Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Middleton07

Treating literature as read-aloud time

Recommended Posts

Hello!  

I have a rising 3rd and 5th grader.  Over the last 2 years, I have treated our literature time as read-aloud time.  Basically, I would use the literature recommendations in our history activity book  and read them aloud to our children during "literature" time.  Honestly, these are some of our favorite times during the school day.  The kids ask for it, even when it is not "literature" time.  According to the Well-Trained Mind book (that I am going through again to prepare for next year), both 3rd and 5th graders should be reading their literature books themselves.  They will already be having 3 periods of other "fun" independent reading throughout the week, in addition to history books, science books, etc.  I am wondering if it is ok to keep reading our literature selections out loud together, since we enjoy it so much.  Is there any harm?  Thank you!      

Edited by Middleton07

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In fact, reading aloud for as long as possible is the very OPPOSITE of "harm" -- it is one of the best ways to develop a child's brain, esp. listening, processing, memory, and critical thinking skills. We read literature out loud through high school -- and even a few books when DSs were in college. You're NEVER too old for family read aloud of good books! 😄

Also -- the WTM is meant as a very general *guide*, with the expectation that each person *adapts* to fit THEIR unique children and circumstances. The author, Susan Wise-Bauer, has often said this, to free people up from feeling they must do everything the way she suggests in the book, or for as long, or with the materials mentioned in her book.

 🧚‍♀️ ::ting!:: <--- homeschooling fairy has just tapped you on the head with her magic wand, freeing you to go forth and homeschool in the way that works for YOU! 😄

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we did the literature as read alouds right up till year 9

When my older children were younger and still lived at home ( where did the years go) I use to read while they were eating their dinner- I am a fast eater.  

Edited by Melissa in Australia
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think about the reasons why kids "should" read the lit themselves.

Off the top of my head:
1. To make sure they can. If they can't, you want to know why and possibly do something about it.
2. To free up time for something else. (Not a problem if there's nothing that's a higher priority.)
3. To get books in them that they ought to read but you don't want to read them because ARGH! NEVER AGAIN! (Looking at you, Aesop's Fables!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Middleton07:

I wouldn't recommend relying exclusively on read-aloud. — Your kids are still quite young, so there's absolutely nothing to feel alarmed about. Still, there are benefits to your kids' doing significant amounts of reading on their own, and even during your read-aloud sessions, it helps if they can see the page, follow the words as you read. 

I've been teaching writing and literature for many years, and my wife and I have reared/homeschooled two children of our own. For what it's worth, here's my take on this issue:

It's about their future as writers.
Children learn their first, most important writing lessons not in a writing class — not through conscious attention to writing skills — but through the act of reading. — The act of listening and processing sounds into meaning is useful, but I would recommend that you distinguish in your own mind 

  1. listening to a text;
  2. reading to oneself — and I mean the solo, visual act of engaging with black text on a white page and silently translating those characters into words and sounds, thence into images and ideas and events and people and personalities.

Processing words in audio form is just not the same challenge and doesn't yield the same benefits, some of which I'll explain below.

"Written English" is a slightly different language than "Spoken English."
To illustrate: Reading is our only exposure to punctuation. Without reading, in other words, we would have no concept of commas, periods, colons, and so on. In your kids' solo reading, they become accustomed to seeing punctuation used correctly, and they will begin the years-long process of internalizing the complex rules of punctuation. 

A similar thing is true for capitalization, which doesn't exist in audio-English, and for the correct use and placement of apostrophes. Remember that apostrophes are used in two ways:

  • To show possession. Bear in mind that in the purely audio version of English, there is no distinction among words like countries, country’s, or countries’; in sound, all three words are identical. It is only through encountering such distinctions over and over, thousands and thousands of times, that children begin to internalize the logic of the apostrophe and possession.
  • To form contractions. In audio-English, there is no distinction between who’s and whose, it’s and its, they’re and their, and so on; kids first learn these distinctions not in a grammar class, but through the simple act of reading the written word. 
        Also, have you noticed that students today will frequently write things like: I would of been there if I'd been invited...? — Ever wonder how a construction like "would of" gets started? — I suspect that it comes about through a dearth of reading; in other words, it sounds right, and most important, it doesn't look wrong.  

I could go on — as a teacher of writing and as a homeschooling dad, I have a lot to say on this subject — but I've already written a lot. Suffice to say that our kids, through their reading, get accustomed to ingesting information in the form of complete, written sentences, with all the right punctuation in the right places, all the capital letters in the right places, correct use of apostrophes, and much more. And I'm a firm believer that a steady diet of complete, written sentences (through reading) results in our kids' internalizing the written version of the language. That internalizing of Written English is a big part of enabling them to produce Written English themselves—that is, write

Hope this is helpful, Middleton07.

—Roy Speed

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

she isn't saying that her children will not be reading - rather she said  they will be reading science , history and other assigned reading. Just the great books literature is going to be a read aloud. This is fantastic. Some of those books can be intimidating to primary age students. This is a great way for them to become familiar with great literature and not daunted by it when they are in upper grades of high school

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, royspeed said:

Middleton07:

I wouldn't recommend relying exclusively on read-aloud. — Your kids are still quite young, so there's absolutely nothing to feel alarmed about. Still, there are benefits to your kids' doing significant amounts of reading on their own, and even during your read-aloud sessions, it helps if they can see the page, follow the words as you read. 

I've been teaching writing and literature for many years, and my wife and I have reared/homeschooled two children of our own. For what it's worth, here's my take on this issue:

It's about their future as writers.
Children learn their first, most important writing lessons not in a writing class — not through conscious attention to writing skills — but through the act of reading. — The act of listening and processing sounds into meaning is useful, but I would recommend that you distinguish in your own mind 

  1. listening to a text;
  2. reading to oneself — and I mean the solo, visual act of engaging with black text on a white page and silently translating those characters into words and sounds, thence into images and ideas and events and people and personalities.

Processing words in audio form is just not the same challenge and doesn't yield the same benefits, some of which I'll explain below.

"Written English" is a slightly different language than "Spoken English."
To illustrate: Reading is our only exposure to punctuation. Without reading, in other words, we would have no concept of commas, periods, colons, and so on. In your kids' solo reading, they become accustomed to seeing punctuation used correctly, and they will begin the years-long process of internalizing the complex rules of punctuation. 

A similar thing is true for capitalization, which doesn't exist in audio-English, and for the correct use and placement of apostrophes. Remember that apostrophes are used in two ways:

  • To show possession. Bear in mind that in the purely audio version of English, there is no distinction among words like countries, country’s, or countries’; in sound, all three words are identical. It is only through encountering such distinctions over and over, thousands and thousands of times, that children begin to internalize the logic of the apostrophe and possession.
  • To form contractions. In audio-English, there is no distinction between who’s and whose, it’s and its, they’re and their, and so on; kids first learn these distinctions not in a grammar class, but through the simple act of reading the written word. 
        Also, have you noticed that students today will frequently write things like: I would of been there if I'd been invited...? — Ever wonder how a construction like "would of" gets started? — I suspect that it comes about through a dearth of reading; in other words, it sounds right, and most important, it doesn't look wrong.  

I could go on — as a teacher of writing and as a homeschooling dad, I have a lot to say on this subject — but I've already written a lot. Suffice to say that our kids, through their reading, get accustomed to ingesting information in the form of complete, written sentences, with all the right punctuation in the right places, all the capital letters in the right places, correct use of apostrophes, and much more. And I'm a firm believer that a steady diet of complete, written sentences (through reading) results in our kids' internalizing the written version of the language. That internalizing of Written English is a big part of enabling them to produce Written English themselves—that is, write

Hope this is helpful, Middleton07.

—Roy Speed

 

Hi, Roy!  

Thank you for your thoughtful response.  I couldn't agree with you more!  Independent reading is crucial.  I have a writing background, as well (majored in English, wrote for a living as a lawyer, taught legal writing in law school).  I definitely agree with you that it is important for kids to read.  Absolutely.  Thankfully, my kids read a ton.  They each read at least 120 books over this school year, and collectively we read over 450 books.  I just wanted to see if other's would agree with me that continuing to read our literature-time books out loud would be ok, since we enjoy our read-alouds so much.  It is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling.  We just finished our 2nd year of homeschooling, and I have really relied on the WTM for recommendations.  I am happy to see that others on here think it is fine to continue to do it this way.  🙂  Thanks again for taking the time to respond.  Have a great day!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Lori D. said:

In fact, reading aloud for as long as possible is the very OPPOSITE of "harm" -- it is one of the best ways to develop a child's brain, esp. listening, processing, memory, and critical thinking skills. We read our literature along through high school -- and even a few books when DSs were in college. You're NEVER too old for family read aloud of good books! 😄

Also -- the WTM is meant as a very general *guide*, with the expectation that each person *adapts* to fit THEIR unique children and circumstances. The author, Susan Wise-Bauer, has often said this, to free people up from feeling they must do everything the way she suggests in the book, or for as long, or with the materials mentioned in her book.

 🧚‍♀️ ::ting!:: <--- homeschooling fairy has just tapped you on the head with her magic wand, freeing you to go forth and homeschool in the way that works for YOU! 😄

I love the homeschooling fairy!!  🙂  Thank you!!

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you seen a Sonlight catalog? LOL Definitely go for it on your read-alouds. I'm a little skewed on read-alouds right now, because my ds has significant SLDs and a  language disability. But even for my dd, who was a stronger reader and ended up with exceptional scores we used read-alouds and audiobooks up until about junior high. At that point I was so crazy with ds we were having to convert over to audiobooks. 

If Lori sprinkled fairy dust on you, that's exactly right. YOU are the magic in this and you're cool to dump, rearrange, whatever you think is best. So if you say well we do that, but we shove that goal over here and accomplish the skill for history in a different way or different subject, you're GOOD. You can even take the book as inspiration and then morph and do it totally different ways. You can say hang WTM and use WEM for a really differently thinking kind of child. Make very free to use it as inspiration, not conscription. I've been on the boards maybe 15 years now, and very few people follow it EXACTLY. They take inspiration from it, pulling the parts that work for them. I think any time you're passionate about something and bringing some strength or joy to it, you're going to do it well. It's good to roll with what you feel passionately about.

                                            Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League                                       I found this book inspiring. I suggested it to a friend, and she was like oh that's horrible, look how drifting those kids turned out, blah blah. But my point is she picked some things she felt passionately about and did them and interacted with her kids and communicated them. It's good to read across homeschooling styles so you don't feel so locked in. Like go read some unschooler stuff and let it balance out your WTM. :biggrin:

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, my.  We love read aloud time here.  It gives young ones the chance to experience the complex language and rhythm of older styles of writing.  Do I expect my kid to read good books?  YES.  But at his level.  Paddington and Pinocchio were absolutely something he could, and did, tackle this year.  A Christmas Carol?  Sure, he could have read it, but he would not have gotten nearly as much out of it as when I read it to him.  Even the 19yo came in quietly and sat down - he had heard the book every year since he was about 8 or 9, and every year he gets more: more of the humor, more of the context, more of the cultural background, more of the character development.  He'll enjoy reading it to his own kids.

There is no harm in exposing your kids to books above their easy-reading level so that they feel confident to stretch themselves when you give them a new book to read alone.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, this is my once a year rant, may or may not apply. What I've always gravitated to in WTM is the focus on foundations. I came to it at a time when unit studies, unschooling, and even character trait based studies were THE THING. People would spend large amounts of time pulling together these fabulous experiences, but the kids would look back and go wow, wish you had intervened on my dyslexia or nailed the basics. So WTM was a welcome reprieve from that, a return to common sense, and it PUT THE SCHOOL BACK IN HOMESCHOOLING. At a time when conventions were largely about parenting, GHC (who invited SWB) was able to bring in conventions that actually addressed how we were going to TEACH these skills.

But you know WTM is pretty organized and stiff if you interpret it too literally. Does it have to be that way? We have unschoolers here who draw inspiration from it. My ds is so far off the track (ASD2, pretty complicated) that you can't even tell if he's homeschooling, lol. All I do with him right now is read aloud a couple hours a day. Like that's literally IT. Now this is sort of break for us, but I have been going through SCADS of picture books with him, carefully chosen by lexile index to meet him exactly where he is as a gifted 10 yo with significant disabilities. We have these RICH DISCUSSIONS because of our read alouds, talking about politics, geography, morals, behavioral expectations, math, everything that comes up. We read books about artists and then have contests and try things. No it's not what WTM says, but it's informed by what WTM taught me, the need to focus on solid foundations. We weave in his therapies for narrative language deficits which are, hello, the very thing WTM told us to do! Just he needs to go a lot slower, with more intervention materials, lol.

So yes, be magical, innovate, do things that inspire you. It's how you find your groove as a homeschooler.

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2019 at 6:05 AM, Middleton07 said:

...  my kids read a ton.  They each read at least 120 books over this school year, and collectively we read over 450 books....

 


Book lists, if needing more ideas of good books to read aloud / solo read:

Online Curriculum/Booklist (by grade level)
The Great Books Academy
Ambleside Online

Curriculum Vendor Booklists 
Sonlight/Bookshark
Build Your Library -- family reading crates; booklists per grade
Moving Beyond the Page
Heart of Dakota
Winter Promise
Tapestry of Grace
Veritas Press
Truth Quest
My Father's World
Biblioplan
Beautiful Feet
Classical Christian Homeschooling Catalog
Exodus Books: Reading Roadmaps book packages

And also "living book"-based homeschooling websites:
Charlotte Mason Home Education: Twaddle Free Literature - good books, by grade level
Charlotte Mason Help: Books and Schedules - good books, by grade level
An Old Fashioned Education: Classic Literature - classics, by grade level

"Good Books" / Old Fashioned Book Lists
1000 Good Books 
Teacher's First Recommended Reading Lists
Charlotte Mason Home Education: Twaddle Free Literature
Charlotte Mason Help: Books and Schedules
An Old Fashioned Education: Classic Literature

Historical Fiction/Non Fiction Book Lists
A Book in Time (K-12) - historical fiction / non-fiction
Home's Cool - SL books in WTM 4-year cycle, by grammar/logic/rhetoric stage
Young Adult Library Services Association: annual best non-fiction book lists for teens

Tween Book Lists
The Art of Simple: Summer Reading List for Tweens
Association for Library Services to Children: Tween Recommended Reads
NPR Backseat Book Club: 100 Must Reads for Kids Ages 10-14

National Book Lists
Newberry Winner and Honor Books
Read Aloud America - annual best read aloud lists; by age/grade range
Listopia: Good Books: Children's Book Lists - good books by category; voted by web visitors
Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading 
Teacher's First Recommended Reading Lists
The Art of Simple: Summer Reading List for Tweens
NPR Backseat Book Club: 100 Must Reads for Kids Ages 10-14
Young Adult Library Services Association: annual best non-fiction book lists for teens
Association for Library Services to Children: Tween Recommended Reads

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a lot of read aloud until a few years ago when oldest was mid high school.  

When ds2 was born, the older kids were 12 and 10.  That year we did read aloud everyday and they also read through SL Eastern Hemisphere.  We did no lit guides that year.  They did just fine the next year in an online comp and lit class.

We are wanting to do a read aloud this summer while dd is home from college.  I'm not sure what to reaad though.  Some of our favorite memorable times together have been reading aloud as a family.  

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still read aloud to my son for about an hour each day, and he's 17.  So in answer to your question, there is absolutely no harm in it, and in our house, only good things have come from our read alouds.

That said, I also assign reading that he needs to do independently (and have done so since he was in 2nd grade or so).

The WTM should be considered a guide, not a prescription.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read aloud to my kids all through high school.  We read so many wonderful books together! It was great to enjoy good literature together and to discuss works that they might not of been able to read on their own or might not have gotten as much out of it. It was fun to share  those moments together and to see their faces when certain things happened. I love that my  teens thought little Pearl from The Scarlet  Letter was laugh out loud funny. I loved when my 15-year-old son changed his surly face with the amazing discovery, “ oh I get it! She’s proud and he’s prejudiced!”  And then begging me to read more every night after that.  Or the wonderful times we had reading Grimms’ fairytales, which my kids used to call the bloody book!  My kids read lots on their own, but read aloud time was a special tradition that truly enriched their education and our family bond, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/4/2019 at 9:03 PM, Middleton07 said:

  Is there any harm?  

If your kids are asking for this and you are all enjoying it so much, do not change what you are doing! It makes me sad when something is working so well, and we - I must include myself here - second guess what we are doing because a resource suggests we should be doing something differently. There is absolutely no harm here. It sounds like you and your children are doing amazingly well with this.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Skippy said:

If your kids are asking for this and you are all enjoying it so much, do not change what you are doing! It makes me sad when something is working so well, and we - I must include myself here - second guess what we are doing because a resource suggests we should be doing something differently. There is absolutely no harm here. It sounds like you and your children are doing amazingly well with this.

 

Reading out loud with teenagers here, too. ❤️ Wouldn't trade it for the world, and neither would they. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading aloud with my kids was the best part of homeschooling for me and something they really loved as well. We used SL for many years.

Unlike others, I wasn’t able to pull it off past late middle school. I’m not sure why, but mine no longer had the patience for it once they hit a certain age. That was a difficult adjustment for me. I have heard others say they started taking turns reading aloud with their teens, but mine did not want to do that either. I would have enjoyed the high school years of homeschooling a lot more if we had continued that tradition and, looking back, I wish I had worked harder to figure out a way to make that work because I think it could have been good for them too.

I just told my 17yo old dd (with a hopeful tone in my voice) that I was going to start reading aloud to her every day for an hour and she laughed at me and said “no way!”  🙂 But, she says I can help homeschool her children once she has them, so there’s that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mom0012 said:

...I just told my 17yo old dd (with a hopeful tone in my voice) that I was going to start reading aloud to her every day for an hour and she laughed at me and said “no way!”  ...


Rather than try and go hard in to reviving read-alouds, what about picking a play and taking parts and doing it as a family "reader's theater"? And from there, pick one book that would be extremely exciting / engaging / engrossing for everyone still living at home and just a few nights a week, read-aloud for 10-15 minutes at dinner (captive audience 😂). So maybe you only end up reading aloud 2-3 books over the year, but you'd have the fun of making memories together as a family with those few books.

I vote for something by PG Wodehouse -- maybe Life With Jeeves (short story collection). Short stories can often be done in one short sitting, and Wodehouse is so very amusing that humor is apt to keep everyone listening.

Another thought is to 1 night a week listen together to an old time radio show -- The Shadow, a mystery/suspense show like "Sorry Wrong Number", the Jack Benny Show, Orson Wells broadcast of War of the Worlds that made people think it was a real alien invasion -- etc.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


Rather than try and go hard in to reviving read-alouds, what about picking a play and taking parts and doing it as a family "reader's theater"? And from there, pick one book that would be extremely exciting / engaging / engrossing for everyone still living at home and just a few nights a week, read-aloud for 10-15 minutes at dinner (captive audience 😂). So maybe you only end up reading aloud 2-3 books over the year, but you'd have the fun of making memories together as a family with those few books.

I vote for something by PG Wodehouse -- maybe Life With Jeeves (short story collection). Short stories can often be done in one short sitting, and Wodehouse is so very amusing that humor is apt to keep everyone listening.

Another thought is to 1 night a week listen together to an old time radio show -- The Shadow, a mystery/suspense show like "Sorry Wrong Number", the Jack Benny Show, Orson Wells broadcast of War of the Worlds that made people think it was a real alien invasion -- etc.

It’s worth a try!  Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything @Lori D. said...in her first post (although other post is good too=) especially the first and last sentences.  Never give up read aloud! 

Edited by Familia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...