Topic | Transitioning to Independent Reading

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  • eawerner

    Dd7 is set to finish the 3rd grade Pathway Readers this spring. They are going well and she really only needs help with odd ball words and encouragement to s-l-o-w down when reading aloud.  We’ve also been chugging through Phonics Pathways which won’t be finished this spring. She reads a page of words a day, but it isn’t like we’re learning out of the book, if that makes sense. Just practicing slowing down and sounding out words instead of guessing. She really took off with sight reading last year but that does have some draw backs I’ve learned!  She also started reading some easier chapter books in her free time.  Books like American Girl, Imagination Station, the Little House series, Milly Molly Mandy, ect.  However, if she doesn’t know a word, she just kinda skips it so it can mess up her comprehension a bit. 

    So where to go from here?  In the curriculum guide it looks like she would be done with Beginning Reading and the whole read aloud to mom every day thing. I’m not sure how I feel about that since she likes to read so fast that she misses and mixes up simple words if I’m not forcing her to slow down, though when she does slow down she can read 99% of the words with little to no trouble at all. Is there a way to work on reading aloud skills without daily time in a reader? Not that I don’t enjoy Rachel and Peter… but I’m about done with them for a year or so until the next child starts in!

    If we move to independent/assigned reading, what is the set up for that? It seems to be missing in the curriculum guide!  Should I just pick an assortment of history, science, and literature books so she is reading a chapter a day in *something*? Does she narrate every chapter from every book or could she have assigned history readings 3 days a week with narration and then a book of her choice (from my options) for the other 2 days without a narration?

    We want to challange her to her full potential, but still maintain the less is more approach if that makes sense.  I’m just not sure what that should look like.


    History readers are set up through the modules. I have had my kids scheduled to read in Christian Liberty Press’ Nature Reader (there are 5) once a week too. They also have some kind of literature scheduled twice a week, if not done in free time on their own.

    Reading aloud is a separate skill than reading quietly to one’s self. I have my children work on this in a variety of ways. They can read the Bible passage aloud in our family Bible time, read aloud a picture book to a younger sibling (Eric Carle is good to start with), or read aloud to me a short passage a few times per week. You might remember the teacher in school suddenly calling on you to read aloud the next paragraph to the whole class; embarrassing if you weren’t following along in the textbook like you were supposed to be. 😉

    I encourage my children to “tell me what they read about” each day. I like to hear their excitement when they share it with me. It should work fine the way you planned, to do history 3 days with narration and another book 2 days without.


    My children also transitioned out of beginner reading after the 3rd grade Pathway book, so I know where you’re at. Wings2fly made some great suggestions for having them continue to read short passages aloud to work on pronunciation and elocution. Our children are assigned chapter books as the next step in independent reading. They are breezing through them and narrating wonderfully. Occasionally I will have them read a couple of paragraphs out loud to me or each other just to “check up” on their reading aloud skills. Another plus to having some longer chapter books to read independently is that a book gives one child something to do if I need to work with another child for a few minutes and not be interrupted!

    I don’t have them read aloud everyday, but you could just to be sure she’s not getting lazy. Maybe even look over a chapter before she reads it so you know if there are some words she probably won’t know. You can work on those prior to the reading. And barring everything else, if she can give a solid narration, you know she’s “getting it” when it comes to comprehension.

    I think if you take the suggestions from Wings2fly and apply what I’ve said too, you’ll cover your bases! And I am certain you’ll get other great ideas too!




    What chapter books do you recommend for this level?  I looked up a number of the literature books in the modules, and many of them are around 5th grade level reading.


    (Anyone have the 3rd grade Pathway readers to sell?  My son is finishing up the 2nd grade ones this spring and I’ll be looking for the next set.)

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