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Beginning Literature for a family new to Homeschooling


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Hi All,

 

We're just starting homeschooling with my 6 year old son.  We're doing most of the WTM curriculum for now.  I was wondering if you guys have recommenditons good literature to start with?  I'm thinking about The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War, and maybe getting Classics to Read Aloud by William Russell just for a start.  Any other ideas would be helpful

We're doing

Grammar-FLL

Writing- WWE

Phonics/Spelling-  We're going to finish Phonic Pathways. Then move on to Spelling Workout.

History- SOTW

Math- Khan Academy (For now. It's going to change.  trying to decide between Singapore,MM, & MEP) 

Sicence- Don't know yet

 

Thanks!

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Have you looked at the SOTW Activity Guides?

Really, it doesn't matter what literature you read, but if you're looking for a plan to follow so you don't have to overthink everything, there is a recommended reading list for each chapter in there, as well as the literature lists in the 'The Well Trained Mind.'

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Fairy tales, folk tales, fables.

Don't forget that poetry was the first literature! The various Oxford and Kingfisher books of children's poetry have lovely, attractive illustrations and well-chosen poems.

Used book stores (if you can find any that are open right now...) frequently have old sets of children's literature for cheap, especially if they're well-loved or a volume or two is missing. "Young Folks' Library," "My Book House," "Journeys Through Bookland," others. We did most of our first couple years of homeschooling with a $20 set of Childcraft volumes from Half Price Books.

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My sister is using Vintage Poetry for Modern Kids with her six-year-old, and they are having a lot of fun with it. They are doing one poem each week (this is a link to the poems), and then a ton of interest-led reading together. My kids also loved poetry when they were little -- nothing too complex, but the short texts were fun and easy to work with. Now, as middle schoolers, they have moved on to longer, more complex works and love the process of explication.

Edited by Amoret
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Yes WTM and SotW should keep you occupied. 
The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease has literature all categorized. You don’t necessarily need the latest edition. 
 

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At only 6 years old, I would read The House at Pooh Corner or Mr Popper's Penguins or Pippi Longstocking or the like while he is still young enough to enjoy it. My 7.5yo just thoroughly enjoyed listening to The Wild Robot. It's long and a bit slow at the beginning but a great book for little boys who like talking animals and robots.

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Welcome to the WTM boards, and to homeschooling!

The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War -- that's a great one to go along with your ancient History. Below are a few more titles you might enjoy to go with your ancient history (that may be available at your local library!)

For science, at that age, you could keep it simple and enjoy reading the Let's Read and Find Out About Science book series, esp. level 2. And watch Magic School Bus episodes together on the PBS website--there are extension activities on the PBS Kids website if you want to include some hands-on. 😉 

For read-alouds for Literature -- I'll just note that the William Russell Classics to Read Aloud is nice, but over 2/3 of the selections are above your child's "listening age", so much of that book would need to wait. At age 6, there are tons of "classic" and wonderful picture books and chapter books you can read-aloud and enjoy as your literature. The 1000 Good Books booklists might be one place to browse for ideas for titles -- here's the link to the grade 1-3 suggested titles. Some of the suggestions are at a 1st grade reading level, but many are at a higher reading level, and would be idea to read-aloud. So be sure you don't miss out on that special window of opportunity for fun, memory-making books like @sweet2ndchance posted above. 😄 

Language Arts -- And I'll just add that unless your 6yo is reading well and has a good grasp of phonics, it might be helpful to set aside doing any spelling and writing right now, and get solid with reading and phonics FIRST. Writing at this early stage is usually learning/practicing handwriting (penmanship), and possibly once a week having the child narrate a sentence to you of what is happing in the read-aloud, and you write that down, and then the child uses that as their handwriting practice. Also, be careful to not burn out a young elementary student with too much pencil gripping / writing, and do your FLL grammar aloud / orally, rather than written. 😉 

 

HISTORY READ-ALOUD IDEAS

General

Archeologists Dig for Clues (Duke) -- LOVE this book!

Mesopotamia
Gilgamesh the King (Zeman) -- first of 3 picture books as a retelling of the ancient epic
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Sumerian Slave (Morley)

Ancient Egypt
Temple Cat (Clements)
Mummies Made in Egypt (Aliki)
Pepi and the Secret Name (Paton)
Tut's Mummy Lost and Found (Donnelly)
Growing Up in Ancient Egypt (David)
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Pyramid Builder (Morley)
The Egyptian Cinderella (Climo) -- myth/folktale

Ancient Greece
Growing Up in Ancient Greece (Chelepi)
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Greek Athlete (Ford)
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Slave in Ancient Greece (MacDonald)
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth (Lasky)
What's Your Angle, Pythagoras (Ellis)
Cupid and Psyche (Craft) -- myth
King Midas and the Golden Touch (Craft) -- myth
Monster in the Maze: Story of the Minotaur (Spinner) -- myth
Flying Horse: Story of Pegasus (Mason) -- myth
Snake Hair: Story of Medusa (Spinner) -- myth
Classical Kids: Activity Guide (Carlson) -- Ancient Greece & Rome hands-on

Ancient Rome
Growing Up in Ancient Rome (Corbishley)
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Soldier (Stewart)
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Gladiator (Malam)
You Wouldn't Want to Live in Pompeii (Malam)
Romulus and Remus (Rockwell)
Pompeii Buried Alive (Davis)
Classical Kids: Activity Guide (Carlson) -- Ancient Greece & Rome hands-on

Ancient China
Growing Up in Ancient China (Teague)
A Single Grain of Rice (Demi)
The Story of Silk (Sobol)
Once Upon a Time in China series -- #1 = The Emperor Who Built the Great Wall (Lin)
You Wouldn't Want to Work on the Great Wall of China (Morley)

Stone Age Europe
Ice Mummy: Discovery of a 3,000 year old Man (Dubowski)
Wild and Wooly Mammoths (Aliki)
Prehistoric Mammals (Zoehfeld)
Discovery in the Cave (Dubowski) --
discovery of the Lascaux Cave paintings

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For my first grader we visit the library A TON. We get all SOTW Activity Guide suggestions, both history and literature. I read from What Your First Grader Needs to Know for poetry, nursery rhymes, common sayings, songs, etc. And then just whatever she wants from our personal book collections or that she picks at the library. Currently she is having me read a lot from a big Children's Literature Anthology that we got as a hand me down from our church's library. We read the readers from Rod and Staff that cover Bible as well as from our Children's Bible. 

For science, we are doing WTM style animals study right now. But while at the library, I pick out books with animal characters to go along with her science animals. There are just so many great children's picture books out there. So I try to include those. (Frog and Toad books when on amphibians, The Very Hungry Caterpillar when on butterflies, etc. 

The What Your First Grader Needs to Know is nice because it has a little of everything- aesop's fables, stories from around the world, nursery rhymes and fairy tales, history, songs, etc. If I had to have one book alongside my SOTW selections that is definitely it. 

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If you haven’t been to the Read aloud revival page and podcast yet that’s well worth checking out.  They have so many good book suggestions and strategies for getting more literature into your life.  It does come from a Christian viewpoint if that’s a concern.  Honey for a child’s heart by Gladys Hunt and the read aloud handbook by Jim Trelease are other books with lots of book suggestions.  
 

https://reaberg.com  This lady does children’s lit and I think reprints and restoration of older books (keep on mind issues with racism etc when going with older books).  
 

“ Give your child the world” by Jamie C Martin is a book with literature recommendations to tie in with geography arranged by age and country.  

“The literary life podcast” is a lot of fun if you are looking to add a bit of extra literature to your adult life as is “The Well Educated Mind”.

There’s so many good options out there for children’s lit.  

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I have always used the booklists from literature based and other programs to choose books--Sonlight/Bookshark, Heart of Dakota,  Veritas Press, Memoria Press, etc.  The Read Aloud Handbook is also great, as well as What to Read When. 

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Be careful with a 6 year old. It's easy to overdo school when your oldest is only 6 and you're so excited to do real school. It's easy to push and push and do all the things. Try to make literature something enjoyable so the child associates books with fun and not with school. You can very easily go straight to the classics and hardest books to check them off the list and be rigorous and get ahead and all that, and it can backfire, with your child beginning to dislike school or reading. Try to make it fun. Memorizing poems is excellent and fun and takes 3 minutes per day.

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4 hours ago, Emily ZL said:

Be careful with a 6 year old. It's easy to overdo school when your oldest is only 6 and you're so excited to do real school. It's easy to push and push and do all the things. Try to make literature something enjoyable so the child associates books with fun and not with school. You can very easily go straight to the classics and hardest books to check them off the list and be rigorous and get ahead and all that, and it can backfire, with your child beginning to dislike school or reading. Try to make it fun. Memorizing poems is excellent and fun and takes 3 minutes per day.

Agreeing and liking everything in Emily ZL's post -- until the last sentence. 😉

Both of my DSs *hated* poetry -- all the way through, even from 1st grade! And we had NEVER pushed it or done too much in the early years, so that was just them. 😩 So we did just little bits of poetry here and there, kept it fun and light. And we did NOT do memorization of poems because they disliked poetry so much.

All that to say -- YMMV, so know you student(s) and what will -- or won't! -- work for them . 😉 

Edited by Lori D.
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On 10/25/2020 at 4:46 PM, Lori D. said:

Agreeing and liking everything in Emily ZL's post -- until the last sentence. 😉

Both of my DSs *hated* poetry -- all the way through, even from 1st grade! And we had NEVER pushed it or done too much in the early years, so that was just them. 😩 So we did just little bits of poetry here and there, kept it fun and light. And we did NOT do memorization of poems because they disliked poetry so much.

All that to say -- YMMV, so know you student(s) and what will -- or won't! -- work for them . 😉 

Oh that's a bummer! Yes YMMV and I only have four data points so far, hardly a representative sample. But if you try fun poems (like Rain, the Eagle, etc), they often come to love the sense of accomplishment. Sorry it didn't work out! 

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