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Tagged: read alouds
I wasn’t sure where to post this! I’ve spoken with RobinP before about this but am thinking about it again. Probably needing encouragement more than anything as we are starting this school year. I have a K and 1st grader.
I’m concerned about having so many read alouds going. I remember someone once talking about how children can keep up with TV shows and likened it to the same thing. This is our first week and so I’m just kind of wondering how this is going to work out! Is it all too much?
Our read alouds are as follows:
- The Child’s Bible Story- Breakfast (I’m not concerned about this one being too much.)
- History- Viking Adventures -after sit down work (2 days a week now, but I really feel I need to read it daily?)
- The Burgess Bird Book 2 days a week- after sit down work (alternating with History)
- Paddle to the Sea 1 day a week after sit down work
- Ludwig Van Beethoven – Once chapter a week at lunch or after
- Lit Read aloud –currently Farmer Boy Afternoon Reading
- When time allows, before bedtime Dad is reading Little Pilgrim’s Progress
And then one poem a day. 🙂
Also, my DS (5.5) just started K. He loves doing our sit down work right now. However, when it’s time to read he’s giving me a “do we have toooooo???” We have ALWAYS read so this is new for me. Is this normal and should I lessen the read alouds he’s doing with us?
Advice and encouragement please. Thanks in advance.
I think the “do have have too?” is normal for some children at some times. Mine go through this and get over it, and then go through it again, depending on the book we’re reading. I generally ignore it and carry on as normal.
I’ve found that we don’t remember books very well. So, we have Paddle that we’re reading once each week (like you!). And I ahve to look back and see what’s been going on and remind our girls. Then, we rotate between three books the whole week. Currently, our History read-aloud (Victory on the Walls, which two of the four girls don’t enjoy); Winnie the Pooh (which we all enjoy); and Brighty of hte Grand Canyon (which three of the four enjoy). So those books (theoretically) get read twice each week.
I can empathize with our girls because I HATE having to wait to find out the ending. So, maybe this is a skill or habit that I should try harder to encourage – the remembering of a story from one week to the next.sarah2106Participant
Does your DS (in K) like to do things while you read? I find my kids, especially my boys, shock me by what they hear as I read when they are coloring or doing legos quietly. I used to think they were not listening, but then was so surprised to hear what they remembered. My sister’s girls love to sit and will sit for a long time as she reads, my kids like to be doing something with their hands quietly as I read.
I struggle with too many books going at once, it is a personal thing. I struggle with reading more than one book at a time for pleasure, so with school it has taken some time to adjust 🙂 What if instead of the extra bed time story you do some of the school books – history, burgess book, family literature book… It would keep those rotations a bit fresher on the mind for little ones and might not feel like quite as much going on
Thank you both for the input. I’m glad to know it’s a phase! And I’m also glad to know I’m not alone on the “too many books” feelings.
Little man will do something while I read. In the afternoons, he plays with legos while I read. The earlier readings I’m going to have to adjust. Maybe coloring would be a good idea here. Morning is a part of our school day that still has kinks due to my two youngest learning how to be quiet and content while Mommy and the older two do school. It’s an adjustment for us. (My DD has actually been drawing on a white board while I read for each reading. When I’m finished she tells me the story back using her picture. She has done this on her own. HA! Makes narration easy!) 🙂sarah2106Participant
Also wanted to mention, last year my DD was in 2nd and my older son in K. I did not “require” him to sit in for readings for school. I would tell him “We are going to read …. do you want to join us?” Sometimes he did and other times he did not. At the beginning of the year he sat less for readings, but over the year he started to join us more and more. I knew that the information would come back around again, so was not concerned with him joining us for everything.
I had images of us snuggling on the couch to read, but that did not happen how I thought it would, but we are enjoying reading and learning and that is what matters 🙂 We also have a toddler, so yes rading time is always adjusting
Oh and we don’t have any books that we read just a chapter a week. I try to do at least two times/week or my kids have a tougher time engaging and getting interested in the books. If I can read them at least twice a week it keeps them fresh in their minds and they tend to be more excited about the reading.AngelinaParticipant
Well I must begin with the every-family-is-different reminder, of course! FWIW: Four years ago when I started out homeschooling, I had a schedule much like the one you have in your post above — my books laid out in a weekly schedule and everything accounted for according to variety, letting the feast be spread out, etc. I really felt that the “right CM thing” was to have as much in the feast as possible.
It was all okay. Everybody was polite (the kids didn’t actually voice complaint over a reading session) and the narrations were decent. But, for a reason I couldn’t pinpoint at the time, it just wasn’t GREAT. Nobody was particularly excited about anything. The books we had on board at the time were primo…all the best-loved from all the lists and CM boards. Yet my kids were just ho-hum I guess we’ll sit and listen to Mom read now. To add insult to injury, my kids have always LOVED, LOVED, LOVED reading (never without a book in hand on their free time…reading in trees, reading the car – you name it….) and they love to be read to, so again, the whole lackluster attitude took me by surprise.
Then, by chance (library books delayed, another couple of books I’d planned on that I couldn’t get right away), we were down to just three: a literature, a history (a biography, I think) and a science (Paddle). Suddenly we were reading just these three, so we read them EVERY day. Or, on the days when I could only fit in two, I would keep literature as the daily and alternate one day sci and one day history…or I would do two days in a row with one and then switch…whatever THEY were “in the mood for”.
Well, you know what? Suddenly everyone started really loving our reading sessions! And they started talking about the content – constantly! My guess is that, because it was always fresh in their minds, they felt a better connection with the events and the characters. Because it was always so fresh, it was top of mind to discuss more often. With the new routine we now had days and days of the kids acting out scenes from the book, or asking to show their maps to Daddy at night to show their guesses of where Paddle would wind up “tomorrow”. When we were doing Paddle just once or twice a week, my kids seemed to have no concern for the little guy’s journey. By the time a week had come around, they seemed to have completely forgotton what had happened in the last reading, or at the very least, showed no enthusiasm. It was exactly the same with Burgess Birds. Even when we went through the re-cap, there just a sort of “detached” attitude. Well, that “detached” attitude went down to ZERO when we changed our routine so that we’re never doing more than 2-3 books at a time, and where we read each without more than a day or two in between sessions.
Hope this helps a bit. Every family is different, but changing it up this way really helped in my family!
I think “detached” is a perfect word to explain it, Angie!
I think I just found the perfectly worded reason for not doing more than 3 read alouds per week. I think I’ll put our Paddle reading in with our Winnie the Pooh / Victory on the Walls / Brighty when one of those is done.
I’m marking this thread as a favorite, to remind me when I am tempted to “spread the feast”. I guess there is such a thing as being spread too thinly.
That is an excellent explanation! Thank you! (I hope this extra note expresses the deep-hearted “thank you” I’m really expressing.)
That gives me a bit to think about.
…but then I think…”Well, how do you actually ever get to the feast???” I guess I’m having problems seeing the bigger picture when I think about things like the composer biography. Or should I even do a composer biography? Probably not necessary. I’m thinking as I type. Now it really gives me something to think on…mrsmccardellParticipant
I thought I read somewhere that you don’t need to include a composer bio at this age. The exposure to the music and the name of the composer may be enough. I’ve done that for 2 years and they know the composer and his songs. I will add the more detailed bio for when they are older…or we may read a brief picture book about him.
I often wonder how deep the year 1 & 2 students went or if it was mostly introductions and habit training.
Michelle – I wonder if by reading, say 3 books each week (instead of 5 or 6), you’d be done those books quicker. So, you’d start new books to replace those original 3. That way, you’d fit your composer bio (or whatever) into a term – it just wouldn’t take all the weeks of the term to read it.
Did that make sense?
I’m starting to wonder if we’re maybe translating “spreading the feast” as “graze all day – eat a bite here and a bite there, all day long.”. Rather than eat all the appetizer, eat all the salad, eat all the main course, eat all the dessert. Then digest. Then eat the next meal.
I find that in my family, we sometimes like to hear two or three chapters – instead of just one. It seems like we enjoy our books more when we spend quantity time with them – time in a clump, not spread out over days or weeks.
I can see value both ways – which leads me to think there’s got to be an “ideal” middle ground. Solidifying it in my mind is the tricky part!mama_nicklesParticipant
Hijacking this post a bit as it has been food for thought. I am starting second grade with my DS tomorrow. I have been reading twice a week from the burgess animal book with DS through the summer. He really enjoys our readings but has a hard time remembering what we last read when we recap. I have been planning to do history daily and alternating between geography and science readings, but now I am wondering if it would be better to do science daily until we finish our book and then geography daily and alternating like that. Anyone tried this approach? I understand we want to savor books but reading a chapter a day when you are seven years old is much different than reading a whole book in one sitting (as DS does on his own).AngelinaParticipant
Hi again, ladies. I had a reply all written the other day, then I got side-tracked by the kids, and suddenly it vanished – sorry! To the point on “how, then, do we spread the feast”…
Basically what I decided for my family is that I would spread the feast over the length of a “term” instead of over a week long list of books. In making this decision, I also began to think of my term as having two distinct parts, as follows:
The first 9 weeks of the term we have:
– Literature, History and Science.
– Literature is read daily.
– History read on Mon/ Tues/Thurs/Fri.
– Science read on Tues/Wed/Fri – or – Mon/Wed/Thurs (depending on when we have outside activities..I just pick whichever day(s) make sense).
After the nine week “term” is finished, the next 3 weeks we move to our mini-term schedule:
-we put down our History and Science books altogether.
-we continue with Literature, just carrying on as usual, 5 x per week.
-we do Shakespeare 3x/wk and Poetry, 2x/wk (simply reading and reciting poetry, not necessarily a Poet Study).
-Ideally, we do a composer study. I say “ideally” because the goal is to have a composer from the period of history that we’d just been studying. This is fairly important to me, because – it if works – it means we aren’t really “leaving” history…we were just studying it in a different way for three weeks, and not referencing our spine while doing so. If I don’t have resources for a composer from the period we have recently been studying, then we do one of two things: option 1: hymn study. I do this by asking our Church Music Director for a list of the hymns we’ll be singing over the next three weeks (3 per Sunday) and we focus on these. Option 2: choose a composer from a period we studied previously and in the study, enjoy the music (of course!) and, while reading the biography, compare “life” in that period with “life” in the period of our current study….nothing formal, just fun things that we pick out (you can tell I’m a history geek, eh?)
– Artist Study, 2x per week, same rules apply as above with composer study. I rotate six images over the three week term and if we manage to get a good resource for a biography, I’ll divide the book into six readings. If we don’t have an artist that fits our period, but there is a poet who fits decently, then we’ll do a true Poetry Study instead, complete with a biography of the Poet, etc.
For our family, this mini-term at the end of each main term works well for the spreading of the feast. It’s a little bit of work organizing it, but I only have to do it 3x per year. The frequency per reading is a good amount within each area and again, it seems to mean that the content stays top of mind for the kids the whole time because there’s never a “gap” of a week between hearing the next chapter of a biography, a Shakespearean play or what have you. I can honestly say at the end of these three week mini-terms my kids come out feeling refreshed! Cultured! Feeling artsy! Ready to get back down to the business of our core history and science. In getting back to business, I like that I only have the ONE day of preparing a really decent “recap” from our history and science, we spend one day just doing the recap – expect nothing else – and then we’re back on track. That is a good thing because I really didn’t like the constantly recapping when we were doing things the other way.
Hope this helps some of you, and thanks to everyone else for all the ideas too, we can all share and benefit from what’s here!
PS -to mama_nickles – yes, I would do as you suggest. Or, if it were me and I’m on the term outline I follow (above), I’d keep history daily (or 4x per week) and do ONLY science for 9 weeks and then only geography for 9 weeks. I guess it sort of depends on how you’re doing geography. It’s not really required to be done rigorously for early elementary. Another thing I’ve done – and again, it’s going to depend on your geography resource (I use only living books) — I would do science 3x per week, and geography 3x week, scheduling one of the geography reading for Saturday (gasp!)…and not requiring a narration for the Saturday (which, to me, is not a deal breaker). He’s still narrating his geography book 2x per week, still (I assume) doing map drill. Incorporating this idea, you get to have all three subjects (Hist., Sci., and Geo.) and ALL read at the kind of frequency that I think keeps it “fresh”. It just takes a kid being willing to sit for a 15 minute reading on a Saturday. The schedule would be: History, Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri; Science, Mon/Wed/Fri; and Geogr. Tues/Thurs/Sat. To be honest, I’ve done this schedule quite a bit over the years…(mind you, my kids don’t have any other Saturday activites, i.e. outside the house, so it probably makes it easier for us….every family different, just thought perhaps this idea might help someone out there.) Blessings! Angiemama_nicklesParticipant
Angie thanks. We are reading through the twins books for geography. He definitely enjoys them! Set to start the Belgian twins next. I am doing the truthquest history and planning for four days a week or more (depending how busy we are) and doing geography as well. Then when we finish the Belgian twins we do outdoor secrets and companion daily, then back to another twins book, and then maybe the among the farmyard people study that someone posted.ShannonParticipant
Angelina, thanks for posting the routine your family follows. Like many people posting here, my children and I prefer more intense focus on fewer things at a time (instead of spreading many subjects thinly over time). I’ve been playing around with ways I can arrange our time to better facilitate our own learning style but nothing seemed right. Your routine is just the thing I needed to read to inspire a way to make that work for us. Thanks!
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