Monday, May 21, 2012

Early Grammar Stage Focus - Hearing and Listening

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This is part four of my series based on the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10.  To learn more about what I am doing, read my first post on Reading and Writing.

You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.

This week's focus is on Hearing and Listening.

Every parenting book, magazine, blog, etc. I have seen highly recommends reading to your children, starting at a very young age.  The article sited above is no different.  What I love is that they put a very specific recommendation with it...that you should read aloud to your children at least 2 hours a day.  At first glance that sounds like a lot (to me at least!) but if you think about all the different things your read to your children, it makes it much more manageable.  The article says you do not need to read for 2 hours straight and that your reading can come from all different sources.  So just think if you are reading from the Bible, a history lesson, and a science or nature story each for 20 minutes, that is an hour right there.  Then add to that reading a good piece of literature together and you'll soon be at 2 hours!

I have tried to be much more concision of this since I first read this article.  Reading aloud is something that has been a part of our schooling this year.  We have been slowly making our way through chapter books (so far we've read Little House in the Big Woods, Charlotte's Web, and now Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), we read character building stories, nature stories, and the Bible with daddy.  I am certain that we are not at 2 hours a day, but I think we are moving in the right direction and love the goal to shoot for!

The article has some great advice, like to not be afraid to read young children books with long chapters and to not expect your children to sit perfectly still while you are reading, as well as thoughts about audio-books, non-Christian books, and abridged books.  There is so much good information, please go check out the article to learn more!

I'm not sure why it is under Hearing and Listening, but the article also talks about starting a timeline and a history notebook with your children.  I love these ideas and plan on starting them next year.  The timeline is essentially a long, blank paper that the child adds information and dates to as they encounter it in their studies.  What a fantastic way to give your child a big-picture perspective on history!  I'm not exactly sure what goes in a history notebook, but they said they would talk about it it later on, so I'm looking forward to reading more about what they recommend!

Goals to work on:

  1. Consciously increase read-aloud time to 2 hours
  2. Not be so strict about making Trevor sit still while I read =)
  3. Begin a timeline
  4. Begin a history notebook

See how we are doing on these goals in my follow up post, Hearing and Listening Re-Visited.

Do you make reading aloud to your children a priority?  How long do you think you read to them every day?  I'd love to hear how you do it or what you'd like to work on along with me!

This post is a part of the following series:

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  1. I am so so so bad at reading out loud to my kids. I don't like doing it, I'm bad at it (ask my kids... they don't like listenin to me, either), it's just not fun for us. I'm working on it (someday, I'm actually going to get to a convention with Jim Weiss and take his workshops!!), but for now, we've found that audiobooks are an AWESOME resource. And starting small. I'm working on reading picture books to my littles, rather than jumping in. Start small, work up, and utilize tools in the meantime. Thanks for the great post!

    1. We really haven't used audiobooks at all, but it is something I'd really like to try! I just haven't been convinced that my (almost) 4 yr old would pay attention to one, but I just need to give one a try =)

  2. Some nights I resent the hours I spend reading to each child. Even though I enjoy the books as much as they do, I think of all the things I could be getting done for the next day. Then I read things like this and I remember what a gift it is to all of us. I know it is time well spent. Thank you for the post!

    1. I'm so glad that this was an encouragement to you! It is so fantastic that you read so long to your kids! I know it often seems like a pointless activity, but I think it's probably good to train ourselves to be still and not worry about all those other things we could be getting done =)


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