"If Psalm 1 is to be believed, we must not allow our children to stand, sit or walk with those who deny biblical truth and morality. Instead, we must place them in situations that will aid them in meditating on the law of the Lord 'day and night.' Surely this involves how and where they are to be educated." — Voddie T. Baucham Jr.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Delightful Reading

Back in September I attended a Charlotte Mason seminar conducted by Sonia Schaffer, and during the seminar she introduced a reading curriculum based on Charlotte Mason's method of teaching reading. It seemed very intriguing at the time but I wasn't sure if it was something Janelle was ready for. I had tried to use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons a few years ago, but only got to lesson 21. It just wasn't something that either one of us was interested in. For me, it was too scripted. I was so distracted by what I should be saying that I wasn't focused on Janelle. I think Janelle picked up on my distraction and decided she would be distracted as well. So I put it away thinking that maybe she was too young and I'd try again later. In the meantime I've tried to invent my own reading curriculum and became frustrated as where to start, where to end and what to do in between. We've worked on reading skills at Starfall.com and Reading Bear, but I wanted something a little more structured.
Recently when I knew Janelle was ready to jump in to reading, I dreaded trying the book again thinking it wouldn't be any better this time around. So I remembered the reading curriculum presented at the seminar and decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. I absolutely love it. Here are some highlights:

* It's all there. I like that I didn't have to purchase anything extra. Everything is included.

* It is partially scripted. The teacher's manuel outlines specific instructions, but leaves plenty of room to personalize the instructions to a specific child.

* It is a balanced mix of phonics and sight/whole words.

* It's not consumable. I can use it again. The "My Word Book" is the child's own journal of words that they have learned. But it can be purchased for $2.45 or you could use a blank notebook.

* It includes a writing component, so she is practicing her penmanship. Most of time she learns six or seven new words at a time. So I only ask her to choose one or two words to write in her book and to do her best. I write the other words under hers. That way she can focus on writing just one or two words "perfectly". Otherwise she would get to word four or five and it would become an unintelligible mess.

* It is based on Charlotte Mason's method of teaching reading, which is relaxed but thorough.

An emphasis is placed on short lessons, say ten or fifteen minutes. Sometimes we only get through half a lesson or even less at times. But thats ok. Charlotte says to "teach the child not the curriculum". I know Janelle and what her limits are. So I try to end the lessons right before I loose her attention. We are having a lot of fun with it and Janelle looks forward to her reading lessons every day.

Here is a video demonstration of the curriculum.
I highly recommend it for someone looking for a Charlotte Mason method for teaching reading.

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