, which you find through COVD. They can screen for extra things like convergence and focusing that dramatically affect reading and which a normal optometrist will often miss. Won't cost you any extra, just the cost of a normal appt.


And as far as your actual question, I would dig up posts by Lori D. She has posted her lit lists over the years, and they were chosen to fit her slow readers.

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Unfortunately, so far audiobooks only work if I am sitting with her listening too. Otherwise she doesn't pay attention. So that basically ends up having to fit into our "read aloud" time. It's different with books she picks but none of those are classics lol


Would it help to have her listen with head phones and some type of hand work like knitting ,, sewing or the like? I can have trouble with audio books unless I am really tuned in.

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I suppose I was just feeling overwhelmed and wishing for a nice, easy list - here's the classic's you can skip with no problem, here's a great short retelling, here's the ones that there's good movies that will adequately cover, here's the one's that you must read or listen to - kind of thing. And I'm not really a movie person myself, so that seems like a whole huge opaque area to me.

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Can someone post a link to the Teaching Co., pretty please! :confused1:



Teaching Company


Here's a current thread on the HS board with extra discount codes. Until midnight tonight, you can get 70% off (which is the "standard" sales price — never ever ever pay more than that!) on ALL courses (that's the unusual part, generally only a selection are on sale at once), plus free shipping (usually $10-15). PLUS there is a coupon code (AAWW) good for another $10 off any order, so you can get some of the audio downloads for $10-15 using that. You can use the coupon code repeatedly, so if you want multiple courses, you can order them separately and get $10 off each one.



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