We do lots of reading aloud from short books (usually picture books on science subjects or just ones she picks out at the library) as well as longer chapter books. I don't think it is necessary to read chapter books, but they can
be fun if the child and parent are both interested in the story or the characters.
I'm definitely not reading the longer books to my girl in an attempt to appear all homeschoolishly perfect, but because she likes
those types of stories and so do I.
I figure we'll read them again later, or she'll read them on her own, and at a different maturity and understanding level when she's older. I mean, this isn't the only time she's going to learn about plants and seeds, and it's not the only time she'll hear/read Little House on the Prairie
, right? Of course not.
If she didn't like those types of stories, I definitely wouldn't sweat it and force them on her. I just love the stories I'm reading to her and want to share them with her while she is interested, and oh is she ever interested right now! She really likes "old timey historical stuff," but she may not forever. And it's just become a habit of what we do together in the evenings, and we think it's fun. I am not smooth at reading aloud... I tend to go too quickly and sometimes slur my words a little, but I'm learning to pace and give better inflection and character voices. I remember in fourth grade, my teacher made me read Trumpet of the Swan
aloud to my class after lunch, because I was a "good reader," but I really disliked that job. Note that I wrote, "made me," and indeed she did and it really hurt my confidence on reading aloud for a long time. Argh. I hurried through that book as quickly as possible and I wonder if any of the other students ever heard a single word.
I think that if you want
to get into chapter books, and think that he'd enjoy them, a good way to find out about the worldview and content in some of the "classics" is to look for reviews of these books on Christian websites. I've read reviews at Rainbow Resource and some similar places to try to figure out if a book is appropriate. Or I will read it first myself, or listen to the audio version from the library while I'm doing chores after the child is asleep. I can hardly imagine jumping into a book and reading it aloud without knowing just what it is going to contain, you know? But, when needed, I will edit as I read. For example, there is a whole lot about Santa Claus in the Little House books, and we don't do Santa at our house. So I tend to edit it or we just discuss issues as we read.
And I want to add that it really helped my fluency on reading aloud to listen to some high quality audio books borrowed from the library... I learned lots about tone and inflection and pauses and how important those are for the listener. Sometimes, too, we listen to an audiobook while she's drawing or coloring and I'm cooking. That's fun too and a great way to share a story.
But if you don't want to do chapter books, or don't have time, or he isn't interested.... I would say you could certainly save them for later and no harm done!
We think it's fun, but it may not be fun for everyone.
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!