Saturday, September 25, 2010

DIY Reading

An elementary school teacher-turned-homeschooler once gave me the great idea to garner my son's reading list from the well-chosen homeschooling curriculum from Sonlight, and simply check them out from the library. A brilliant idea, it turned out: every book we've read has been fantastic, and exchanges the cheesy, never-hearda-that stories from the reading textbooks of my childhood for classic children's literature like Henry Huggins, Charlotte's Web, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle--and some that cover other times and cultures with interest and gusto.

As another alternative, we check out audio books for some of the titles intended for parents to read, so my kids can listen to them again and again...and my hands can turn to something else for awhile. The audio books have been wonderful for increasing vocabulary as they hear words repeatedly used in context. (One I'd recommend for reading terms is the Gooney Bird Green series--recommended by Sonlight and available through interlibrary loan.)

For comprehension practice, you might enjoy graphic organizers like these--think word webs, venn diagrams, and other visual tools--that especially help visual learners. For more tactile learners, consider cutting out graphic elements of your own: arrows, circles, boxes (or use sticky notes), thought bubbles, etc; or using string and sticky notes to make Venn diagrams, for example.

It's easier than I thought it would be...!


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