Thursday, February 08, 2007

Reading Class

I tried to post this earlier but my pictures didn't show up so I am publishing it again and I hope the pictures show up this time!

We do reading lessons in an odd way (like all classes I guess). We have been using McGuffey's Eclectic Readers for the last few years (thanks to my friend Ellen who told me about them). We read 2 lessons a week. The rest of the week for reading time my son will read me 10 pages from one of his favorite poem books, or several Dr. Seuss books to his sister, library books we got for his little sister, if we are short on time I will have him read our History lesson to me. On top of this he reads 1 or 2 chapter books a week. He loves to read BUT he hates to sit still. What works for him is giving him play dough, therapy putty, silly putty, clay or some other thing to do with his fingers. If his fingers are moving he will sit still I don't know why but it works for him. He is 6 almost 7 and reading McGuffey's Fourth and Fifth Grade Readers without a problem. The readers don't have a lot of lessons in them and I am in no rush for him to finish them so we rotate them. He reads a lesson in the fourth grade reader one day (a review from last year) then the next time we do a lesson he will read from the Fifth Grade reader. The Fifth grade reader challenges him. He doesn't mind but I have a feeling if we only read from that book he would get frustrated fast. He doesn't mind learning a few new words a week but if all our reading time was full of words he didn't know he would loose his love for reading. The reader has words like Garnered, cleaving, yeoman, guise and such. The books are from the 1800's so many words in them are not used a lot today. When he uses the therapy putty I copy his reading on the copier because the books are small with small print and the putty can be sticky and spread on the pages! Play dough I make myself and silly putty doesn't make a mess of the pages but clay and therapy putty can. Odd system? maybe but it works for us and he loves reading so for now I will keep it this way. BTW he doesn't need anything for his fingers when he reads poems, little stories for his sister, the Bible, or chapter books of his choice. Poems he loves so he reads them beautifully. Stories for his sister are below his reading level so he doesn't fidget at all when reading them. The Bible he knows his parents love to hear him read it. He knows his Daddy reads the Bible so he is big like his Dad when he reads it. The chapter books are stories he picks out and enjoys. He reads them in his room. I know he doesn't always sit still when he reads them. I have seen him kicking at his wall or tapping his hand when reading them but because it is in his room it doesn't bother me. I ask him questions about the story and he tells me all about it so he does comprehend what he is reading.
He stretches it out smushes it and rolls it.

His head is cut off because he looked up at me.

He is reading in this picture I know it doesn't look like it but he is doing a great job!

And that is sticky reading with my son! LOL! My hubby says when I am doing school it doesn't ever look like formal school but my children always learning. We follow The Well Trained Mind we use all the books it suggests but we get it done in our own odd way. My son always learns all that is in his books for the year but when we are learning it we don't look like a traditional class room.

I hope I am giving my children the same happy fun childhood memories I had as a child. When I think back to when I was 6 I remember lots of fun learning games, we did lots of hands on stuff, jumping, singing, dancing, crafts, and such. I don't remember sitting in a chair the entire day. I do require him to "sit using good posture" for writing class but all the other classes I focus on "what" he needs to learn not how or if he sits to do it. This is ONLY what works for me with my children right now! I am in NO way telling others to follow my crazy lead! I do hope that as my son gets older and matures he will sit still more. I have already noticed a HUGE change in how long he sits this year. I doubt he sits as long as many other homeschoolers but that is OK with me for now. I have learned to let go of having things look like everyone else does it because it sounds nice when they talk about it. I am OK with people thinking I am crazy or doing things wrong because I don't teach the way they do. My children are happy learning and we are moving along. It might look odd but I am OK with that right now. LOL! My goal is to show them learning is fun and hope that they keep a love for learning forever. Only time will tell how my system turns out in the end.

I want you to know that I DON'T think that my son reading above his grade level will ever make him a better reader than a child that doesn't learn to read until age 9. I feel that as long as a child likes reading they will want to keep reading. My son has always set the pace with his reading. I know I wrote that he is only doing 1 lesson in his 5th grade reader a week. Last year he did a lesson every other day. As it got harder I felt the need to keep his reading fun but I still wanted to add in new words so 1 lesson a week is the pace we are at right now. When he was younger and the lessons were below his reading level he would ask to read several a day. I follow his lead. My ONLY goal with reading is for my children to enjoy reading! He started reading early and moved at first at a fast pace but now he is only doing 1 lesson a week if he was older and learning to read I think he would be able to keep doing more lessons a week in the 5th reader. I think his young age has slowed him down at this level. He hasn't been alive long enough to have heard many of the words in the books. I hope you all can understand what I am trying to say!

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