Saturday, August 16, 2008

Changing up literature... The Plan

Our literature up to this point has always been fairly informal. We simply gathered round in the living room and read for 30 minutes. Sometimes I asked the kids what happened yesterday before we started and sometimes not. It's simply been fun (most of the time) to sit together as a family and have all the kids listen in. That said, I found it harder last year to find books that I thought would be appropriate for all my kids. Some books that I thought would be appropriate but challenging for Jessie would get set aside because they would have been over the head of her younger siblings. I also noticed that the girls seemed to be in a bit of a rut when it came to selecting library books. Violet always gets Magic Tree House or American Girls books. Jessie read her way through all of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series (at least the original ones). I wanted to be able to challenge each of the girls at their own level and expand their reading interests and capabilities. I also wanted to improve the quality of some of the books they were reading.

To that end I spent a lot of time over the summer looking around on the internet for ideas on how to set up our literature for this year. I perused the,, and the 1000 Good books lists. Each of the sights had their own strengths in my opinion, so in the end as usual I found myself picking and choosing from among the different groups. From, I loved the challenge of some of the book selections, but I didn't want to overwhelm Jessie by starting her into the year 4 books. From ambleside, she's reading one selection from Tales from Shakespeare by Lamb on Tuesdays and one from Parables from Nature on Thursdays. Violet, in similar fashion, is reading The Blue Fairy Book by Lang on Tuesdays and Just So Stories by Kipling on Thursdays. The downside to the literature at ambleside is that I wanted the girls to cover more books in the year for assigned reading. The number of books listed on the Simply Charlotte Mason website seemed more reasonable, but the girls had already read over half of the books listed on their own. So I decided to try for 1 book every 4 weeks or so depending on the book. By having the girls reading the books only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I'm hoping to spread the books out enough that the story has some time to soak in and be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace than most of their library books. For the first 4 weeks, Jessie will be reading Pollyanna and Violet will by reading Pinocchio at a pace of three chapters a day. For Jessie that ends up being around twenty pages. For Violet, it is only about 8 pages or so, but the size of the pages is larger. Each of the girls has a scheduled time to read these books and a book or two assigned for history, which they will then narrate and/or discuss with me the next day during their one on one time after math.

No comments: