Friday, 8 March 2013

All My Charlotte Mason Reading Posts... In One Place

I decided to put all 7 of my posts on Charlotte Mason's suggestions on Pre-reading and Reading Lessons in one document.  Here it is - a google document about 30-some pages long that you can easily print out for reference if you like.  Hopefully some day I'll format it more formally & more usefully into some sort of e-book.  But for now, here is something you can use if you wish.

:)  Jen

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Dq7wx-C4vTlLO6uzq2r6Fekvnz9JTDMsKsCwjJBg3MQ/edit

34 comments:

  1. Thank you! I refer back here often!

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  2. Thank You! I also refer to these posts. Just to let you know we were using a computer program to teach reading because it was all put together for me and free. I was skeptical as to whether I could pull off CM style lessons. I decided to do a trial run as you have outlined for a week or so. DS orefers this method, is really learning to read, and the spark has ignited in him!! he is always running to me saying "Mom look at what I read!" and this is after a couple of weeks!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful resource!

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  4. Thank you Jen! I wasn't sure how to do this, and your instruction makes it so easy!

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  5. Thank you. This. Is. AWESOME!!! I will definitely be sharing this and printing it out because I know I will be referencing it frequently over the next few years.

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  6. Thank you so much for putting this together and sharing! I will be printing this out to use with dd3 when the time comes. It is so helpful to have it all organized in one place. I have one question about a statement you made, "...Although I don’t think I’ll use cursive again this early - more on that in a later post". Have you been able to do this post yet? I have used "Cursive First" with my first two students and would love to hear your take on it. Thanks again!

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    1. No, I haven't gotten around to a post on handwriting yet! A bunch of things have come up - so that's on indefinite hold. The biggest reason I think it's best to start during the early years with print (as opposed to cursive) is: Charlotte Mason implied that the main point of letter formation during these years (under the age of 5 or 6) is not to be able to write, but to be able to visualize the letters during the "learning to read" process, (and later, to visualize the words). Since most of what we read is in print, we need to be able to visualize those letters. Air writing is a major tool CM uses to develop this visualization. There is not much, if any, paper writing required during the early learning-to-read process. Once the child turns 6 and starts CM's "reading lessons" there is a little. I believe that the best time to teach cursive is after a basic level of reading has been accomplished, and then that the optimal time is whenever a child seems interested in cursive. (And if they're interested in the middle of learning to read, go for it!) Most children (in my experience) have a time when they really want to learn how to write in cursive - it's really "cool" - and they'll learn it well if taught correctly then, due to the high level of attention they give the subject. For my first son, this was shortly after he turned 6. So we never had a prolonged period of writing in print with him - it has mostly been cursive. I don't have anything against Cursive First; I have just come to realize that Ms. Mason had a good reason for the recommendations she made, and they make sense to me. Plus, if a child is naturally drawn to making the print letters that they see at a young age, that's the time to capitalize on teaching those print letters - when the child's intense interest is there.

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    2. Thank you for clarifying. I have read and reread CM's writings on this subject, but somehow missed the letter-formation-as-visualization-aid connection, but it really makes sense. I'll start with print or italics when I do this the third time around. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom. Blessings on your and your homeschool!

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    3. *Blush* Glad my explanation makes sense to you! I just want to mention that if Cursive First is working well for you and your children, you really don't have to switch because of my opinion! Sometimes so much of this is so hard to figure out - I'm sharing the conclusion I've come to, but I know a lot of people thrive teaching cursive to their children first, too. Best wishes as you continue to thoughtfully school your children!

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  7. I too want to say thank you for these excellent posts. They have given me such clarity on helping my first to read and I am now printing out the entire post to keep in my reading binder.

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  8. You're all so very welcome! So glad this is helpful to people!

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  9. Jenn,
    My husband and I have been looking strongly into homeschooling and while researching is when I came across this blog post. First, I must say that your explanations have helped to lower my stress level on this process, and I thank you for that. Our children have been in public schools their entire schooling lives and I was wondering if you have any advice for us? I am worried that I may force our oldest (who is currently a 5th grader with dyslexia) fall further behind than she already is. Any and all advice, recommendations, and explanations are welcomed and appreciated.

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    1. Nicky,
      It is definitely wise that you are considering homeschooling! I am afraid that I do not have much personal experience with dyslexia or with pulling children out of school. If you are interested in the Charlotte Mason method, I would recommend joining the Ambleside Online Forum and finding an appropriate forum there in which to ask your questions. The ladies there have lots of experience and could provide more answers than I. Best wishes!

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  10. This resource is wonderful and it's what I've been looking for. Do you believe this would be a sufficient reading "curriculum" for early readers?

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    1. Stephanie,
      Yes, I do! I have used this method with my own children, in particular one son almost exclusively. I combined her recommendations for older children with the Treadwell Readers and had great success with him. I think it's possible that some children can become good readers using other curriculum, too (I've used other things with 2 of my other children, who were very flexible and took to reading like fish to water), but I truly believe that CM's methods work best for the majority of children. I've used the Treadwell Readers with CM's methods for the final stages of teaching my children to read and it has worked very well!

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    2. Hi Jennifer, I was just wondering if you are still homeschooling/blogging - or if you have a facebook page. Thank you, Tara.

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    3. Yes, I am still homeschooling! I am not blogging at the moment due to having 2 babies within 17 months. The second is now 7 months old and I also have to get some professional education in before next June so I don't plan to post anything new before then. But when life calms down I plan to come back to it... eventually. Thanks for asking!

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  11. Hi! Thanks for doing this! I was wonderign if you could add page numbers to this? I've printed it out and already messed up the order of the pages.

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    1. That's a good idea. I'll see what I can do. Might take a few days to get to.

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  12. THANK YOU! And God Bless you!

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  13. I'm curious! I have a 3rd grader who reads almost a year above her grade. Is phonics recommended for advanced readers? Whats the pros to phonics, will it help with spelling?

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    1. Hi! I'm so sorry I didn't see this comment originally. Here I am a year later replying! For advanced readers, phonics could definitely help with spelling. If you follow Charlotte Mason's advice for spelling lessons, you will notice that phonics could be part of your lesson as you look closely at words and compare them with each other. That's a great opportunity to introduce basic phonic "rules." I think I mentioned the book, "The ABCs and All Their Tricks" and that would give you some good material to introduce during your spelling lessons, as you come across it in the words you are learning. I actually believe that extensive phonics work could be very interesting for some students who have a natural bent for words, and who might be interested in learning more about their composition. Charlotte Mason alludes to this in her comment that extensive phonics work is too hard for beginning readers and more appropriate for older students. She may have meant more high-school age. (I would have to look up that section again- it has been a while since I read it.)

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  14. Wow! This is so nice of you. Thank you!

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  15. Thank you, Jen, for your generosity!

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  16. Nice and wonderful post. thanks for the sharing valuable information.

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  17. This is great. I've read through this and Charlotte Mason's section on reading in Volume 1. My son is good at the prereading skills. he can pick out letters, knows their sounds, and can associate words to that sound. We have not worked on handwriting much yet. He desperately wants to read. Should we work on handwriting in the air or sand more first or go ahead and start the sight and sound lessons. Thank you.

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    1. I should note my son is not quite 5.

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    2. Hi Erin, Sorry I didn't reply to this immediately. Hopefully you have gone ahead and done what you thought was best! Definitely at the age of 5 you can go ahead and work on many of these aspects simultaneously, as your child shows interest. I would encourage you to spend two or three minutes each day learning letter strokes until your son can air write them easily as you are moving ahead with your sight and sound lessons. Certainly keep everything to no more than 20 minutes each day, or less depending on your son's attention span. (One of my sons had a 30 minute attention span at this age, and one only 5 minutes!) Definitely back off if you hit a developmental road block at any time with any child younger than 6 years old. Make it all a game. Enjoy your son's enthusiasm!

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  18. I am printing this out to teach my third daughter how to read. I didn't do it well with my first and second and pushed too hard, not making it fun. Thank you THANK YOU for this resource!!!! It is just perfect!!!

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  19. I have learned more in this collection of posts than in the last 8 years of trying to teach my 13 yo to read. He has dyslexia, but one of his primary struggles is the simple words and, in, to, of, etc. which CM addresses! I can't wait to get started on these lessons with him because I know he is going to skyrocket. It is simple and direct. He is ready but scared. I get it. We have spent probably $7,000 on teaching him to read. I'm not exaggerating, in fact I'm likely undercutting that a bit. I can't wait to report back what he gets from this.

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    1. Hi Christine! I hope these posts help you. I did not write with dyslexia in mind per se, but Charlotte Mason's principles should help in general. Let us know how you fare!

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