I posted this already on our school blog (link to the right),but it was a story worth sharing, so I will share it again.
We have had some difficulties with getting the boys to sit down and do quiet reading to themselves during the day. I decided that I would create a new "privilege" for the boys. The first part of this "lesson" was explaining exactly what a privilege is and how, unlike necessities, privileges can be lost. After they put on their pj's and brush their teeth, and before Daddy comes in for prayers, they are given a book that I have chosen (for now~in the future I'll let them make the choice, but for now, I am doing the choosing), and they have 20 minutes (more if needed) to read that book. I then go in and have them give me a verbal review of what the book is about. I ask them to tell me their favorite part, how did the book end, and was there any part or word that they did not understand. They are doing very well at this. They are approaching this as a special privilege, which is a good thing because they are reading and enjoying it. Before, I was telling them they had to sit down and read for 15 minutes before they could go play. Now that it's no longer a part of school (in their minds), they are very excited to read.
Here they are last night. Joseph didn't look very comfortable, but he was happy and read the entire book, so he can sit however he wants. (o: At the moment, they are reading fairly simple picture books. I think I will have them read picture books for a while and then get into chapter books once they have developed the good habit of reading (enjoyably). I tried to get them to do chapter books when they had to read and they really resisted me and said "boring!", but now that they are having the 'privilege' of reading, I think they will move into chapter books soon. I have them reading "Franklin" books right now. (we own several) Joseph read "Franklin Runs Away" last night. When I went in to review the book with him, he began to cry because he felt so bad for Franklin and how sad Franklin was in the book. He really got involved in the story, which makes me happy because the book came 'alive' for him. Charlotte Mason would call that a 'living' book I think. (o:
This whole homeschooling thing is quite an adventure., Not easy in the slightest, but so rewarding...especially when I see them reading enthusiastically, like last night.
On another topic, have you ever heard of a Bumbo? I have begun to see these things around and really wish I had known about it before I had Elizabeth and everyone was asking me what I wanted for her. It looks so awesome! Elizabeth wants so badly to sit up right now. She loves to be up and looking at the world. But...they are $40! (I was surprised to see them $40 at Walmart but $37 at Target) I'll bet they will come down in price once they've been around for a while. The really neat thing about these things is that they are being used to help special needs children that have difficulty sitting up on their own. I read on their site that they are now even making bigger ones for bigger children that are disabled. (or, as my Professor at Ricks would say...handicapable children) Anyway, I just thought it was a fun little product out there. Maybe my sisters (3 out of the 4) who are expecting can put this on their wish lists. They come in 4 colors, but of course, my fave is the purple one. (o: Hey Racheal, if you see one while you're dumpster diving...(o;