Should we keep readings short?

I saw this question online today. A mom asking why we would possibly want to stop reading if children are enjoying the story? I thought this was a great question so here are some thoughts on just that.

For enjoyable free readers that they can just read or if we reading a story for the story’s sake we just read chapter after chapter. I do however find when we talk about the book say a year later they do remember very little besides the plot. The idea around slow reading is so that a single idea is introduced and digested through narration and the science of relationships builds layer upon layer year upon year. When we started with CM 10 yrs ago I felt the same however now I see and understand it. I see how the little by little has let my children not simply know the info and the story but rather they have a deep understanding of complex thoughts and ideas. They are able to discuss, with references, why they hold a certain point of view. The older 4 are now 17, 13 and 12 yr old twins. Lessons are still short – maybe 20 min. They listen attentively and all want to narrate first. I remember a friends daughter reading about Gregor Mendel’s pea hybrids. She’d done her single reading of only a page or so for that week. Days later on fetching her daughter from ballet she exclaimed – “I know why little sister has blond hair and we are all brown. I was thinking about my reading and……” had she read this single idea amidst a whole story – the book was short enough to read in a sitting or 2 – she would never have pondered this single idea, developed the science of relationships for herself. This way, instead of information passed from teacher to pupil the child is required to do the work and in so doing so they gain knowledge.

Besides this Charotte Mason encourages us to stop before their minds drift off and they loose concentration as part of reading to them is to build the habit of attention. We want to stop when they still excited and want more so that the next day is a treat all over again.

Drawing while listening to a reading.

I’d encourage you to give it a try with just 1 or 2 books and give it time for you to develop the rhythm of a short reading followed by a narration and see at the end of the year which books they have retained more memory of.

Dandelion Days Level 1 Video 2

Today we will be using the Expression Primer with the Expression Primer Narration workbook. You can download the primer off Archive and the narration workbook is part of the Family Feast Literacy ebook pack.

Dandelion Days Level 1 Video 1b

Today’s lesson uses our letter blocks to build on from the words we learned to read in the previous lesson. You will need your letter blocks, some sand or mielie meal to write in and a book to record words into. Enjoy.

Dandelion Days Level 1 Video 1

Here is the first video that Links to the Family Feast reading program. It uses the Charlotte Mason method of integrating sight words and phonics. You could create your own resources to read along with us or you can order our ebooks. The pack of 5 resources that we have created and use in this reading program will be on special as ebooks / pdfs for R150 or $9 (for the next few weeks.

Please fill in the form below if you have any questions or would like to order any of the resources.

Free Reading Lesson – Level 1 Intro.

This is an intro to our Dandelion Days Level 1 reading program. With so many families now stuck at home and their children needing to keep up with their reading we are going to put as many of our reading lessons online for free.

Dandelion Days Level 1 is for children who already know their letters and can already build 3 letter words for fun.

You can follow along for free and make your own resources or you can purchase the 5 pack ebooks / pdf that we use in the lesson this pack will be on special for the next few weeks.

Nature Study

When we fist began using Charlotte Mason 15 yrs ago I was intrigued with her huge thrust on nature study. She really expected the children to really know their birds, plants and all about the world around them. The interesting thing however was that it was not don’t simply knowing about them but it was done through building a relationship with the world around us.

As children spend time outdoors they create connections that no book or lesson could ever dream of creating. Charotte Mason does infact advocate for children to spend 6 hours a day outside whenever possible. That is however another discussion on its own so we’ll keep that for another day.

Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.

Charlotte Mason

As children spend these hours outdoors they see creatures, feel the wind, they maybe bitten by an ant, taste the necture of a honey suckle and smell that fresh rain is about to fall. All these memories are stored and when it comes to later years to learn the sciences it’s these old memories and familiar friends they call into the lesson with them and it is from these that they learn the wonders of the world yet again.