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How much time for Read Alouds in K?


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Hi! This is my first post on the forum. :)

 

I am 99% sure we will be homeschooling our almost 5 year old twin boys starting in late summer for kindergarten. We also have a 3 year old boy plus I'm having a baby over the holidays, so I'm giving myself permission to change my mind after she gets here. But I really do want to go for it.

 

What I'm wondering is how to approach read-alouds/incorporate them into our curriculum. I'm interested, what do you all do in this regard? Do you read one book per week? One per day? Multiple per day? Or do you read one book every day for a week like Five in a Row?

 

I think we could handle one per day, especially since books for this age group are pretty short. And if we are having a busy day we could just do the discussion after and skip any planned art activities, etc that may have gone along. And if we are having a REALLY busy day it could be our bedtime story. I just want to make sure I'm not overdoing it. I'm still narrowing down curriculum options, but my list seems long for how long I'm expecting our day to last realistically.

 

I'm looking at programs for Reading/Phonics, Math, Language Arts/Handwriting/Spelling, and Bible for every day. History and Science will be 2 days a week most likely, and then I'd like to add in Keyboarding/Technology, Art, Music, and Spanish occasionally, maybe 1x per week each.

 

Adding story time + discussion time + an activity every day to all of that seems like it could easily make our day way too long... but I guess if we are keeping each subject at about 20 minutes or so it should be ok? I'm I being naive? Should I aim to do less?

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Edited by leannevice
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I very rarely did “story plus activity plus discussion.†We just read books for read aloud. If you want to do all of that, that is great! But, it is ok to just read instead.

 

When my kids were that age (I do still have a 5yr old, but I usually read to him at his big brothers activities), I read almost every time they ate and before rest time and bedtime. So, probably an hour a day spread out. But it wasn’t a stressful thing. I put books on hold at the library, picked them up once a week, then just grabbed one before bed and at meals.

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We use Five in a Row, so we do read something every day for a week. But we read aloud for fun 1-2 hours a day. My kids also do audio books 1 hour per day.

 

For mine, it's the one thing they will all sit and settle for. I don't regret the time I have devoted to reading over the years. Mine are 5, 7, 9, and 11, though the 11 year old is in school and doesn't get as much read aloud time.

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I also have three boys and then a little girl.  My second son was in K last year and my third son will be in K next year.  Here is how I would edit your list...

 

I'm looking at programs for Reading/Phonics - Phonics is all you need, not reading comp. or any other program.  Keep it very simple, maybe one 15 minute session or a 10 minute lesson in the morning and 10 minutes of reading practice in the afternoon.

 

Math - I would keep this to no more than 20 minutes.  It also won't hurt at all if you only do "sit down" math a few days a week and the rest of the time they just play with manipulatives, sort coins, play a math board or card game, read a math book, inaccurately measure random things around the house with a tape measure, etc.  It is also fine to do most of their math orally (or with number stamps) rather than making them write much; this allows them to progress as they understand concepts rather than being bogged down by their immature finger muscles...and it keeps lessons short and generally more pleasant.

 

Language Arts/Handwriting/Spelling - I would stick to just handwriting at that age.  Either a handwriting program or very, very simple copywork with close supervision to get them forming letters correctly.  They probably won't be able to handle more than ~10 minutes of writing at that age, and that is fine.  "Language Arts" will be covered through phonics and read alouds.  Spelling normally waits until they are strong readers and no longer need to focus on daily phonics.

 

Bible for every day - This could be incorporated into read aloud time.  You could make it a habit to read to the three boys from a bible story book once a day while feeding the baby. 

 

History and Science will be 2 days a week most likely - For me, these would be entirely covered by read alouds (and probably some easy readers by the end of the year).  There would be no particular rhyme or reason to it, but I would make sure that over time I was reading a variety of literature, science, history, poetry, geography and culture, art, social skills, etc books.  I read at breakfast, lunch, naptime and bedtime.  When I have had a newborn I have also read a lot while nursing.  My kids probably listen to about an hour a day, but that is the majority of school for my K'ers, covering everything except phonics, handwriting and math...unless I read a math related book and then I can cross that off for the day too.

 

Keyboarding/Technology - Personally I would wait a year.  My 6 year old is making steady headway through a typing program, but a year ago it would have been more than his fingers could handle.  Instead, in K, I focus on strengthening their fingers and increasing their dexterity with scissors, play doh, simple cooking and cutting, writing on salt trays and in shaving cream, playing around on the piano, etc.

 

Art - My kids always have access to some art supplies, and occasionally I pull out the messier supplies for them, but I don't really plan art projects.  We do talk about colors a lot and practice mixing the primaries to make the secondaries in various ways: play doh, paint, frosting, colored water, colored pencils, etc.

 

Music - This is also expectation-free exposure around here.  We listen to music we like, talk about sound, and experiment with various sound making instruments...both "real" and homemade.

 

Spanish - My theory is that it only makes sense to spend any time on a foreign language if you are going to make time for it nearly daily.  I don't think kids, especially young kids, get anything out of weekly exposure.  My K'ers sometimes choose to watch Salsa Spanish videos or YouTube Spanish clips, but I don't plan any real Spanish for them until 1st grade.

 

Adding story time + discussion time + an activity every day to all of that seems like it could easily make our day way too long... but I guess if we are keeping each subject at about 20 minutes or so it should be ok? I'm I being naive? Should I aim to do less?

 

K in my house entails about 45 minutes of "school" plus read alouds interspersed throughout the day.  "School" would be 5-10 minutes of handwriting, 15ish minutes of phonics, 15ish minutes of some type of math (which would often not really feel to them like work) and perhaps reading a book and discussing it while doing a short activity (art, simple science experiment, making a special snack, acting out the story, building something from the story out of blocks or play doh, etc).  Over the rest of the day they would also hear a couple more stories, maybe do a puzzle or play with snap circuits, play out in the backyard, help with a couple chores, spend some time independently looking at books, entertain the baby with a finger rhyme, do a page out of a Kumon cutting and pasting book, help make muffins, play quietly in their rooms during rest time and spend an inordinate amount of time playing with legos.

 

Wendy

Edited by wendyroo
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At 5 we did daytime reading, audiobooks, and bedtime stories. Many more than just one book per day. Mine hated activities, and wouldn't go for themed/planned crafts or activities. 

 

We discussed stuff while reading, and sometimes we just read for fun. We had forward facing bookshelves and that made it easier for DS to choose books and made books a big part of the day. I would rotate which books were on the forward facing shelf each week or so. 

 

We still do bedtime story at 8, but as he's matured bedtime books turned into longer chapter books. 

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Something that helped me: your children have YEARS to learn all of this stuff that you want them to learn. If you can't fit it all in, don't stress. If something doesn't fit into 1st grade, stick it in 2nd or 3rd grade. It will be fine. 

 

It helped me to make a future spreadsheet. I stick all of the subjects that I want to eventually cover into future grades wherever it seems to best fit.

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It is interesting to me that y'all do audiobooks at 5 - I hadn't even thought of that! What are some good resources for where to get them? Do you do an audible.com account? Do they have books categorized by age? 

 

Also are you opening the hard copy of the book for pictures to go along with the audiobook or do your 5s actually sit and pay attention to audio only? I have one who would be into it, especially in the car, but I have another who is a wiggler and Im wondering I can see him listening for 0.5 a second and then start wrestling with little bro. lol

Edited by leannevice
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It is interesting to me that y'all do audiobooks at 5 - I hadn't even thought of that! What are some good resources for where to get them? Do you do an audible.com account? Do they have books categorized by age? 

 

Our library has lots.  Librivox is all free, public domain audiobooks...my kids especially like the dramatic readings where different people read each character.

 

When they are younger, my kids' favorite audiobooks are always just recordings I make of myself reading.  I've recorded myself reading tons of their favorite picture books so they can flip through while listening.  I also record our read aloud sessions during breakfast, so they can now re-listen to me reading dozens of different chapter books (complete with questions, vocabulary explanations, interruptions, crying, discussions, requests for more oatmeal, etc.  :lol: ). 

 

Wendy

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Also are you opening the hard copy of the book for pictures to go along with the audiobook or do your 5s actually sit and pay attention to audio only? I have one who would be into it, especially in the car, but I have another who is a wiggler and Im wondering I can see him listening for 0.5 a second and then start wrestling with little bro. lol

 

Mine often listen during nap/rest/quiet play time in the afternoon.  Sometimes they will flip through the picture book while listening to the audio, but most of the time they are quietly playing or drawing while listening.

 

Wendy

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It doesn't matter how old the dc are, because I'm still going to read aloud for the same amount of time: one chapter from a good book, right after lunch. :-)

 

I like that idea :) Then my 3 year old could listen in right before his (hopeful... doesn't always happen) naptime. But most of the books on our list aren't chapter books so we could probably get through at least 2 a day if we count bedtime. 

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It is interesting to me that y'all do audiobooks at 5 - I hadn't even thought of that! What are some good resources for where to get them? Do you do an audible.com account? Do they have books categorized by age? 

 

Also are you opening the hard copy of the book for pictures to go along with the audiobook or do your 5s actually sit and pay attention to audio only? I have one who would be into it, especially in the car, but I have another who is a wiggler and Im wondering I can see him listening for 0.5 a second and then start wrestling with little bro. lol

Car rides are the greatest for audio books!  The kids are restrained in their seats, with nothing to do and very little to see, and they love audio books!  I like them, too.  The kids grasp a lot more than I expect, even when the reading level would be way over their heads.  

 

We had a CD player in our last car, and just got CD sets at the library.  Charlotte's Web, read by EB White himself, is especially magnificent.  

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Your list of subjects for K made me itch, and I have a 2nd grader with a pretty intense year. :lol:

 

Let K be relaxed.  My goal for that age would be this:

 

20 minutes math play

20 minutes phonics

5 minutes handwriting

40 minutes art play

LOTS OF TIME outside

Weekly library storytime + a book every day at lunch and at bedtime

Weekly park time

Museums and festivals often - any free, appropriate thing in your community should be aimed for.

 

If you find more time than that, great! :hurray: Do lots of things!  If not, you have the bases covered:

number awareness

phonics

fine and gross motor skill work

literature

nature

field trips

 

Everything else can wait, and if your kids aren't asking for it, then you're fine.  The list doesn't seem like a lot, but we used to theme it each month so that we were always mixing it up.

 

Wee Folk Art has their original PDFs for free, and they incorporate much of the above.  We substituted books based on what the art was and what we could find at our library, but Harvest Time was one of the most fun things we've done.  The kids all looked forward to it each week (I had two extra kids one day a week and we'd do the bulk of the activities that day).

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As much time as you have?  We read anything and everything for hours each day when my boys were that age.  We normally had one longer book going, but read tons of shorter things too.  There was no pressure to get to the end of the longer book before reading another one - our norm would have been a few chapters of a longer book plus a bunch of picture books each day.  All good.  Just read.

 

Overall, I'd take in other 'subjects' through casual read-alouds.  My only fixed points would be beginning the process of learning to read, write and do maths, and spending a lot of time outside (an hour of red-in-the-face exercise each day would be good).

Edited by Laura Corin
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For preschool and Kindergarten, reading books was my main “curriculumâ€. The one academic goal we work on at that age is learning to read. I spent about 15 minutes  a day on phonics in K. We did math some days as well, but probably no more than 10-15 minutes at a time and not necessarily every day. It was a lot of playing games. I didn’t have any other formal subjects. 

 

For the reading aloud I did a Letter of the Week plan for preschool and then used a modified version of Five in a Row with all my kids. You could easily just pick random books and be fine, but I like to plan and was more comfortable having some kind of structure. I never read the Five in a Row book every day, just used it to plan the week. 

 

For a given week I would have a theme (it might be a letter with Letter of the Week or it might be a book from Five in a Row  or it might have to do with the calendar). Then using that book I’d get a ton of other books out from the library. So if it was A week we’d read books on Apples, Ants, Acrobats, etc. If it was How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (from FIAR) we’d read books about apples and pies and travel and some of the places the girl goes. It it was President’s Day we’d read books about the presidents. 

 

In addition to the reading we’d do some activities related to the books. Like one or two a week. The activities depended on the kid. My oldest hated art so we did it less often. My second and third kids loved art so we did it more. So for A week we might do apple painting (using the apples as stamps) and go outside and watch ants in our yard. For the Apple Pie week we might bake an apple pie together and using a world map color the places the girl went. Or something like that. 

 

At that age we went on a LOT of field trips and did a lot of art and natural science. And we’ve always had a chapter book going at the same time as the other books, unrelated to whatever else we are reading. And we listen to audiobooks in the car always. 

 

I remember posting here when my oldest was preschool or Kindergarten age and getting a lot of advice to slow down and enjoy it. And I hated that advice because I was really ready to homeschool and I’m a bit of a control freak kind of personality and in order to enjoy it I felt like I needed more structure. Looking back, I’m glad I listened to it and wish I had maybe even listened more. Now that my oldest is in high school I realize what everyone has been saying all along...it goes fast. You don’t have to do it all in K. Or 1st grade. Or 2nd grade. Or 3rd grade....

 

Writing this post has made me somewhat nostalgic for those fun years. :) Enjoy this time! It’s fun. 

Edited by Alice
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Totally depends on the kid - one of mine (a boy, actually), would have listened for hours and begged for more.  Others, not so much.  Let them have something to do while they listen (legos, or coloring, or whatever), don't do an activity after it.  If it's a good story, they'll do what they need to do with it on their own - you'll hear them re-enact it with their legos, playmobil, and everything else.  Also, some kids don't like to hear the same book every day so while the Five in a Row books are great, don't feel like you have to DO Five in a Row stuff.  

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Well, fwiw, I am HS our 7 yo and 5 yo, with the 4 yo and baby tagging along (okay, the 4 yo tags along and the baby causes mass destruction everywhere he goes). And your list completely terrifies/overwhelms me.

School for us includes handwriting/copywork, phonics, maths, and RA. RA includes science, history, geography, art, music, literature, etc...I don't use a formal program for any of the RA stuff yet. What I do have is a morning time basket. Every day I pull something for truth, beauty, and goodness to use from the basket. For us, truth is where we discuss religion. Beauty is art, music, poetry, and lately humor (telling jokes). Goodness is fairy tales/myths/legends/fables, science, history, and quality literature.

So I choose something for each category each day. In addition, I RA various other picture books, as well as at least one chapter from a chapter book multiple times a day.

Priorities for our HS include PE (exercise makes everything else run more smoothly) and RA. Heck, when our baby was born last Dec., RA was the thing that got done consistently for a while because I could do it while I nursed baby!

That's the long way of saying that at this age, kids don't need much formal education. Especially with a baby on the way, I'd keep it simple: phonics/reading, maths, handwriting. Everything else is gravy. As for how much time for RA? There's no such thing as too much. My rule is that if they ask me to RA, I will drop whatever I am doing ASAP to do so. You mentioned reading one book a day in the OP. That legitimately made me LOL. There'd be mutiny around here if that's all the heard!

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You mentioned reading one book a day in the OP. That legitimately made me LOL. There'd be mutiny around here if that's all the heard!

 

I know, right!?!?  Everyone was very disgruntled the day I skipped our breakfast read aloud because I had the flu and couldn't leave the bathroom.  I got the distinct impression that they would have willing skipped the actual breakfast meal if I would have instead put my very limited energy into reading what happened next to Nim on her island.

 

My 2 year old hears about 10 story books read aloud each day by me and/or her brothers and listens to recordings of me reading books for about another half an hour.  My 4 year old hears a couple chapters of a novel, plus a half dozen picture books, plus he is welcome to listen to the reading I do as part of the big boys' school, plus he listens to audiobooks for 30-60 minutes.  My 6 and 8 year olds listen to a couple chapters of a novel, plus science/history/art/biography/poetry/literature read alouds, plus a picture books or two in Spanish, plus listening to about an hour of audiobooks, plus reading to themselves for 2-3 hours each day.

 

Mutiny is right if I tried to get away with only one story a day.

 

Wendy 

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DD5 love's to be read to and we read throughout the day plus 4 books for bedtime. During the day she will play while I read plus we do audiobooks in the car and during crafts.

 

Some days she isn't to interested so I get 1 book read others days I lose my voice I'm reading so much. YMMV

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For dd, my single goal for Kindregarten was getting her to read. Everything else was gravy. Half of the reason for that was to prove to myself and others that I could do this homeschooling thing. That year, I picked out a fairy tale for the week, and I read a different version of it each day. I tried to do activities that related to them. We did MUS Primer. Social studies and science fell by the wayside because I had a baby in the middle of the year.

 

Now that I have a K'er coming up next year, I will do things a little differently. I will pursue reading as ds shows readiness/interest. I will probably keep the fairy tales, and add MP's K Enrichment, so that if I want to do activities, it is planned out for me, and if not, oh well. We will do MEP's Reception year and focus on his number sense. I don't care if he learns a single addition fact, as long as he really knows his numbers. If he picks things up from his sister's history lessons, great. As for science, I plan on loosely following WTM.

 

My objectives have loosened up a bit, now that I have been through it once, plus the fact that I will also have to focus on teaching his older sister as well.

 

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We read a lot. 1 or 2 hours worth. It's just what we did at that age. I like art, crafts, playdoh, and messy projects so we did that too.

 

Math, handwriting, phonics, spelling, memory, and grammar were under an hour total. Reading aloud covered history, science, and religion. Kindergarten was great!

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We did read alouds as much as we could. But my K-er always wanted more books, so it was more me getting tired then forcing him to read.

 

We took K fairly laid back. Read something (aloud and independant), write something, do some math. Anything else was just fun. Science/history was covered just from books we read or nature walks etc. We never worried about a "discussion & activity" after each book - that would of killed the enjoyment for us.

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Read alouds- as much as they tolerate/want and you can handle- it was definitely the backbone of school for us, especially for my oldest who was a book lover. We started every day with a huge stack of books and went to the library weekly, it was a wonderful time.

 

Handwriting just a bit- again that varies depending on the kid. My son wasn't ready to hold a pencil in his hand until 5.5, he did HWoT, maybe 1 page a day

 

Learning to Read- pick a program- do a lesson a day or whatever they tolerate without getting frustrated (ideally you stop BEFORE this point!)

 

Math- a lesson a day of 1 program- just pick one and go with it- stop if they get frustrated, if they repeatedly get frustrated, cry etc. consider just doing math games and waiting on the curriculum or using something else. Ds was at least 5.5 when he started formal math, it was all informal and games before then and at that point we did a program that was heavy on manipulatives and oral work and light on writing as that worked for him.

 

Everything else is covered through books, exploring outside, talking to people, and age appropriate tasks.

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Given the ages of your kids, you might be able to pull off Before Five in a Row with all of them. That would give you your "book plus activity" thing.

 

Sage advice: ramp up slowly. You've got a lot of great ideas, and it's ok to get one or two of those plates flying, then a little more, then a little more. Or get part of the list up by the end of first semester and slowly work in the rest the 2nd semester. Or relegate some of those things to the following summer. :)

 

You can do all of K5 in an hour a day. Don't try to make this into more than it needs to be. You can create an enriched environment for some of those goals (Spanish with Muzzy videos before nap time, etc.). You'll probably find it natural to do read alouds several times a day, so just put all your books into a dishpan and have them buy your feeding/rocking chair, kwim? It will come together naturally that way. They'll come to you. :D

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I have a K this year, along with one in 4th. My K does:

~15 min math

~5 min handwriting

~15 min phonics

5-10 min on Kumon or similar (this kid loves worksheets, I wouldn't consider this necessary).

 

We listen to an audio book during breakfast. I read aloud from a chapter book later in the morning and a picture book or dozen at some point in the day. They each pick one book for bedtime story. During lunch they sometimes watch MSB but if they don't we listen to another chapter of our audio book.

 

She can spend 30 minutes on ABCmouse if she wants, and I always have learning games or activities set out for her on her shelves. She does those things or puzzles or just plays in the playroom next door while I work with older.

 

ETA: She sometimes tags along for big sister's science or history, but I don't require it or do anything else specifically for K. She'll get her own science and history next year.

Edited by Whovian10
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One thing to keep in mind is that kids change a lot in 8 or 9 months, especially at the ages you have. So your kids will likely be more mature by the time you actually start teaching. If you aren't already, I'd start reading good quality books to your children now. Read Aloud Revival has a booklist and a podcast that can help. Five in Row, The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, Honey for A Child's Heart, or Ambleside Online all can help you find books too.

 

As far as how much I read to my kids per day, it's a lot. One of my favorite things to do with my kids is to read to them, so we do it a lot. I didn't start out reading aloud a couple hours a day, we worked up to it over years. Plus we have an audiobook in the car whenever we are in it. When I first started it was 15-20 minutes per day.

 

We do not discuss books formally. If the kids ask a question or if a word pops up that I don't think they know, we talk about it, but I don't have a list of questions for them to answer.

 

We get audiobooks on CD from our library. We listen on my phone (via Bluetooth or ox cable in the car) through Audible or The Overdrive app. Overdrive is the app our library uses for digital books, I'm not sure if some libraries use a different app so check with your library.

 

Read Aloud Revival's website lists deals on children's audiobooks through Audible every few weeks. The deals are usually cheaper than credits.

 

https://readaloudrevival.com

http://amblesideonline.org/00bks.shtml

http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/rah-intro.html

https://www.amazon.com/Honey-Childs-Heart-Gladys-Hunt/dp/0310242460/ref=pd_cp_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0310242460&pd_rd_r=DTMAR1EA5DJ6F3ECQV4M&pd_rd_w=nfRdu&pd_rd_wg=GhrHY&psc=1&refRID=DTMAR1EA5DJ6F3ECQV4M

 

 

Hi! This is my first post on the forum. :)

 

I am 99% sure we will be homeschooling our almost 5 year old twin boys starting in late summer for kindergarten. We also have a 3 year old boy plus I'm having a baby over the holidays, so I'm giving myself permission to change my mind after she gets here. But I really do want to go for it.

 

What I'm wondering is how to approach read-alouds/incorporate them into our curriculum. I'm interested, what do you all do in this regard? Do you read one book per week? One per day? Multiple per day? Or do you read one book every day for a week like Five in a Row?

 

I think we could handle one per day, especially since books for this age group are pretty short. And if we are having a busy day we could just do the discussion after and skip any planned art activities, etc that may have gone along. And if we are having a REALLY busy day it could be our bedtime story. I just want to make sure I'm not overdoing it. I'm still narrowing down curriculum options, but my list seems long for how long I'm expecting our day to last realistically.

 

I'm looking at programs for Reading/Phonics, Math, Language Arts/Handwriting/Spelling, and Bible for every day. History and Science will be 2 days a week most likely, and then I'd like to add in Keyboarding/Technology, Art, Music, and Spanish occasionally, maybe 1x per week each.

 

Adding story time + discussion time + an activity every day to all of that seems like it could easily make our day way too long... but I guess if we are keeping each subject at about 20 minutes or so it should be ok? I'm I being naive? Should I aim to do less?

 

Thanks!

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My primary goal for kindergarten is to get my child reading. Kindergarten has looked a little different for each of my children. For my current kindergartener we do math, penmanship, and phonics daily. Seat work averages 30 minutes, which is about what he can handle well. He is young for kindergarten, I would have red shirted him if we didn't homeschool.

 

He also sits in with his older siblings for morning time (singing, poetry, bible, read aloud, memory work, etc), history, and science. Morning time isn't optional but my expectations for him are not the same. History and science are optional for him. He likes science a lot. He listens to SOTW with us but does not do any map work, occasionally answers questions, and occasionally will do a coloring sheet. I didn't start SOTW with my oldest until 1st grade.

Edited by Rach
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Thanks for all the advice!

 

I know we will probably end up taking things pretty slow considering the baby and 3 year old, but I am feel like maybe the twins are ahead of where they should be. At least one of them is... and they enjoy learning so I want to make sure they are being challenged. Not frustrated, but that education is keeping their attention.

 

They have been in 4K at school this year and the school keeps teaching them things that I had planned for next year lol. Between that and what we have already started learning at home, they know all their letters and letter sounds, can recognize capitals and lowercase, can count to 100+, skip count by 10s, count backwards from 20, know the concept of 0, greater and less than, and I have one who is picking up beginning CVC words. And we still have 8 months until I was going to start, so who knows what they will learn in that time. I want to keep going in this direction and at this pace if possible.

 

They talk about the pilgrims, etc at school and that is what I mean when I say "history" - maybe we will try to learn the 50 states song or start it, or do coloring pages and crafts based on american history but nothing crazy. Same with science. 

 

In other areas they are clearly still only 4, like fine motor, handwriting, and attention span. And following directions/listening - especially to me.

 

Reading and Math are definitely my priorities. And I want to keep learning fun so I appreciate the suggestions, and I'm sure I will come back to this on days I don't feel like we did enough.

 

I've also been assuming they'd want to or need to look at the pictures to pay attention to read-alouds, so finding time when everyone is able to sit down and pay attention is rare - but it seems like may of you aren't showing the pictures? I have one twin who will listen forever and wants to see the pictures and one who CANNOT SIT STILL and just starts wrestling with the three year old and being disruptive, even talking over me. And they all fight over my lap and the ones who don't get that spot then pout and don't listen. Post-mealtime energy doesn't seem to be conducive to read-aloud time for them now that I am paying attention, but maybe during mealtime would be better. I just assumed that was when I would eat too lol. 

 

Anyone have suggestions to make storytime more fun (or easier to NOT disrupt at least) for two wiggly willies?? Is that why y'all do it during mealtime? 

 

 

 

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It is interesting to me that y'all do audiobooks at 5 - I hadn't even thought of that! What are some good resources for where to get them? Do you do an audible.com account? Do they have books categorized by age?

 

Also are you opening the hard copy of the book for pictures to go along with the audiobook or do your 5s actually sit and pay attention to audio only? I have one who would be into it, especially in the car, but I have another who is a wiggler and Im wondering I can see him listening for 0.5 a second and then start wrestling with little bro. lol

We use Libervox. The twins have a one hour 'rest' time in their room, I put the iPad with a Libervox story on up high where they cannot reach it. They play quietly while listening. Their current book Is a dramatic reading of the wizard of oz

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My young children have all had times where I read to them several hours a day just using picture books. My youngest didn't like to be read to until she was 2.5, but then could listen to books for an hour or more. I'm not reading as much to her right now because we have so much going on. She does listen to the older kids' reading fairly often. We are doing a story from a Bible story, a chapter or two from a historical fiction book, (Once on This Island), a chapter from a biography (Victoria), another biography (one of the Opal Wheeler books), and a literature book (Ivanhoe). I'd like to add some kind of poetry regularly, but this already takes over an hour most days and close to two others.

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I think my kids got hooked on audio books on a road trip. Junie B books have a very annoying voice (lol), but they are very popular in the 4-6 year old set. Also Beverly Cleary, Magic Tree House, Clementine, etc.

 

I do have an 11 year old that stopped listening as soon as he couild read. He actually hates audio now. But my 7 and 9 (both dyslexic, for full disclosure) love them. My 5 year old non-dyslexic likes them, too.

 

Read Aloud Revival has a lot of good read aloud tips. I read picture books story lady style, a page, then showing the pictures. They get used to that.

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I know we will probably end up taking things pretty slow considering the baby and 3 year old, but (1) I am feel like maybe the twins are ahead of where they should be. At least one of them is... and (2) they enjoy learning so I want to make sure they are being challenged. Not frustrated, but (3) that education is keeping their attention.

 

(1)  With homeschooling there is no place they "should" be.  I have an 8 year old working through prealgebra, and that is exactly the right place for him.  Even though he is intellectually ready for that level of math, he is still only 8 years old, so the methods we use are very different than I would use to teach an 8th grader prealgebra.

 

I would try to separate in your mind how you think your kids learn best from what they are ready to learn.  Last year my K-age son worked through a second grade math book, but he still only ever spent 15 minutes a day on math, and he completed most of it with number stamps because his handwriting stamina was still very much K level.

 

(2)  Being challenged is very important, but it doesn't require more or longer.  Homeschoolers don't have to "get through" the lower level curricula in order to earn the right to be challenged.  Instead I liberally skip lessons that would not challenge my kiddos.  I find unique resources that make them think without bogging them down in tedious, unnecessary (for them) practice.  I do choose very challenging curricula, but I still keep lessons short and sweet, because I find that my gifted kiddos do a lot of their really challenging thinking outside of "school time".

 

(3)  My main goal has always been that learning is a big (positive) part of their lives.  I view us as classical homeschoolers for a couple hours in the morning and then unschoolers for the rest of the day.  I strew fun resources that keep the kids thinking and learning all the time.  I actually see a lot more value in my boys immersing themselves in an afternoon of electrical exploration with snap circuits than if I had prepared and presented a rigorous lesson on the subject.  I value education and book learning tremendously, but my goal everyday is to efficiently teach a very rigorous classical education, while still giving the kids lots of free time to learn and grow and challenge themselves.  As Mark Twain said, â€œI have never let my schooling interfere with my education.â€

 

Wendy

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I've also been assuming they'd want to or need to look at the pictures to pay attention to read-alouds, so finding time when everyone is able to sit down and pay attention is rare - but it seems like may of you aren't showing the pictures? I have one twin who will listen forever and wants to see the pictures and one who CANNOT SIT STILL and just starts wrestling with the three year old and being disruptive, even talking over me. And they all fight over my lap and the ones who don't get that spot then pout and don't listen. Post-mealtime energy doesn't seem to be conducive to read-aloud time for them now that I am paying attention, but maybe during mealtime would be better. I just assumed that was when I would eat too lol.

 

Anyone have suggestions to make storytime more fun (or easier to NOT disrupt at least) for two wiggly willies?? Is that why y'all do it during mealtime?

My kids like looking at pictures in picture books. But when we read other books like Little House on the Prairie or Stuart Little they just listen.

 

Some parents let their kids draw, use play dough, etc during reading time. That doesn't work for me. My kids aren't wiggle worms so that isn't a huge deal in our house. Reading time is about the only time they are still. Sorry I can't help.

Edited by Rach
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We use two techniques in the early years:

 

Captive audience - this is our lunch, car, bathtime book.  Whenever I have something where a child has to sit, there's a book.

Integrated activity - we do this up through elementary school.  I pick something that enhances the story, like giving a variety of materials to build houses with for the three little pigs, or finger puppets, or a weaving activity or something that they will hear about in the story so they can play along.  I get them started and then read the book.  Or I have them act it out as I play the narrator. 

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We use two techniques in the early years:

 

Captive audience - this is our lunch, car, bathtime book.  Whenever I have something where a child has to sit, there's a book.

Integrated activity - we do this up through elementary school.  I pick something that enhances the story, like giving a variety of materials to build houses with for the three little pigs, or finger puppets, or a weaving activity or something that they will hear about in the story so they can play along.  I get them started and then read the book.  Or I have them act it out as I play the narrator. 

 

this is helpful, thank you. :)

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So, i'm finding i'm having an interesting reaction to some of the responses because 10 minutes or even 20 minutes a day for each of the subjects I mentioned sounds like no big deal to me. My kids enjoy "doing" and as long as there's a crayon or computer or activity or they are actively participating they are pretty easy. But SEVERAL HOURS of storytime? We can't get through one book without disruptions. We even tried our first audiobook in the car today, it was 13 minutes and they did not like it, even my easy guy. OUr picture book last night did not go well either, only one heard the whole thing, the other two disrupted two different attempts.

 

I think because auditory-only input doesn't work so well for two out of three of my boys... they are incapable of sitting still and paying attention. Which I think is normal, and I don't mind movement, but talking/disruptions I do. It's like they cant help themselves (really its just one, but then the 3 year old follows along because, fun) and I don't doubt that he legitimately can't, he is very kinesthetic and well, a 5 year old boy. So I guess I need to figure out how to make storytime multi-sensory, or exercise them first, or get some kind of fidget toy/weighted blanket maybe. Which all seems SO daunting to figure out... much more daunting then a science coloring sheet. 

 

I think I'll just do the best I can, and hope I can find some books they really like or figure out his sensory "keys" to unlock for calmness, because we just haven't been one of those super-reader families up to this point, its too hard. I'm in the car 3 hours a day commuting to and from (and to and from) school, and with mealtimes, cleaning, etc i'm busy enough right now to have a hard time fitting it in, especially when its like pulling teeth to get them to pay attention. But this is a huge reason we are homeschooling - more TIME.

 

I'm just overwhelmed now. Feeling like I have this all backwards...

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You find what works for your family.

 

I have two dyslexic sons. They will sit and listen for hours and hours. They have to be prodded to move. (As a treat, we will allow a movie day, but i have learned to let them know beforehand that 12 hours is my limit for what they can watch).

 

But we are currently at 10 minutes of handwriting for my 7 year old, and every.single.minute of that is pure torture.

 

When I was homeschooling my crazy active now 11 year old, we did not do as many read alouds. He learned to read early, and he preferred to read to himself by 6. He has only watched a handful of full length movies in his life, none of those kn our living room with all its distractions. His 2nd grade year was full of interactive notebooks and active learning (I miss it!).

Edited by Zinnia
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You find what works for your family.

 

I have two dyslexic sons. They will sit and listen for hours and hours. They have to be prodded to move. (As a treat, we will allow a movie day, but i have learned to let them know beforehand that 12 hours is my limit for what they can watch).

 

But we are currently at 10 minutes of handwriting for my 7 year old, and every.single.minute of that is pure torture.

 

When I was homeschooling my crazy active now 11 year old, we did not do as many read alouds. He learned to read early, and he preferred to read to himself by 6. He has only watched a handful of full length movies in his life, none of those kn our living room with all its distractions. His 2nd grade year was full of interactive notebooks and active learning (I miss it!).

 

I guess theres one subject/thing for every family and every kid! Hopefully we will both figure out ways to make it more fun in the future!!! ahhh :)

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Are you familiar with the read aloud revival podcast? If not there's so much great advice and information there on reading aloud and getting more reading in each day.

 

I find with the youngest that although they can only sit and listen to picture books for so long you can extend read aloud time a lot by letting them draw, colour or play Lego at the same time.

 

Anyway my tip is to be flexible. All the evidence is for lots of read aloud time being incredibly beneficial so it they are lapping it up read as much as you can fit but if it's making you all crazy slow it down a bit and do less. Expect to be able to cover more fiction.

 

Also I've found the Nsta book lists

 

http://www.nsta.org/publications/ostb/

 

A great resource for suggestions for excellent science books that are more interesting than the run of the mill Usborne or Dk stuff (although they are good too).

 

Good luck.

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Don't feel overwhelmed!

 

Audiobooks are a hard sell even for my younger ones who love storytime. They require a lot of concentration.

 

One of the great things about homeschooling is that our little ones have the freedom to develop their relationships with us and each other, so all those interactions that take place when you're not reading aloud are priceless. Reading aloud is also wonderful, but audiobooks aren't superior to conversation and laughter. You can share stories with your kids, who at this age often love your voice and your stories best of all (especially if you can dredge up some really silly things you did as a kid). And if you read only 1 picture book a day, but read it with excitement and laughter and energy, that is better than trying to do more with frustration and feelings of inadequacy.

 

Some things you can do in this situation:

 

model reading-- let them see you reading your books for pleasure daily;

 

have lots of books available and be available to read them (to the extent possible) when your kids ask;

 

don't treat these books as a School Subject;

 

do privilege stories in your house.

 

When your older kid is telling you all something about what just happened or what he just saw, he is telling a story! Listen, echo, draw him out. Loving telling and listening to a good story as it pertains to our normal human, familial interaction is something I feel may be overlooked a little in a lot of the expectations we have surrounding reading, but really, a reader or someone who loves books is just someone who loves a good story. That can be developed even with little wiggle worms, and if you're cutting off kids' imaginary play (story making!) or conversations (story making!) to Read a Book, it's not necessarily a superior activity, right? The challenge is to slowly help them realize that books contain great stories, and we do this by trying to choose books that will really draw our kids in. What do your boys love? What do they talk about?

 

Finally, one more thing-- if you can get little kids interested in a book, never steamroll them because you've got to read the words on a page. I see this as something parents (including myself here) do that makes kids bolt and go back to their own activities. If they want to talk about the pictures instead, that's fine! Follow their lead. If they want to stay on the same page for 10 minutes asking various questions about construction vehicles that you don't feel qualified to answer, make a note to get more books about construction vehicles. At this stage, developing a love for books means following their lead.

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We can't get through one book without disruptions.

 

Oh, neither can we!!  I don't let that stop me.

 

My older two have some severe mental health challenges, and the preschooler and toddler are obviously young, needy, impulsive, etc.  I joke that I don't allow more than one interruption per sentence per child...but even that is hard for them.   :willy_nilly:

 

For us, reading while they eat is the best solution; their hands and mouths are busy.  They still interrupt with questions/comments/observations incessantly, but I just consider that part of reading to kids.  Anything wild or off-topic I nip in the bud, but if they want to discuss something relating to the story...well, that is literary analysis, or picture story, or phonics and vocabulary if they are intrigued by the word cichlid, or science/history/geography, or poetry if my 2 year old gets excited about a page filled with "her letter" and that leads to a discussion of alliteration or assonance, etc.

 

If we only make it through one page of a novel in 15 minute because they kids are so engaged with the story, I consider that a win.  Now, there are also days when we only make it through one page because they are bickering and disruptive, and I consider that a good opportunity to train and practice self-control...mine and theirs.  :rolleyes:

 

Wendy

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We don't get through books without disruptions either.

 

Please don't be overwhelmed, start small. Maybe just focus on reading to one kid at a time. It's ok to not finish a book, even a picture book. It's ok not to read every single word on the page. It's also ok to tell the kids, enough questions. You have a young family with the added challenge of twins. We have all been there (well I don't have twins), you will figure it out, just work on one small piece at a time.

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I do think that sitting for read alouds is a skill that can be trained over time. Some kids will find it easier than others, but all can learn it, to a greater or lesser degree.

 

My oldest is a very still, story-absorbed child. Constantly reading. My second never stops moving - she's like a sweet monkey. Both love and sit for read alouds. It took time, frequency, and gentle training, but we got there. Now my three yo is developing an appetite for story and he loves to be read to.

 

I do teach them to hold their thoughts and interruptions (as is natural/doable). When we read for a long time, they will often snuggle, colour, play with small toys.

 

I think that, to some extent, it's a developed family practice and kids do develop the necessary skills.

 

ETA: audio books here mostly happen during our afternoon quiet time. Each child is on his or her own, with an audio book and things to do (art supplies, Playmobil, Lego, etc). They listen while they quietly play. They don't have to sit still for the audio book.

Edited by indigoellen@gmail.com
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I'm just overwhelmed now. Feeling like I have this all backwards...

Don't be overwhelmed!

 

RA is my thing. I believe it is super important and so I've always placed tons of importance on it. Our oldest is so used to just cuddling up and reading and looking at pictures. And the others have fallen (and hopefully will fall) in line. If I sit and start to RA, they join me. I am always astounded at people who say "let them color/build with legos/whatever." My kids just aren't having that. They like to be right next to me looking at pictures/asking questions/etc...They won't even do those other things during chapter book RA with fewer pictures.

 

So you do what works for your family.

 

Just do it. Choose a time and start. If you get interrupted, who cares? Keep going the next time (it's a great chance to model narrating/summarizing what's already been read).

 

Way back at the beginning I was in your shoes! One book was a feat! It's taken lots of practice sessions to get here. And sometimes one wanders away to get a toy to hold or to use the bathroom. I don't even blink an eye. I just keep going.

 

As for interruptions, the baby causes plenty of those. I just deal with them and move on. I don't answer the phone or doorbell during RA (unless I know I need to). RA time is sacred. If it doesn't involved blood, bones, or fire, RA keeps going.

 

 

Edited by barnwife
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My husband and I each have a read aloud or read alouds going with the kids most days. He just as one in the evening (not at bedtime) and I have several throughout the day when they're 5. So I usually have a Bible story book and some quality picture books that are classics or maybe a chapter book that I read from a couple of times a day he has a chapter book like The Chronicles of Narnia going on.  For a while I read the Bible story book to them while they were eating breakfast or lunch.

We always allow our kids to play with something quiet while we read or we allow tumbling on a mat or bouncing on an exercise ball for the super active kids for a while, but we work at less physical play over time.

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