I have been encouraging eldest to read to me this year* (we're 3 days in!) because I realised that since she has been able to read I haven't really felt it necessary (even though the books say otherwise). However Nick and I have realised that she has words in her head which are mispronounced because she hasn't heard us saying them (although how we've failed to have dungeons in daily chat, I'm not sure). Plus we've had sneaking suspicions that her "reading" of a book doesn't actually enter her head. I read Middlemarch at secondary school, and by the time I reached the end I couldn't tell you what had happened or the names of any of the characters.
I'm not kidding.
So I know that lack of retention could be an issue.
So, using the Sonlight and Veritas catalogues and some other online helps, I have chosen some highly recommended, short chaptered books for her to read with me. Given a choice between The Elevator Family and Dolphin Adventure, she chose the former. Hilariously, it's because Dolphin has pictures, she prefers books with pictures, and she wanted to get Elevator over with!
Like-mother, like-daughter (I eat the veg first on that basis).
Happily, she loves the Elevator Family, the story of a family who mistake a large, plush lift for a hotel room. My eldest is now desperate to read it each day.
Note: Obviously, it's an American book, since we don't use elevators in this country. I have pondered whether American books are a good idea or not. Someone at church also asked me a question about American spellings, and what we'd be teaching. So here's an attempt to outline my thoughts on using A LOT of American books.
1. America has produced some seriously good children's literature.
Madeleine L'Engle & Elizabeth George Spear are 2 authors i have been enjoying getting to know this year.
2. The US have valued children's literature highly for years. See the Caldecott and Newbury prizes.
3. They have a lot more depth that most of the (recent) British stuff I have looked at.
4. It gives us an opportunity to talk about differences in cultures.
5. This should be #1, but I only just thought of it, that American books (from the past) have a lot more truth in them. That is, biblical truth. Say what you like about the often bizarre (to a Brit) behaviour of American Christianity, at least Jesus has made it into their literature.
1. They use different words
2 They spell differently. Traveling, for example. Odd, isn't it! Marvelous... Savior. And all that!
I think that the Pros outweigh the cons, no?
* it is also an easy thing to do. Home educating, alongside the responsibilities I have elsewhere is REALLY HARD. I am not superwoman, and me reading to children, and them reading to me is not hard on me. And beneficial. See Charlotte Mason...