Topic | When your child reads ahead!

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  • Audrey Russell
    Participant

    Help!  We’re on lesson 82 of Joshua through Malachi and my ten-year old went and finished all the books early!  Turns out he’s been picking them up off the “subject stacks” on our school table and reading them in bed!  I’m thrilled because he only decided he liked reading at the end of last year.  On the other hand, what do I do now when each lesson calls for him to read 2 chapters of each book and narrate?  For the last few weeks he’s re-read the chapters out loud to me (his idea) and then we have a little chat about the main ideas.  But I’d love to move ahead more quickly if there’s a way.  Last summer we listened to audio Bible and so he’s already heard a lot of the history we’ve been covering the last few months.  I’ve been following the plan to stay organized and keep it together with the geography and make sure we haven’t missed anything important, but I feel like he’s ready to move more quickly, or at least ahead.  Thanks!

    Sonya Shafer
    Moderator

    So I assume he read the Little Spartan Cousin and the Little Athenian Cousin books. 🙂 Did he also finish the Story of the Greeks book?

    Audrey Russell
    Participant

    Hi Sonya!  Yes, he did!  He took it to bed one night and blew through it.  Herodotus and Archimedes, too!  We went from me reading aloud to him at the beginning of the year, to him reading aloud to me, and then after the holidays he just started racing through them on his own.  He falls asleep reading, and lies in bed every morning reading until I call him down.  I think I need to keep a bigger library on hand?!  But as for Joshua through Malachi, it seems like dragging it out to repeat the books two chapters at a time if he’s already finished them.  Yet we’re only halfway through the geography and there’s still Bible we haven’t covered.  And how do I assess his understanding since he didn’t narrate any of what he read independently?  Thank you!

    Sonya Shafer
    Moderator

    Well, first, hurrah for his interest in reading independently now! Sounds like you just need to set the parameters and tweak a bit to keep encouraging that reading but save school books for your “doling out.” That’s a good thing. 🙂

    To assess his reading, you might go ahead and give him the exam questions found in the last lessons of each term. And if you want to see how much of the Bible readings from last year he remembers, you could give him the Bible exam questions too. Be careful not to overwhelm him or give him the impression that you’re skeptical how much he can recall. Try to come at it with a mind-set of giving him the opportunity to tell you what he does know, rather than probing to find out what he doesn’t know.

    If you are satisfied with his responses, all you’ll have left is the geography, which can be done more than once a week or combining lessons in order to finish it up quicker.

    If you decide you want to linger the rest of the year with Greece and want some other books, here are some possibilities:

    A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    The Golden Fleece or The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum

    Another possibility would be to read some Aesop’s fables while you finish up the geography (and possibly Bible, depending on your assessment).

    Then looking ahead, get a basket or a shelf of books for him to read anytime and as fast as he wants to, but make it clear that the school books are off limits during leisure time. 🙂

    Tristan
    Participant

    Sonya has great advice! We have had to do this, keeping school books on a separate shelf that kids are not allowed to free read from, along with a gentle reminder that they read the assigned book chapters as assigned, no reading ahead. When they ask why I always explain that for their school stories I want them to have plenty of time to ‘live with’ the story, think about it, wonder what will happen, make their own guesses, change their mind, see connections, and enjoy the journey.

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