Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Cheryl
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Posted: Aug 16 2005 at 4:27pm | IP Logged Quote Cheryl

I'm reading The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease and I've been thinking about the idea of one-on-one read-alouds. My ds 6 would have the opportunity to hear more chapter books, if the younger ones were not interrupting, and I think it could benefit the younger ones to have that special time with me, sharing books. Have any of you practiced this? I'm interested in hearing about how you managed it. Thanks.

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Posted: Aug 16 2005 at 5:01pm | IP Logged Quote Courtney

My ds was not at all interested in the Little House on the Prairie books, so I read them to dd at night. For ds, we'd read either picture books, or something like Hank the Cowdog. I like having one-on-one read aloud time with my dd and ds at bedtime. Also, my dd is an earlier riser than ds, so some mornings we'd get in a couple of chapters before ds would get up. We're doing this now, too. I started Trumpet of the Swan and ds isn't into it, so dd and I read it either first thing in the morning or for bedtime story. Ds and I just started Hank the Cowdog again (we never finished the first one and it's been so long we decided to start over). Hope this helps!

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Posted: Aug 17 2005 at 10:46am | IP Logged Quote Willa

I do independent read-alouds almost exclusively because my later kids came 3 or more years apart and so they are at such different reading interest levels. Of course, the other kids are free to listen and they often do, but it gives me time to cuddle with that one kid and not deal so much with squabbles, restlessness or whatever.

The way I work it nowadays, every child has a "time". I read epics or Scripture to my sophomore just before we started his daily "overview" -- I made him hot chocolate or something and it gave us a good start into his work. I read to my 9yo in the morning and sometimes in the evening, I read to my little ones (delayed 6yo and 2yo in the afternoon and at bedtime).   The 2 other teenagers would prefer me to read a book that they have read or vice versa, rather than me read aloud to them.

Even when my older kids were little I'd usually have a special book going on for each of them as well as some stories that they all were interested in.

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Posted: Aug 17 2005 at 3:14pm | IP Logged Quote Patty

Wow, interesting topic! I have five at home so I'm wondering how I could do this...although the two teen girls could be grouped together.

How do you find time to do a separate read aloud with each of your children..if you have a large family?

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Posted: Aug 17 2005 at 4:13pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

"How do you find time to do a separate read aloud with each of your children..if you have a large family? "

I do it by having "short lesson" academics and counting the book-reading as the core -- heart-- of the curriculum. Then I don't mind spending 2 hours or so on reading aloud. Often, as I mentioned, the "big kids" listen in on the little kids reading and vice versa.
I'd like to hear how others manage it though!

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Posted: Aug 18 2005 at 12:02am | IP Logged Quote Patty

We do lots of history read alouds that everyone listens to; there are SO many books that I want to get through stacks of them so we aim for an hour a day. I also read picture books to the 5yo and sometimes will read something else to the in-betweens, but they often listen to books on tape.

Wow, I still think it would be a juggling act to have read alouds for all five of them separately. I suppose the "short lesson" read aloud would be the key to that, but we love our read aloud time and never want to stop.

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Posted: Aug 18 2005 at 7:40am | IP Logged Quote Erin

What an interesting discussion. So timely.

I have just begun a different approach in this area myself. Although I would like to have a different read aloud for different ages, interests etc on a daily basis I couldn't see myself doing it. So I've borrowed an idea from a close friend with ten children, I thought if anyone knew she would.

What my friend suggested for our read alouds was to take it in turns focusing on one child, we select a book aimed at that child, read it, then the next book chosen is aimed at the next child. ie. recently we read the "little Pete" stories aiming at my 3 and 6 yr olds, the older children thought they were a bit much(so did I, but we managed to laugh at them) We have now just finished a Janette Oke animal story aiming at the 8 yr old. All listened to this although the younger ones drifted in and out. The Hobbit is our next read, chosen for my ten year old. I imagine the older ones will listen and ds(6) may listen to some.

This way I cover everyone. I was finding that I had a tendency to read at the older childrens level and the younger ones hadn't heard some of the great books we had read a few years before. Anyhow the older children enjoy listening to them again too.

I'm also making a time to read picture books daily, more with the 3 and 6 yrs in mind. But everybody stops and listens here too.

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Posted: Aug 18 2005 at 4:50pm | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

Erin,

You friend had a great suggestion! I only have one ds so we jsut read what he likes...is it ok if I pass your info. along to my friends with many little ones?

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Posted: Aug 18 2005 at 10:01pm | IP Logged Quote Erin

Marybeth,

Please do. I really can't take credit for this one.


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Posted: Aug 18 2005 at 11:54pm | IP Logged Quote teachingmom

Up until now, I have done read alouds with all of the girls. The only exception is when one of my younger ones comes to me with a picture book and asks me to read it. Then it will often be one-on-one. For chapter books, I have read to the entire family. But a month or so ago, I realized that my 5 and 7yo are missing out on easier chapter books that I have already read to the older two.

I decided to start a read aloud particularly aimed at them. We just finished Betsy-Tacy last night. (Yes, it took almost a month--bedtime read-alouds often go by the wayside in the summer when bedtime gets pushed back so late, and the younger ones are really tired from all the physical activity of swimming, etc.) The funny thing is that my older ones listened to Betsy-Tacy just as avidly as the younger ones. Even though they really wouldn't pick up a book of that level to read alone, they loved hearing it read aloud and would get upset if I started reading while they were out of the room brushing teeth or getting dressed for bed. I guess it would be difficult for me to do separate read alouds for each one. All of the others would want to listen in on each child's book, and no other lessons would get done all day!

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Posted: Aug 19 2005 at 9:12am | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

Betsy -Tacy

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Posted: Aug 20 2005 at 5:08pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

WJFR wrote:
I do it by having "short lesson" academics and counting the book-reading as the core -- heart-- of the curriculum. Then I don't mind spending 2 hours or so on reading aloud.


Oh -- I didn't say that very clearly -- I meant that we don't spend much time on the basic academics -- math etc. We do short lessons there. That way I can devote plenty of time to reading aloud and count that as the REAL learning.

I tried to follow an Ambleside type curriculum of reading several short readings during a day and it didn't work well for us. Retention went down and we didn't get to enjoy the experience of snuggling with a book and just going on and on.... reading became another chore to check off our list. I know it works for some people but not for us.

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Posted: Aug 20 2005 at 9:41pm | IP Logged Quote Patty

Oh -- I didn't say that very clearly -- I meant that we don't spend much time on the basic academics -- math etc. We do short lessons there. That way I can devote plenty of time to reading aloud and count that as the REAL learning.

I tried to follow an Ambleside type curriculum of reading several short readings during a day and it didn't work well for us. Retention went down and we didn't get to enjoy the experience of snuggling with a book and just going on and on.... reading became another chore to check off our list. I know it works for some people but not for us.[/QUOTE]

Willa,

Thanks for explaining that! I don't think the short readings would work very well here, either. We want to just keep going and going with a good book.

How do you decide which books to read to which children? What content areas to you focus on, or does it change? We do lots of history read alouds, but also fiction that is not necessarily tied to the history period we're studying.

I'm still trying to figure out how I would spend time reading aloud to each child separately, as I have five at home.

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Posted: Aug 20 2005 at 9:42pm | IP Logged Quote Patty

Oops...sorry...I didn't get the yellow quote boxes in my previous post. Makes it harder to see who said what. I'm still learning!   

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Posted: Aug 21 2005 at 8:09am | IP Logged Quote Tina P.

teachingmom wrote:
The funny thing is that my older ones listened to Betsy-Tacy just as avidly as the younger ones.


My 9 yog listens to me read Usborne Farmyard Tales (something, I must gloat now, that helped my 7 yob jump his largest reading hurdle) to the 6, 4, and 2 yos.

However, she was *not* ready for Old Sam, Dakota Trotter, and frankly, though she loves horse books, I don't know whether this one is her cup of tea. My oldest, an 11 yob, was ready for it at 9 or 10 (don't remember exactly when I started it). He was enjoying it. But I put it down. Was that a mistake?

I would love to read separately to her and my oldest boy, as their interests are so different. But I don't want anyone to feel left out. And I know some of you said that you read to one while others are asleep. What if the two oldest go to bed within 15 minutes of each other? And how do I get to read to the one who beds down earlier? And one more question (OK, maybe 2): how about those who go to sleep even earlier than my second one? And how in the world do I get the first ones in bed while I'm reading to the other ones?!?

Thank you in advance for your recommendations,

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Posted: Aug 21 2005 at 9:01pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

Jim Trelease is great! A few years ago I had the opportunity to hear him speak in person. He's both knowledgeable and hilarious.

We read together every night, even though my children are nearly 6 years apart in age. I pick books that are a bit beyond my daughter's level, and so far my son has pretty much hung on every word...even for the American Girls Felicity books (ALL of them!). Right now we're reading Alvin Fernald, Superweasel. I have to admit that my son thinks Hank the Cowdog is pretty silly. He likes Tomie dePaola books, though.

Recent hits include: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Homer Price, Pippi Longstocking, every single Ramona book...you get the idea. Bad choices were Little House in the Big Woods (scary panther attack) and The Great Brain. Now I am faced with the challenge of hooking dd on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books in a different way, sigh.

During the school year, we keep the evening "together" reading time, and I also have a separate reading time with my daughter during the school day (this is when we did Felicity, as ds was studying Revolutionary War history). Sometimes this backfires, as when my son fell in love with Felicity's daring spirit and crept away from the school table and toward the "reading couch"...I read my daughter's Zoobooks magazines to her, too. (She can read them herself, but LOVES our reading time.) She likes me to read Bible stories, too (from her Bibles or mine, doesn't matter).

One thing we did using the Jan Brett ideas from the Rabbit Trails board was to read her versions of classic tales, then compare her illustrations with those in other versions of the same story. This naturally led to reading ALL of her books. My son, who's an artist, loved looking at Brett's detailed artwork on every page.

Jim Trelease used to read to his jr. high-aged sons while they did the dishes. He has photos! What about while your children are in the bathtub?

Don't rule out books on tape/CD for car trips, either.

This is a topic that is very, very dear to my heart. What a wonderful way to expand the horizons of a child...every minute spent reading to a child is a contribution toward his or her future success. Even a few minutes a day will make a big difference!



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