Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hearing and Listening Re-Visited

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This past summer I wrote a series called Early Grammar Stage Focus.  In it, I took a close look at the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10  from Trivium Pursuit and challenged myself to do better in the areas that they highlight.  It is been a few months, and school is in full swing, so I want to check back in and see how I have done in each of the areas.  Each week I will re-visit one of the 10 topics, so come back next week for more!

 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 I am re-visiting the subject of hearing and listening.  The first time we talked about this, we discussed how reading out loud to our children is so important, especially when they are young!  The article above recommends reading out loud at least 2 hours a day to your children.  The article also talked about starting a history notebook and timeline (I'm not sure why it was under "hearing and listening.") If you want to take a look at this subject more, check out the article I linked to above, and also my first post Hearing and Listening.

At the end of our last discussion I set some goals for myself in this area.  This is what I wanted 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

We have been very purposeful about reading out loud this year.  We start our day reading our history stories and sometimes character stories (like these stories about the Millers) during our circle time.  We will read fun picture books in the day as the kids ask for them.  Daddy reads the Bible at night during our family worship time.  This totals up to about an hour or so a day.  I really desire to do more, but honestly I just find it hard to get everything done that I want to each day =(  Do you feel that way too, or is it just me?

At the beginning of the year, I tried timing how long we would read, just to get the feel for how much we were doing.  I rarely do this anymore, but it was nice to see about how long each reading time was.  It's also hard to remember to start and stop the time each time, so it was rarely accurate!

I'm still trying to figure out goal #2.  I feel like when Trevor starting moving around or playing with a toy that his mind is gone.  I do find that reading to the kids while they are eating breakfast or lunch really helps, because they have to sit while they eat anyways, so why not listen to something while they sit there?  I'm sure he will grow in this area as he gets older, and I'll just keep trying to learn what works best for him.

We have begun our timeline and history notebooks!  I have paper taped to the wall right by where we do our school (well, where the kids sit down to do their writing).  It is low down on the wall so that they can see it and add to it easily.  We do not add to it daily, but only as we get to a major character or event in history.  At their ages, I do not want anything overwhelming, just a basic frame of reference for them.

There is more on it now, but here's what our timeline looked like after we studied Noah's Ark.

For the notebook, I just add everything that we do (that fits on a page) to a binder.  There are copywork pages, charts, drawings, etc. in the notebook.  When we do something larger, like dress up in time period clothing, I take a picture and will add it at the appropriate place in the notebook.  This is a neat book to look through and review all that you have learned through history!

So that is how we have been doing with our reading out loud!  How have you been doing?  Do you have a history notebook?  A timeline?  Any tips to share about how you do these things?

This post is a part of the following series:

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