One Simple Step {Reading Aloud}

IMG_2463I’ve mentioned I am considering homeschooling the girls (and hopefully more kids), at least in the early years.  My reasons are philosophical (e.g. the desire to spend as much time with my kids as I can) and circumstantial (e.g. the sorry state of the Detroit Public School system).

I’m doing a ton of reading right now about the various homeschooling philosophies out there: classical, Charlotte Mason, Jefferson, Waldorf, to name a few.  If you’ve ever heard of the Strengthsfinder test, I score high on Input (craving to know more) and Intellection (enjoying intellectual activity), which is like a double-edged sword of obsession and not knowing when to just stop, for goodness sake.  But I’m trying to embrace some of these things about myself, and I’m grateful that I am able to gather all this information before my daughters are school-age.

It’s a lot of material to process.  Since I don’t know exactly what direction to take, I am cautious about how I communicate about learning to Ellary now.  For awhile, I was downloading fun worksheets and having “school time” with her, but I was meeting some resistance, especially when I wanted her to practice something she wasn’t already good at.  It’s all fits and starts.

I just read this inspiring book, now in its seventh edition, and it has really helped me:

The Read-Aloud Handbook

The basic premise is that children who love to read end up reading a lot.  Kids who read a lot learn more easily and naturally and are set up for educational success.  And the way to teach a child to love reading is to model a passion for it as a parent and to frequently read aloud to children from birth.  Jim Trelease emphasizes that formal reading training in phonics will be next to useless without an environment in which a child is encouraged to read and read and read for pleasure, in order to practice and cement what she’s learned.

I’m a passionate reader, so this is both intuitive to me and music to my ears.  While reading this, I immediately invited Ellary to read Little House in the Big Woods with me–she loves it.  Some days, I don’t have the energy to make some cool craft or coach my kids through a learning game.  But if I spend {a lot of} time reading aloud to them, then I am setting us all up for the school years and have used our time well.

More to come on the spiritual aspect of reading + do I really care if my kids “succeed” academically?

2 thoughts on “One Simple Step {Reading Aloud}

  1. I can’t imagine that Ellary and Faren won’t LOVE to read because reading is so important to you and Kevin. We certainly read a lot when you and Ev were growing up but Evan didn’t really like to read or even to be read to back then. He loved the picture books but seemed uninspired by reading in general in elementary school. But look at him now, for goodness sake!

  2. Meghan, this is exactly why I always gave you guys books and books and more books for Christmas and Birthdays! Did you know that Sylvia home-schooled Bridget for a few years? Don’t recall exactly how long because I was up north in Salinas and San Jose. You might ask her about her experience with that. Love you!

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