Wednesday, February 28, 2007

January 20, 2001 - Read Alouds

The literature selections are meant to be read aloud by the parent to the
child - not for the child to read independently, so go ahead and continue
reading to her with lots of expression, as Debra suggested. This book is a
rather challenging one to "get into" but if you keep up with it, she may
change her mind. Are you waiting until you are finished reading the
chapter before you begin discussing, using the comprehension questions?
Sometimes, when Ryan and I are reading a very challenging book that is hard
to follow, I stop and ask questions along the way, to ensure that he is
"with me" and following the text. In super-challenging books this has
sometimes been EVERY paragraph!!! Then, when the flow of the book is
established, and I know he is listening and following me, I don't have to
interrupt the story to question him anymore. Try looking over the
comprehension questions and making a note of where to ask them in the
chapter, as you are reading it. Stop periodically to discuss - and if she
doesn't know the answer, just tell her what it is. Or if you see that she
is not trying to comprehend, ask her to please give it her best and that
you will help her along the way. You might try even moving away from my
questions if you need to for awhile, and stopping every couple of
paragraphs to just say, "Ok, do you understand what is happening . . . or
what Ranofer is doing. . . or what this means?" I do this all the time!

I don't know HOW many times I have gotten REALLY angry with Ryan for not
listening and made him read prior paragraphs on his own over again until he
could answer the question correctly. Then I have stormed out of the room
reminding him that I don't have time to waste reading things twice!!!
(Does this sound familiar to anyone else out there? I HOPE I am not the
only one who "loses control" at times!) This is one way to handle it, but
NOT the best way! Discussing and questioning as you go along is a MUCH
better alternative - that in my impatience, I'm sorry to say, I don't
always choose!! I am somehow "offended" that he does not care enough to
give me his undivided attention and that he is not putting himself into the
story - and making a good effort to TRY to follow it. Perhaps this is
because reading literature is such a passion of mine and I want him to love
it just as much! But, realistically, part of teaching your children to
love, understand, and appreciate literature is to HELP them through
challenging parts so that when they do read on their own, they won't just
give up at the first hint of not understanding a story. It will take some
time on your part - and lots of patience, but I think you will find it
worthwhile in the end.

I hope you (and she) will give it some more time! Others have had trouble
with it at first, but LOVED it in the end - some have said they wish it
would be made into a movie!


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