Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Children's Hour

CM's thoughts on reading aloud always create a buzz among mothers. I think it is because she is misunderstood, as Barb so aptly pointed out in the comments section.

Miss Mason was not against reading aloud. She was against its getting in the way of children establishing the habit of reading. She very clearly said that young children need their schoolbooks read to them until they establish fluency; the goal being generally around nine years of age. My eight year old is a good reader but I still read most of her books to her because they are so rich in vocabulary that her comprehension will be much greater if I read aloud. She is not truly fluent yet. At the same time, her comprehension will always be greater if I read aloud, but I still have a cut off point so that she will begin to do the digging herself. She may miss some ideas at this stage, but that's okay. This is to be expected in the transition stage. Next year, I will read only a couple of her books to her.

Also, no matter what the age of the student, I read certain books aloud simply because of the type of discussion I want to ensue. Miss Mason encouraged this for the same reason and because often adult books were chosen that she felt young people could understand just fine, but these books sometimes had passages that needed editing since they were unsuitable for children.

Then, in the evenings, my husband and I read aloud to the children. He takes two of similar age to a room and I take two to another room; or sometimes the read aloud is appropriate for all. We don't read every night, but it is a regular event.

So, as you can see, we still read aloud quite a bit, but in comparison to the volume of books my children are reading on their own, the read alouds are minute. It also frees me up to be more than just a school teacher.

1 comment:

  1. previous commentors29.12.06

    November 15, 2006 - Ahhhhhhhhh Haaaaaaaaa

    Posted by Christy

    I keep reading about all these homeschoolers whose children are avid readers and my nine year old struggles sometimes with fluency in some of the AO selections. What you wrote was of a great encouragement to me as nine is the age that she is starting to get more fluent. Sometimes I am slow as I thought she should be reading more be herself as most of my friends children read all the time. I love your posts and visit here daily.

    November 17, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by lindafay

    Thanks for the encouragement, Christy!

    November 18, 2006 - AHA,

    Posted by LaMereAcademy

    Coming from using Sonlight curr. I feel sometimes I am a slave to reading aloud. It's interesting to read this. Right now with my older two, 10 and 12 years old, I read aloud to them as much or more than they read to themselves. We are trying to establish the habit of one hour silent reading for everyone, which my oldest has caught on to, but my 10 year old must be reminded over and over. My youngest two aren't reading on their own yet.