Reading - How much time to set aside? (silently, aloud, etc)

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints
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Reading - How much time to set aside? (silently, aloud, etc)

Unread post by LSH in MS »

Blessed Beth wrote:We are doing Adventures this year and I love all the books that are recommended in the guide. We have a great Library so I can find almost all of them. My problem is that there are just too many good books each week and not enough time to read them all. My 2nd grade ds is a good reader but does not pick up a book on his own yet. He loves to be read to though. I read many of the longer novels myself and I have really enjoyed them. I just finished the story of Molly Jemison and it was great.
- Beth
Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:40 pm
That happened for us in ECC. Sometimes we would take an extra week on a topic to read extra books. Or I would read one aloud and get others on tape or cd for the children to listen to while I was doing other things. Since you have a great library, maybe they have sound recordings of the books as well. My oldest son will listen for hours to a good story on cd.

You also could read alot in the summer when you don't have other schoolwork. The year we did ECC, we didn't finish by June so I continued the history, science, read aloud etc part into the summer and didn't do the basic skills. We finished up the weeks more quickly this way since that was all we were doing. Best of all, the boys didn't think of it as school, just fun things to do in the summer. After we finished our ECC we would go swimming etc. THey loved it.

Enjoy the curriculum. If you are really enjoying the books, take some extra time.

Wondered if there is a minimum or maximum

Unread post by cbollin »

Homeforschool wrote:I have been reading and enjoying some of the posts on book basket time. I just love this idea. In fact, I like it so much that although we won't be starting MFW until the fall, book basket time will be started here today!

I understand how to do book basket time, but wondered if there is a minimum amount of time they should strive for to read each day and can they actually ever read too much in a day? Should reading for 2+ hours in a day, if they want to, be encouraged or is there a maximum time limit for a day. Is there a general rule of thumb of how long to read each day for each grade?

I just want to get it right so I don't push too hard or too little too soon and make book basket time unpleasant. I want it to be something everyone looks forward to.

In Christ :o)
I tend to be one who watches the child instead of a clock. My oldest loves to read. If she could, she'd read half of the day and do nothing else. She doesn't really tire from it, but there has to be a balance it in. So, that doesn't really answer your question.

My 2nd dd, well, she fits more in the time frame of the MFW teacher's manual with her book basket time (15 minutes) and "free reading" time (30 minutes).

There is a section in the introduction of the MFW manuals called "Help! How do I fit it all in?". In that section, the Hazells, the MFW authors, give some suggestions of how they fit all subjects in a 3-4 hour time frame so that you don't get bogged down in the day. Now, they don't expect that everyone who uses MFW will have their house and school look exactly alike. The 'schedule" that they offer is more of a guideline to help you move through the day.

Both the "general reading" and "book basket" list offer a wide variety of reading levels to allow you to individualize for each student.

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Unread post by niki »

I love book basket. My kids don't really pull books out to read from the bookshelf (on their own) all that much (although they do at bedtime), and sometimes they scoff at bookbasket, but usually they will continue reading even after the timer goes off.

Their "reading" time for school is usually almost a chapter or 2-3 pages of a chapter book and then they give me a summary of what they've read or write their favorite sentence from the book and illustrate it in their notebook. It's fun to see them enjoying chapter books! Sometimes I have them read a page outloud and then I read one and we go back and forth through the chapter, that always go well if they are especially not "feeling" like reading :)

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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

We were new to MFW this year and in the beginning when I'd say "okay, it's book basket time - go select a book and look through it for 15 minutes." I'd get - esp from my 10 yo dd - the look of, "oh, no." We came from a literature program and she really dreaded most of the books.

It didn't take long for my kiddos to realize book basket was a whole new ballgame. Now I find that I schedule it as one of the first things they do bec it gives me a little more morning time before I have to be on. I've found that I have to tell them to stop - they will sometimes want to spend 30-45 minutes with book basket books! It is wonderful! My 8 yo ds is even willing to spend more time and doesn't even realize he's doing it bec he's so interested in the books - which is a major accomplishment considering the fact that he's LD/ADHD.

I schedule individual Bible reading (they both have Bible reader type books that they read one "story"/chapter in, and Book basket for the first 30 minutes of my dc's day. and then they are free to go back to the book basket at anytime we are taking a break or when finished with other school.
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Unread post by kellybell »

We also follow the recommended 15 mins. of book basket. I don't require "free reading time" because it just doesn't seem to be needed for us. The kids seem to sneak in their extra reading without my prompting. My youngest (learning to read) asks me to read to her and I am just starting to see her reach for books on her own without asking someone to read to her. My ds (he's 8) often picks up a book, magazine, or the Edmunds Scientific Catalog. The older two read chapter books, often recommending them to each other ("Oh, I got this from the library, you should read it.")

The 15 mins. of book basket doesn't sound too long, but the kids are great at sniffing out just the right book basket book for what they need...

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Unread post by rachel »


We did something last week that really encouraged the book basket idea - I sat at the online library catalog and asked my children what kind of books they wanted. They each had a turn to pick a type of story (for instance, Curious George, Angelina Ballerina, "Dino books")- It was fun to see the kids feel special in making their own selections and I can still thrown in the books I want them to read/look at. But as a completely free activity- it was quite a treat. That seems to add to their enjoyment as a whole of books and the library.

As far as a time limit or recommendation- I have read 15 minutes a day but as others have noted- my children spend at least that much time reading/looking at books.
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Unread post by baileymom »

gratitude wrote:I am just wondering if I am doing enough or not with reading.

How much do you have your 7 year old reading with ADV. I realize this is individual, and may vary some; but a general idea might be helpful.

How much do they read aloud to you?
How much do they read silently - or is silent reading / looking only with book basket?
How much do you read aloud to them?

He has been reading aloud to me about 10 - 15 minutes a day, or less. I have been feeling like maybe it should be closer to 20 minutes a day??? Does ADV suggest a time amount, and I missed it?

I know he does some silent reading, but it is initiated by him; it isn't something I structure as part of school. Should I be?

I read aloud to him (or DH does) at bed-time (approximately 30 - 40 minutes each night for all 3 of our oldest children). Reading aloud to him during the day is Bible & ADV reading. He can read the ADV Bible, but he prefers it if I do the Bible reading out-loud. Should I force the issue for him to do the reading for ADV Bible?

Thank you!
I would say 10-15 min daily of him reading aloud is good.

My children do Independent Reading for about 90 mins each afternoon during Naptime (but this includes ALL Book Basket reading for History/Science and half an hour of "fun" reading at the end). My girls also read for a while before they go to bed, but DS 8.5 does not.

We do Read Aloud (with me reading) for 30 mins or so after lunch and afternoon chores. I read on the floor, in the hallway between all their bedrooms (puts any Little nappers to sleep, which gives the Bigs more peace and quiet to actually hear the story). I read aloud to the Littles while the Bigs do Math with Dad in the early morning.

I have my kids read aloud from the Bible. We go around the room, sharing the reading...maybe you guys could take turns.
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Re: Adventures?

Unread post by mamacastle2 »

One rule of thumb I've heard is "reading for an hour a day:" 30 minutes of mom reading aloud, 15 minutes of kid reading to mom, 15 minutes of kid reading to self. Over here, we get the reading aloud and reading to self done, but do not get the kid reading to mom done every day, probably more like once a week. I could definitely be better with that.

I was just looking at the RTR sample (or in the catalog, can't remember) and it stated that the program has a reading slot planned for I think 30 minutes a day. That was time that your child should be reading to themselves. They suggested using the book basket books or other books of your choosing. I didn't see mention of the child reading aloud to you, but of course you reading aloud to them is definitely suggested. Again, I haven't done this very well either. I schedule a reading time, but we so rarely stick to our schedule!!! However, I haven't worried about it too much because my kiddos read all the time, just not necessarily book basket reading. They are into specific series books and I'm not worried about how much they're reading. I've always checked comprehension just by having them tell me what happened in their books, either after they have finished, or chapter by chapter. So far, they've always comprehended very well.

I definitely wouldn't force the issue with reading the Bible, only because it's not something you want to make him dread. My kids were content to let me read the Bible until this year where they ask "Can I read it?" and argue about exactly whose turn it is to read.

I think if you are reading for 30-40 minutes a day and he is reading to you for 10-15 minutes, you are doing well! And if he is self initiating reading, that's awesome! What you might do instead of "scheduling" it, per se, is leave afternoons open for reading. Then if you see him reading at least several times a week, he is doing great. You can load what he is able to read by having a basket of books out in the open (book basket and maybe some books that he is highly motivated to read) for him to choose from. I will often go through the basket about once a week and ask which books have been read and which have not. If they haven't read many of the book basket books, we sit down and go through them as a family.

Anyway, try not to stress over reading too much because it really sounds like you are doing an excellent job.
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Re: Adventures?

Unread post by gratitude »

Thank you encouragement ladies! I feel better already, just knowing for sure that I am on the right track.

Have a great day! :-)
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Re: Adventures?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Just another view to throw into the mix.

I think it depends on the child's needs but this is generally what I did:

- "required" independent reading 30 minutes or less during the "reading" box on the grid, which might be any books the child or parent choose, and often is one chapter a day at the level the student is at
- "book basket" 15 minutes per day, which is an independent exploration of books on topics being studied, but may be anything from looking at pictures to looking up recipes
- being read to by a parent as many minutes as possible
- language arts lessons may require reading as needed, such as reading aloud to work on specific reading and language skills, or possibly just reading to me for a few minutes per week as a spot check to see if this skill needs work (I basically consider reading aloud to be a different skill than reading to yourself)
- free choice reading by the child unlimited
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