Did you think I’d given up writing about my home-made homeschool curriculum? Think again! It’s just that I’ve been busy actually DOING homeschooling, as school began last week. And so far it is going pretty well. Today I want to write on our Reading curriculum.
I did have to order some new textbooks because some of mine were lost in the fire. That makes me really sad because a few of them had been around a long time–they were discarded textbooks from St. Joseph that they were giving away back when I was younger than Lorelei. It’s a sad commentary on . . . something . . . that Catholic textbooks are no longer used in Catholic schools. One of the best aspects of Catholic education is that the faith can be woven throughout the day and not confined to religion class. How much more true that would be if Catholic texts were still widely available!
But the Internet being the marvel that it is, I managed to find what I was looking for: fourth grade Catholic Readers from the 1940s and 50s. I have a mixture of New Cathedral Readers and Faith and Freedom Readers, and I have a few secular readers I’ve collected over the years as well that we can use if we finish the ones we have.
Right now we are reading New Times and Places, and Lorelei is enjoying the stories, most of which teach Catholicism by showing Catholic people doing Catholic things in the course of their regular lives. Most days of the week somewhere in the middle of our school day I just tell her to start reading and after about 30 minutes I tell her to stop, and then she tells me about the stories, which she is always eager to do.
As you can see, there is nothing NEW about this book. But that’s why I like it.
I love the old-fashioned pictures, the innocence, the simple piety of these books. I love that Lorelei is learning about living the faith even as she does her reading lesson, but in an organic way, not a preachy way.
On Fridays, we switch gears and I have her read and do some exercises from a workbook I bought somewhere, which includes short segments on Guinness Book of World Record Winners. I just thought that looked fun. 🙂
When she finishes this first reader, she already has a chapter book picked out to read. I’m going to have her read that and then do a book report. Then we will start on the next reader. And we will just keep going until we run out of year.
Jake and William were not confident readers, so I started them in the third reader, and we would take turns reading aloud to each other. Lorelei, like Teddy, is fine to read on her own at grade level, and I expect we will move into 5th grade readers later in the year. The problem with Lorelei is that she’s not that into reading. She likes to read once she gets started, but unlike Emily (and me) it’s not the first thing she thinks of when she has free time–that would be t.v. That’s why it’s important to me to make extended and interesting reading part of our curriculum this year, and why I’m going to concentrate for now on READING, not talking about it, or answering questions about it, or doing lessons based on it.
[Update: Reading continues to be a less-than-favored pastime for Lorelei. We spent most of last year reading chapter books instead of readers, because she expressed enthusiasm about a series of books and I wanted to encourage that.]