Thursday, June 25, 2009

Looking Back

I took out my planner and school calendar from last year. I was pleased to find that we had 138 days of formal schooling. That was an accomplishment because of the two major disruptors that happened: Hurricane Ike and the 9th month of my pregnancy (because mommy was severely unmotivated!). That is also not to mention all the other stuff that happens around here like chipping in to help with keeping house, helping dad build bunk beds and the Lego loft, cooking with mom as well as endless discussions about how babies grow and what a baby will be like when he gets here.
After the Hurricane we didn't have power for two weeks, but that didn't stop the learning when the tadpoles we'd been caring for sprouted legs. After the storm we also headed north for a much needed visit to family and friends. We tried to do school on the road and at Grandma's but there were just too many distractions, along with the fact that morning sickness kicked in full force.

I'd thought all along that a year-round schedule would work for us and we are still trying that out, trying to rotate through a few subjects a week, but getting math in every day. There are the obligatory endless hours in a pool and a much more lax bedtime schedule. Besides, what would summer be like without a good book to enjoy in a cool house when the temperatures outside are soaring? Charlie has loved the Warrior series by Erin Hunter. Now he's reading Eragon by Chris Paolini. We're reading Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls aloud together. Kaity and I are going to start Missouri Bound, A little house chapter book, by Roger Lea MacBride along with the picture books that she and I will be reading to Jeremiah.
I've been reading a new favorite author, Karen Hancock. She writes Christian fantasy and Christian scifi books. I recommend all of her books, even those I have yet to devour. Earlier in May I also devoured The Circle series by Ted Dekker. I love fiction that has analogy to our Christian walk.

I'm making reading lists for the coming school year when we kick it in gear in the fall. What are some favorites of your kids? Do you have a reluctant reader like Kaity is? What motivates them to read?


Ashli said...

When I started the reading program for Cherry Street and also when I used to read with Josiah, I came up with the every other page method. It makes a book so much less daunting if someone is there to share it with you; you also get the benefit of listening and watching someone read and hear their pacing, cadence, even helps with focus. It worked great for the ADD, ADHD kids I worked with (there were many!).
I actually tried the reading aloud thing with my husband (who was a self proclaimed non-reader); we took turns (with chapters not pages) and started with a book based in the south that he could identify with. After we had read about half the book on a very long road trip, he turned to me and exclaimed "I'm not a bad reader!" What a breakthrough; he now prowls book shelfs and constantly hunts for new interesting reads. It's exciting to see someone find a passion to read; it opens so many doors that otherwise remain closed!
Also with Josiah, we would go in hunt of the most ridiculous, hilarious books we could find at the library. The goal was always to see who could find the funniest book, and we would just giggle and giggle our way through the books. (nothing like laughter to make positive associations!!)
The other thing that I found helpful for reluctant readers is finding a character or character that they can identify with/become interested in...
Suddenly it's not so much about reading the book but rather meeting up with an old friend and going on an adventure together.
My mom recently sent me an Ida B. book, which was really lovely and amusing. I highly recommend!
Hope this is helpful!
You never know when the passion for reading will click...sometimes it just takes some time.
Don't give up hope!

Corrie said...

Thanks, Ashli, for your insight and advice. Very encouraging!