Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Journaling and Reading Aloud

I just read the article Heather wrote on Heart of the Matter about choosing a different activity with each child and inspiring them to journal about it, called Journal the Adventure. Her article is prompting me to think about how I could incorporate this idea into our learning adventure.
I've wanted to start individual read aloud time with each of my children for some time. I'm not sure exactly how this will work out, but here are my preliminary thoughts.
My oldest is as voracious a reader as I am and it will not be difficult to find a book that we will both enjoy together. I want to choose something, however, that is well above his reading level and that will challenge him. I wrote here about how Andrew Pudewa, from Institute for Excellence in Writing, talked at HOTM's online conference last year of the importance of reading aloud to our children. His article One Myth, and Two Truths goes into detail about why reading aloud to children is crucial to their developing language, reading comprehension and writing skills. There are other great articles there as well on these subjects. I'll be talking to our local librarian about an adventurous book that will fit the bill. I may try to purchase the book we'll read aloud so we can take as much time as we need without the concerns about due dates. (Apparently due dates at the library don't concern me at all. I joke that I make regular contributions to libraries in the form of overdue fines. Except at the library in our new town- three week lending period and a week "grace period" before we start accruing fines. Incredible!)
My daughter will benefit in more ways than just academic with time alone with me. She and I "butt heads" all day, every day. She is the one that tries to negotiate every detail of the day. She is the child that pushes every boundary. I think we conflict so because we are so alike. I know I see stubbornness reflected in her eyes that I have felt in my heart. If I take the time to complement her, to tell her positive things about herself, or the task she just completed, to do a simple craft with her; then she responds so much more positively to me. I think that read aloud time that is "just us" will encourage her and make her feel valued.
The baby is such a kinesthetic little person-pure boy. He'll enjoy the occasional board book, for about 5 seconds. Then he is ready to move, play, go! I know his attention span will increase, but I also know that he will always be kinesthetic. I know this deep down. I will be challenged to come up with creative ways to teach that one! But what fun we will have! Time with him that will encourage him the most is get-down-on-the-floor-and-wrestle-time. Such hard work, to have to wrestle and play with a chubby bundle of giggles? However will I manage?!
I want to plan and create lapbooks for our read alouds that we'll make together, but I want to find a way to make them really special lapbooks. Not sure exactly how but, this will be the way we "journal the adventure."

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