Read-Alouds - Ideas for reading to fidgety kids

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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Re: Work during reading?

Unread post by asheslawson » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:28 pm

Mine enjoy journalling while I read - maybe not everyday - but I have the journals ready anytime they want to do it while I read and they often do. I keep a bradded folder with plain paper in the brads and they date it at the top and write the story title, topic or scripture passage we are reading about at the top. I always have them date it. Then they are free to do whatever the story makes them think of - they can do symbols for the story - color a picture - doodle in notes - whatever their mind "sees" while I read. Mine really enjoy this - and for scripture reading I have really seen some memorable pictures that I would never part with. I did the same thing with a bible class I taught in co-op and the pictures ranged from cute and funny to meaningful and full of depth. These folders are always a keepsake that year.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD

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Advice for read alouds

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:21 pm

jamierose21 wrote:I am new to this type of schooling, switched from traditional. I am having a difficult time with read alouds. It seems my little ones are either disruptive or my school aged kids are daydreaming as I read. I am wondering if anyone else struggles with this. I feel more anxiety trying to school all together as opposed to schooling each individually and having my bigger kids rotate playing with my littles. Any advice? My kids are 11,10,7,5,2 and 8 months.
Are you doing ECC (Exploring Countries & Cultures), and reading the first biography, Cameron Townsend?

If so, may I recommend three things?

1.) You can read the book yourself and just tell them a story about him, maybe show them a picture online of Mr. Townsend.

2.) Don't give up on the biographies. Nate Saint is next!!! His biography is full of adventure.

3.) Can you do Read-Aloud time during the little ones' nap time?

If you're doing another curriculum, skip the current read aloud, start fresh with the next one, and try again and see how it goes. :)
Last edited by MelissaB on Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Advice for read alouds

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:38 pm

If your trouble is with the daily reading of geography books and such, then here are a few random thoughts and links.

- First, this type of learning is a new skill, and it isn't necessarily an easy skill, but it's a great skill!
- Narrating back what they're hearing helps kids "own" the learning, and I would stop at every paragraph (or even every sentence, at first) and let one of the kids tell you what has been learned. The older ones can even begin to take notes, if you think they are ready.
- Working as a family, instead of independently, might be just as important as learning the geography right now, so don't be afraid to focus on behavior skills rather than checking off the work right now. Really, over the years, those skills can be important for life, learning, and working.
- There is still room to have independent work and rotate the childcare during math, language arts, notebooking, mapping, book basket, independent reading, copywork, etc.
- A few things could be done in the evening when the tots are in bed or dad is playing with them. For instance, my husband used to read some of the read-alouds at bedtime.
- MFW has pre-K materials for little ones. Note that the parent demonstrates all activities together with little ones before setting them up on their own. Also, parents often focus on doing things with the youngest first thing in the morning (olders can be doing independent things).
- I found it helpful to teach my grandson that school was very, very important and he would have to wait to talk to Nana while I was reading aloud. It took a lot of practice! As an encouragement, I might mention that we would be doing a school project that he would enjoy (science, cooking, etc.).
- The toddler/preschool archive has different threads on schooling with little ones, including babies:
- If you have a K or 1st grader in the mix, there are some threads on how to balance their schooling and the older kids, such as this one:

Best wishes as you begin this new adventure,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Missy OH
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:36 pm

Re: Advice for read alouds

Unread post by Missy OH » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:02 am

Can your dh put your 5,2, and 8mos. old to bed? Then you could spend 10-15 minutes reading the read aloud to your older dc as they are winding down for bed. Doing it just short segments like that will help train them to listen to the stories (especially if it is the biographies). It will take you longer to get through the stories that way, but progress will be made. The book basket section has tons of other books listed that would make good read alouds instead if needed.

I arranged my schedule differently than MFW recommends sometimes. We usually prefer to do all our 3 R's type work in the morning, and yes rotating helping w/ little ones. I put the little ones down for a nap for our together stuff. Our baby doesn't nap at the same time as my 2yo so that is sometimes challenging. He thinks he should read aloud along with mom. It's funny. I budget and hour and a half for our together studies in the afternoon. IT's all I can handle right now. My dc can work on a history or art project or notebook page afterwards if needed. We catch up on that lighter Friday day if needed. Sometimes we skip something all together and call it good!

I found that having some extra copies of some of the books in ECC for multiple kids makes things less frustrating and school moves faster. Sometimes doing some of the read alouds in the morning at breakfast or right before we begin our school day works well for us. My little ones seem more content to be playing independently at that time rather than right before lunch.

It takes awhile every year to find our groove. Each year seems so different than the last.

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