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    Hello All,

    This is our second week of homeschool. I wasn’t quite ‘ready to go’ when I started. I read ‘For the Children’s Sake” and have done some research and am attempting to educate in the CM style.

    My DD7 in 2nd grade was supposedly reading above her grade level, I truly question this as she does not seem retain what she is reading even when I try to have her read things on the 1st grade booklists. Today she supposedly read the first chapter of Ginger Pye but couldn’t narrate much about it. Generally if I read a story she can narrate about some details. I think I need help finding NON TWADDLE books that will not overwhem her. She does love to read kid series like the rainbow fairies and geronimo stilton and fancy nancy stuff. Most of which I assume would be considered Twaddle.

    **How do I  ‘do reading” for a 7 year old that did not start out of living books?**

    I feel very overwhelmed by all the booklists. We enjoyed Jungle Book (I read aloud Riki Tiki Tavi). She wants me to read it that one again. Do I read it a few times and then have her try to read it aloud?

    **What would you recommend me to read about CM to get our school on its feet quickly? I am not a speedy reader myself!**

    PS We also have little brothers 2 and 4 who are not yet paying attention too much when I read longer books aloud. I am trying to encourage them to stick around and play quietly or color. Doesn’t always happen!


    Hey! Slow down and give yourself a break, first step! You are not on anyone else’s schedule now, you can make your own. I suggest starting out with doing a free online reading level assessment (just google reading level assessment, all kinds of sites show up) you read through it, then have her try out their lists. I have used tampareads.com as a resource for teaching my twins (6yr.old boys) and used another program for my 8 yr.old daughter- there are groups of words to become fluent in reading, termed High Frequency Word lists, and once your daughter can use a portion of those she will be able to read faster, which increases her sense of accomplishment and desire to read. tampareads.com explains in easy terms, and much stuff is free on there. Look at the free downloads on this site for CM instructions, it is OUTSTANDING and much of it is free also. Juggling the youngers is a challenge: we made a “baby-duty” box on the advice of another veteran homeschooling mom (she taught her 8!) and put things in there of special interest to my 2-yr old daughter- obviously smallers ones have shorter attention span so you will probably have to break up your “school” activities with group things they can all do, like singing hymns, Bible stories, crayons, stickers, and blocks etc. We don’t grade things in our school, it’s either right or in progress until it is done right. I think you are brave and exceptional to bring her home! Hang in there! Get the basics rolling then as you are more comfortable with the new role, add on. Way to go Mom!Smile


    There is an aritcle on here about switching to CM from school, read that if you haven’t already.  We brought my son home at the end of 1st grade and did school at home for the first 6 months.  It wasn’t working and we found CM too.  I think with the reading, what we did was go back a level.  I had him read on a 1st grade level because he couldn’t narrate to me.  Also, I found that he narrates a lot better with a book he likes than with something that bores him.  For book lists we liked Honey for a Childs Heart and The Read-Aloud Handbook.  Off the top of my head he liked Frog and Toad books and others by Arnold Lobel.  He liked Little Bear and Henry and Mudge.  If your daughter does not like a book then skip it, dont force it. One good one is Madeline.  Thats the most important thing I think, teach her how to love learning and love books.  Make sure you aren’t asking her to read too much, I made that mistake.  I was having my 2nd grade son read a whole chapter book by Frog and Toad in one sitting, towards the end of the year I was making him read 40-60 pages.  He is in 4th this year and I am so blessed that he even likes reading after what I put him through.  We backed way up in 3rd grade only had him reading 10-15 pages and this year we do 15-20 pages unless he just wants to read more.

    As for you reading aloud, I would gradually switch to books that will interest her.  How about Peter Pan or The Blue Fairy Book (or red or yellow)?  I thought my boys would be bored by “twaddle” free books, and I have been surprised that they aren’t at all.  We recently finished Mr Poppers Penguins, they loved that one.


    I have a 7 yr. old son and a 9 yr. old daughter. I understand what you are saying. I agree with mrsjamiesouth about making sure that she likes the book you are asking her to read. That has made a lot of difference with my kids. Before I learned about CM, I would make my poor daughter pick a book at the library and MAKE her read it no matter what! Embarassed Thankfully I did not do that long enough to destroy her love of reading!  Our librarians actually advised me to let her check out as many good books as she wanted to and not make her feel that she had to read them all if she did not like them all. One librarian said “There are just too many good books out there! Don’t waste time making her read something just for the sake of finishing a book. She should enjoy reading, not feel it is a chore!”

    Also, “twaddle” free books have become my children’s favorite books. However, it is sometimes hard to find “readers” that are not twaddle. The SCM bookfinder works great for looking up things your daughter might like. I have been letting my son read some “science” books aloud and quietly from the SCM bookfinder. We get them at the library. He does great with narration if it is a subject that interests him. My daughter has also been reading more chapter books and narrates to me without my asking her to!

    Liking the books makes a big difference!

    Since I am still learning too, I may be letting them read some “twaddle”. However, I am working on a book list of good books for us to cover. There may be some “not-so-good” books in the mix for a while until I can more easily distinguish between the two. Just don’t stress about it so much, and do your best to help them pick out good books based on what you know at the moment. Teach yourself how to pick out the best books and then teach your children how to do the same πŸ™‚ You have time, don’t worry! πŸ˜‰


    Here are some we have recently read:

    Nate the Great

    Box Turtle of Long Pond

    Frog and Toad

    The Yellow Fairy Book

    Magic Tree House (may be considered twaddle but they liked it πŸ™‚


    VERY POPULAR Read Alouds so far: Prickly Porky, The Adventures of Peter Cottontail, and Little House in the Big Woods





    I couldn’t find the article on switching from public school to CM. Does anyone have a link? Or can you tell me where to look? I didn’t not have success using the search.

    Sonya Shafer

    Here ya go, shari99: Making the Transition to a Charlotte Mason approach. I hope it gives you some ideas. Smile


    Oh thank you, Sonya! this is great!

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