Thursday, March 17, 2011

Go, Reader, Go!

I'm pretty sure I've shared in the past how teaching my oldest child phonics almost killed me. It was a painfully slow process. I think I have some secrets up my sleeve for my next child but isn't that how it always works?

Anyway, I started to get concerned about Lainey not reading and several more experienced homeschooling mothers told me to relax and that one day it would click. I tried to remind myself of their advice but I confess I wasn't great at it.

When she really started to read, I was amazed. It wasn't anything in particular I had done. We just kept swimming. Sometimes in life, that is all you have to do. Just keep going!

I watched as her reading levels jumped leaps and bounds and her speed picked up. Then instead of asking me what words meant, she started using context to help her. (I've since taught her to use a dictionary.) Imagine my surprise when new words started popping up in her daily use!

Lainey's book habit has gotten to a point the librarian commented earlier this week. I beamed as I shared the story of a struggling reader that has now a voracious appetite for books. (Like my 50 cent word?) She smiled and said she'd see me in a few days and I giggled to myself as I walked away with a tote bag full of books.

I usually choose most of the books that we check out. My reasoning for this is that I want her reading good books. There is a lot of junk (ahem.. aka twaddle) out there. I also don't want her to pick things that are too over her head. I know my child, and I know she will often get discouraged if things seem too far out of reach. She'll stretch but not leap.

I get book ideas from a variety of places. I read tons of books in my childhood so naturally I remember my favorites. I also check out the 1000 Good Books list and my Sonlight catalog. (We don't use Sonlight to homeschool but I love their catalog for reading suggestions.) I also ask other mothers for recommendations.

Here are some of the 36 books that Lainey has read so far this month:

Stuart Little by EB White
Mystery Ranch by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Mike's Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Woodshed Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
The Light at Tern Rock by Julia L. Sauer
Dolphin Treasure by Wayne Grover
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh

As you can see, Lainey really likes the Boxcar Children. I'm always looking for other suggestions. Do you have any?

1 comment:

Lee-Ann said...

Sounds like she is doing really well! Audree-Ann is a fan of non fiction, I find it hard to find appropriate books for her but jsut discovered The Magic Tree House Research guides, she loves them!