Monday, June 14, 2010

A narration experiment

As a general rule, I have read most of the books aloud to my children as we have worked our way through our Ambleside curriculum. Well, at least until I thought their reading skills and narration skills were at a certain level (as decided by me, lol). Well, at least it worked that way with my oldest. She was doing her reading to herself by year 3 , unless it was a couple of the ones that needed Mommy to read simply because of true difficulty in reading/understanding (ie Robin Hood or Shakespeare - things like that). However, my son has been a different case. Part of that stems, simply, from his being a boy.

Young M picked up on reading fairly easily, but told others she could not read until she was around age 8 (what was that about??). But, looking back on it (and I figured it out within a couple of months), while she could do the decoding and mechanics needed to read, it was not fun and was hard work. Somewhere, around there, though, the boring decoding became automatic to her - and the joy of reading kicked in around age 8.
G2 is not much different, but about a year later in making this jump. Having had a baby and now another pregnancy tossed in there had made my brain forget about that delay and I was getting worried - after all, he is 9 already! Listening to him read out loud can be rather painful at times - unless, of all things, he is reading from the Bible. Then we have very little stumbling, stopping, etc. I have as yet to figure that one out....

So, today, I tried a little experiment. G2 HATES to narrate. Seriously - he hates it, complains about it, begs not to narrate. So today, I had him read 2 of Aesop's fables to himself, but told him he would have to tell me back what he had learned. He whined, but since they are relatively short, he did it. Yes, we should have been done with this book ages ago, but we are not, lol! Anyway, he enjoyed the first one so much, that he ended up going back and reading the whole thing out loud to me and then went on to tell me about how silly and foolish the people were to forget that they should be honest ("Honesty is the Best Policy" was the moral). The next one, he read and enjoyed as well. He did not reread this one, but gave me a fabulous retelling of it! Then, when he realized he had closed the book without the book mark in it, he ended up reading the next one in line when he found the place in the book, lol! And told me about that one as well!
I was really not expecting this big of a response to his doing that, but such a relief. I suspect, were I to look into it, he is not an auditory learning. I should know that one by now with him. And he has been getting harder books out from the library on topics he is interested in (if I see one more Star Wars book, I am going to scream, but I will accept the other normal space books, lol!).

That was my little experiment of the day and got great results. I think it is time for me to catch a nap while G3 is napping, M2 is playing in the basement and G2 is voluntarily cleaning his room (how weird is that?!).