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Reading curriculum - what am I missing?


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Hey folks, remember me? I'm all done moving and having a baby and celebrating the holidays and happy to be back into the swing of homeschooling and being back here on the forums.

 

Being "away" from schooling for a few months gave me time to ponder curriculum options. Dangerous thing, I know. I think I have all the bases covered, CrazyPants seems to be learning and progressing well, but I see one omission in his curriculum "package" and that's a Reading program.

 

I keep on seeing Reading programs in catalogs and they make me feel, well, blah. So I've just skipped over them, but now I'm wondering what I'm missing. What are the purpose of these things? What do they do that I'm not already doing?

 

fwiw, CP is reading fluently at about a 3rd grade level. He has good comprehension and retention. He can read silently and out loud with emotion. His reading rate is about normal speaking speed. He hasn't made the leap to chapter books yet, but has pretty good stamina. I only occasionally have to help him with pronouncing words he has not seen before - AAS is helping him with decoding the sound of unfamiliar words, and he really just needs to pay better attention (but that's more an issue of him being 7 and him already taking the "shortcut" of reading only the beginning and end of words).

 

I'm thinking that I should investigate higher grade level Reading curriculums, but at higher levels they seem to get into more interpretation and he's not there yet. Nor is he ready to do a lot of writing.

 

Do I need a Reading curriculum? What would a Reading curriculum do for my kid?

 

I have the PDF sample of LLATL open, and thinking about doing Level 2 with him, using FLL to fill in poetry memorization and anything else. I've looked at the "reading" version of LLATL and have the same gut aversion that I do every other reading program. Maybe LLATL itself will help him make the jump to chapter books?

 

Thoughts?

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No, you don't need a reading curriculum. :)

 

My oldest just this year started doing "literature" via TOG, and it's mostly teaching him to slow down and notice things. In the middle grades level, it will start literary analysis. Prior to this, I've simply had him read and maybe tell me what he read about. That's been plenty.

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Read "Deconstructing Penguins" by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone.

 

When he's a bit older, I really like "Figuratively Speaking" by Delana Heidrich but I wouldn't start that before 2nd semester of 3rd or 1st semester of 4th even with a kid gifted in LA.

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No, you don't need a reading curriculum. :)

 

:hurray:

 

 

I can see no reason why you would need a reading "curriculum".

If your child can read, all you need is BOOKS. Lots of them. Have him read good books and talk about the books.

 

Well, see, that's the thing. He doesn't like to read. It's not a reading issue, obviously. But he would just rather do other things. Like watch silly youtube videos of people playing Minecraft. He likes hands-on things. If I had to bet, I'd bet he'll end up being a civil engineer. I try to toss books I think he'll like his way, but he is very reluctant to read. Maybe he needs more consistent practice? More exposure? Just more maturity? I need to accept he won't be a bookworm? ( :( ). Idk, but I keep on wondering if structuring graded reading into the schedule would help.

 

 

Read "Deconstructing Penguins" by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone.

 

When he's a bit older, I really like "Figuratively Speaking" by Delana Heidrich but I wouldn't start that before 2nd semester of 3rd or 1st semester of 4th even with a kid gifted in LA.

 

Oooh, my library has "Deconstructing Penguins." And I'll look into the other one. Thanks!

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I didn't use a reading curriculum with my older two.  I read Ruth Beechick's Homestart in Reading 30 pg. pamphlet and taught them to read with real books and letter tiles.

I used Phonics Pathways and the accompanying pyramid book with my youngest because I was homeschooling 3 and it was easier to follow along with the curriculum at that time.

 

We read aloud a lot which taught our kids to love books.  Read widely and expose them to all genres and different authors in each genre.  Have books on topics that interest them.  Maybe in his case have some age appropriate books related to science, physics, mechanics and biographies of inventors and scientists. 

 

Remember that 7 is very young.  Most kids that age need huge amounts of time outside playing actively every day.

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Well, see, that's the thing. He doesn't like to read. It's not a reading issue, obviously. But he would just rather do other things. Like watch silly youtube videos of people playing Minecraft. He likes hands-on things. If I had to bet, I'd bet he'll end up being a civil engineer. I try to toss books I think he'll like his way, but he is very reluctant to read. Maybe he needs more consistent practice? More exposure? Just more maturity? I need to accept he won't be a bookworm? ( :( ). Idk, but I keep on wondering if structuring graded reading into the schedule would help.

 

Kids usually like things they are good at. It is quite typical for a beginning reader not to love reading. My DS did not read fluently until he was 7, and did not read for pleasure until he was 10!

So, it is quite likely your son needs more practice, more exposure, and more maturity.

 

Whether or not he ends up a bookworm does not matter; he needs to be able to read, and that's what i would focus on.

 

What helped for my DS was:

daily required reading time

lots of read alouds and TONS of audio books. He loved listening to audio books that were above his reading level; it built vocabulary and the confidence to try reading the books by himself afterwards.

 

Your DS may not like to read because he still finds it hard (this is where practice helps) or because he has not found the right books. There are two issues with book selection: first, many smart kids find the story level of beginnning readers unbelievably trite and boring; they are ready for comprehension of more complex stories, but their reading skills are not quite there yet. This is where audio books help. Second, many boys especially prefer non-fiction books to fiction; those are even harder to find among the beginner books.

 

I would be concerned that any "reading program" would not adequately take into account these last two needs, and I would prefer to remedy the situation myself by liberal library use. I would, however, institute some mandatory reading practice out loud and some mandatory quiet reading time every day, in addition to read aloud time.

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.He likes hands-on things. If I had to bet, I'd bet he'll end up being a civil engineer.

 

Civil engineers have to read a lot too; blueprints, tender documents, bill of materials, ISO 9000 (in my case)   :lol:

I have a bookworm and one that rather build forts.  My fort builder is the better programmer and animator and thinks he wants to work for Disneyland or Legoland as an engineer. My bookworm reads a lot of fiction but probably the same amount of non-fiction as the non-bookworm.

 

Both my kids didn't like any reading curriculum, we just use the books they like from the library. Even if it is a Lego Mindstorm programming book :)

 

ETA:

For fiction, both boys like detective stories like secret seven, hardy boys and others.

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Has he been exposed to non-fiction very much?  I recently read that elementary school boys prefer nonfiction over fiction, and that's certainly true for my oldest.  I've tried so many fiction books.  He enjoys them as read alouds, but he spends hours on his own reading nonfiction.  I don't know whether he will ever voluntarily pick up a fiction book.

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Has he been exposed to non-fiction very much?  I recently read that elementary school boys prefer nonfiction over fiction, and that's certainly true for my oldest.  I've tried so many fiction books.  He enjoys them as read alouds, but he spends hours on his own reading nonfiction.  I don't know whether he will ever voluntarily pick up a fiction book.

 

I agree that seems to be generally the case. Though my kid did thoroughly enjoy Pippi Longstocking. I have tried to encourage non-fiction, but the only books he willingly reads on his own are about Dinosaurs, and there's only so many Dinosaur fact-books.

 

 

 I would, however, institute some mandatory reading practice out loud and some mandatory quiet reading time every day, in addition to read aloud time.

 

Great ideas. I'll try to implement them.

 

I was thinking about this whole "Reading Curriculum" genre today. I was homeschooled from K-7, and I don't think I ever had a reading curriculum, so that may be why I find these things to be such a mystery. Obviously, my K-7 was Way Back When, and when we first started my mom had a Bible-as-Textbook idea so we just read out-loud from the Bible for a good portion of each morning, in KJV, starting with Genesis. We didn't get that far, but I don't remember if we skipped parts or if the adult content just went over my head. I must have learned how to read fluently pretty fast, because I only have positive memories of this. But we didn't continue that for long, and I don't think I became a bookworm until 9 or 10. But then I probably have used a reading/literature curriculum. Learning how to analyze a novel at 15 in DE with The Bluest Eye was an experience!

 

Clearly, I have some issues with worrying about doing too much or too little in this area.  :laugh:

 

 

I think I'm starting to get a clearer sense of what to do now and where to go in the future. Thanks to all.

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He sounds similar in his interests to my DS. Some books DS has liked (not great literature but he has plenty of time to read more literary works as he gets older):

 

"George's Secret Key to the Universe" series by Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy

"Vordak the Incomprehensible" series by Scott Seegart

"Origami Yoda" series by Tom Angleberger

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

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My DD(6) has never had a reading curriculum. I have taken her through some of Sonlight and HODs reading lists which she reads to me and reading harder books to me has helped her read easier ones to herself and gradually branch into chapter books slowly by herself (still only short ones though) and then I have just left reading books in her room and let her read at night. I did plan on having a required reading time, but it hasn't happened yet.

 

Slowly but surely she is reading more and more to herself. I do also leave her to read all instructions for anything she wants to do by herself - whether it is a recipe to bake, the instructions for a computer game, the menu in a restaurant she wants to order from. Having short instructional things that help her do things has made her want to read - she is also a hands on child and needs a point to the reading. One of her favourite books she read to me recently was about rock collecting and despite many words she struggled with (metamorphic, igneous etc) she enjoyed it because it gave her a project to collect rocks at the end and she could take the book outside and try to identify some. Surprisingly, since she is a girl, she also prefers non fiction to fiction and likes to read Usborne's non-fiction - so definitely try that with your son.

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Great ideas on this thread!  I'm a big fan of reading aloud, though that has decreased as our children became older and busier with outside activities or interests at home.  Reading aloud both encourages children to enjoy reading and increases their language skills beyond what they are ready to read on their own.  Learning to listen is, of course, a vital skill, but a good book will generally lead them gently into this.  With a little fear and trepidation, I just started reading Charlotte's Web to a 5 yo and a 3 yo whom we watch twice a week.  Such a great book--one of the first chapter books I read to my own toddlers--would these kids listen?  They did!  

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Correction, I've been looking at LLTL, not LLATL. All these acronyms!

 

Just from looking at the sample of LLTL I'm forming a half-baked plan to use the book/poetry/Aesop list as a reading schedule. I've read parts of Winter's Aesop with CP before. And we own some of the books. But we haven't been using them.

 

I'm beginning to think I need an Authority to tell me what to do, and that I get joy out of checking off the boxes for that Authority. I'm open to the possibility that that may make me a bit crazy.  :cool:

 

Rotating through a poem or story or fable a day interests me. And it seems doable for CP without overwhelming him. And it won't trigger our sensitivity to monotony. 

 

We'll start there, and start piecing in the rest of the parts.

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Read "Deconstructing Penguins" by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone.

 

 

I got this from the library yesterday and knocked it out in the evening. Very good book. Thank you very much for recommending it. When I checked it out the librarian was also interested in it - so maybe she'll read it next.

 

Now I just have to go through the book again and make notes of all the points of analysis. Once I can get them all on a sheet of paper I'm pretty sure I lead my kid through understanding any book.

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We tried Bob Jones and a couple of others that I can't remember right now for my 9 year old when he was technically '3rd grade age'.  Although a very well organized program, it didn't work.  He really likes to read and fully comprehends beyond his age.  We switched to reading books, required reading time, and discussions.  I'll develop a project sometimes when appropriate.  He didn't like the short story approach with lots of workbook type question afterward.  I didn't either.  It turned into busy work instead of a mutual love for reading. 

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