Monday, January 26, 2009

I have readers, do you?

I love books.
I mean....I LOVE LOVE LOVE books....
If I had to pick between bring chocolate and books on my deserted island, I would choose books.
(Come on, chocolate WOULD get old, wouldn't it?)
One thing that's VERY important to me, as a Mom and a Homeschooler, is to pass along a great love of reading. To illustrate this, I took Micaela to the library yesterday and I stopped her right as we went into the door and bent down and whispered, "Everything you ever want to know, to learn, can be found right here..." She looked around, and softly gasped, "Wow..."
That is how I feel about books.
So when I found some uber-cool reading incentive tools, I knew I'd have to share them with y'all, my faithful readership of four. Even though some of you aren't homeschoolers, you can still use these as supplemental. I checked all of these out myself and use them in our home:
  • Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they’ve read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. Book Adventure was created by and is maintained by Sylvan Learning. (TOTALLY FREE, love that....)
  • Book unit studies has a list of books that are “kid-friendly,” enjoyable books. Each of the books has a link that takes you to a lesson plan around that book, and there are comprehension questions, vocabulary, and activities to go along with each book. (we're doing "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" this week, in fact!)
  • The Best Kids’ Book Site is a fun and interactive site where books, crafts, and web resources come together to give you a great resource. I love using this to find book titles about the holidays, seasons, or countries to go along with our unit studies that we do for history. (Today, we're using the link for Chinese New Year Ox Coloring Page.)

A few months ago, at one of our local Homeschooling Mom's Night Out meetings, one of them mothers was extolling the great virtues of reading aloud. I was a little stunned because her kids range in age from 5 to 16,,,how did she do it? So I started reading aloud to the kids more often to see what impact it would have. (Up until this point, I'd encouraged individual reading time or 1:1) Well....since we've started reading aloud together more often, I've noticed an increase in both kids' ability to expressively read. You know...give the characters real zip. Adam has a real flair for drama. The other day, we reading The Practically Perfect Pajamas by Erik Brooks and Adam was INTO it....and that is exactly what I want. Kids who INTO books.

For Micaela, I adapt her Reading by using ClickN Read Phonics ® every single day. Her reading, and her confidence, have improved. Her brother is a better reader but she's no slouch. She's gained so much ground since leaving public school. The individual attention was just what needed. (**important note, if you decide to join Click'N'Read, let me know: I can save you between 10-20%!!)

All of this makes me very very curious about FIAR. YOu can read about here: Welcome To Five In A Row. It's a literature based program that appeals to every age, it's INEXPENSIVE and easily accessible. I am seriously thinking about this for these upcoming Spring months...

Now, in addition to celebrating the Chinese New Year today, I am planning on harassing some people at the Post Office (they refuse to allow me to mail a pckage. They keep telling me that we have the wrong zip code.....ARGH!) and to top that off, I'm going to the Social Security Office. I am glutton for punishment. It's ok, I get to hang out with the Homeschool Ladies tonight!! Wooo Hoooo!


Linda said...

Did you read about FIAR from that link I sent you for that one girl's blog? I'm really proud of Hannah's reading ability - for a kid who doesn't "like" to read. She has been really into the Junie B. Jones books (much to my chagrin), but she can actually sit and read through one of those books in about an hour! She is one of THREE in her new class that is in the "yellow" group for reading...she was tested a week into school because she told the teacher the books were boring and she wanted more than one chapter book to choose from...and that she'd read most of the "in class" books already, lol! They gave her an online reading incentive program; haven't been to check it out yet (too much stuff going on here) but will soon. She is really getting into reading now.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne, I sent you my email and phone number through your photo website. I look forward to following your links on this post. =) I too love books! I really like "Honey for a Child's Heart" by Gladys Hunt for good book ideas. The books in FIAR are EXCELLENT. Their books are on many other book lists too. The suggestions are fun, actually. It's almost too much fun to be school but I know many kids are doing really well with it as their only curriculum. =) My oldest in 5 so we are just beginning. Here is a link I recently found helpful since I like Sonlight too but FIAR is much more fun and I like the schedule of FIAR better.

Anonymous said...

Books are so so important. I would ditch the chocolate too!! And I love that my kids read...well except Matt but I still got him into books...they just have to have pictures. Rachel is actually reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and loving it! And she is barely 10. She just amazes me.