Monday, March 8, 2010

Loving Literature ~ bringing the boys learning together

I wrote today about our morning over on AKOL and noticed how reading aloud brings us so much closer in our learning at home~ here is a snippet of my post on the group and a few notes to myself~

I wanted to share about our morning we had. My boys are not Monday boys~ they have a hard time getting going on Monday morning, not sure if anyone else here has those troubles, but yup, we do~ Monday mornings are a bit hazy~ so this morning started off like most of our Mondays do, my 13 yo curled up in a big comforter watching the morning Fox and Friends ( one of his favorite shows, lol) and the youngest still fast asleep at 8:30. ~

We have breakfast and they do their morning routines and then it is time to start our studies. Chris decides (which he does almost every morning) he is going to read first. So he grabs his reading book and plops back down to read for about an hour... ( he loves reading).

* Each boy has a checklist that is outlined for the week that is color coded and lists their subjects ( not assignments since this can change often depending on what we are doing). This is to just keep them on track so I am not giving orders all morning. :) *

Peyt was complaining he was really tired, ( doesn't usually say this so I had a feeling he was not fully himself)
While Chris reads this gives me time to work with Peyt and so we begin by doing some math... I decided to change things up a bit and have him work on the CD I posted about Mastering Mathematics at first ( like he usually is) he said he won't like it... I pretend I don't hear it and keep moving on with the program and showing him what we are going to do today, Multiplication. He hears the music and all of a sudden is engaged.
We worked together on practicing his math facts and I reinforced a few others things he has learned. ( vocab etc..)

I noticed as he worked he did well but began laying on my shoulder and slouching and I could see he was loosing steam fast today. I looked at the clock, we had been working for about 20 minutes I decided it was enough. He curled up next to me and I could see something was happening... his lip started to tremble... he said he didnt do as well as he wanted today with math... ( we are learning the 4's time tables) .
We talked and he was nearing a meltdown.

I decided he was in no shape to move to another subject like phonics or LLATL so I grabbed a read aloud we had started the other day for our history lesson " Where do think your going Christopher Columbus" by Jean Fritz. ( History is a favorite of his)

I told him I was going to read some of this if he would like to listen and draw while I read... he nodded. I began reading.... and reading and reading, he put his drawing down and listened intently and started to ask questions and become fully engaged again. All of a sudden from the other room Chris came in and plopped down onto one of the big chairs to listen and I read and read and we talked and I read and then Chris made his way over to the couch where we sat to see the pictures and he was fully interested. I just kept reading pretending not to notice, we then moved to the other room to look at the globe and talk more about the book and travels... we were all working together at this point.

Before I knew it both boys had a full morning of studying Christopher Columbus~ I had not anticipated reading as long as we did, but conversations turned into vocabulary lessons and concerns and considerations of cultures and map exploring etc... it really brought us together.

This article really explains how we use literature in our home and for us it comes quite natural:

I love literature and really hope to continue to bring much more literature into our home learning to replace our textbook type learning~ we have been successful in doing this so far~ my next thought was hmmm, I need to pull much more read a-louds into our day and I thought just how am I going to do that when our days seem so short already~

Jimmie talks about this in an article I found from Heart of the Matter: This really helped remind me to use these more~ and I really like her ideas for using them and thought others might like them as well.

Reading aloud has so many gifts, today for example it help steer a little guy right back into something he loves~ history. It brought an older brother into a lesson that help makes things even more rich and worthwhile.

My to do list: need to add more read a-louds to my list

check out audios online and at our local library with their online catalog

look for duplicate books for doing popcorn reading while we do read a-louds like we did with

Mr. Poppers Penguins.

Happy Reading ~


elysabeth said...

Awesome posting. As an author, I can think of nothing better to bring studies together than read alouds. The tricky part is factoring in many subjects with one that obviously your sons love. I'm trying with my study guides to make my simple geography books go cross curriculum by adding discussion questions/research projects, map/math skills or science experiements or possibly some art/math concepts, and of course a secret message puzzle and and end-of-book quiz (very simple yet can be used over several lessons).

I've found in writing my series that the books have taken a turn of being geared for the boys mostly but some girls will enjoy them as well. I'm trying to keep the girl characters in the books but it seems the boys want to just take over.

I wish I could get my daughter to enjoy reading, but my sons both enjoy it so I figured 2 out of 3 isn't too bad.

Thanks for sharing a wonderful reading experience with your boys.

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
STATE OF WILDERNESS, now available
STATE OF QUARRIES, now available
STATE OF RESERVATIONS, coming April/May 2010
STATE OF ALTITUDE, coming May/June 2010

Learners at Home said...

thank you Elysabeth~ I am going to pass along your information on your writing series~ thanks so much for sharing this with me:)

elysabeth said...

Thank you. The more exposure I have the better off. I will be an exhibitor at four homeschool conferences/curriculum fairs this summer (two in SC, one in NC and one in Chattanooga), so if you are in the area and would like to attend one of them and meet me, please come by. I will have books and accompanying study guides on CD available for sale and will be presenting a writing/geography combined workshop for the kids (part writing and part playing a geography game for prizes). My calendar of events can be found on my website and the links to all of the conferences are there for registration information.

Next year, I will have several more in the series available and will branch out to other conferences as I can. My goal is to eventually get to at least one homeschool conference in every state as possible. Thanks for sharing - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
STATE OF WILDERNESS, now available
STATE OF QUARRIES, now available
STATE OF RESERVATIONS, coming April/May 2010
STATE OF ALTITUDE, coming May/June 2010

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