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    Classroom techniques?

    Hi Tanya!

    In several of your recent answers to questions, I have gleaned that for (several? many? some?) subjects, either the teachers, students or both are reading the lessons aloud in the classroom prior to completing the guides. While we are not striving to completely mimic a school setting in our homeschool, I would like to implement more of this.

    However if I don't have a rough idea of how much to do, I will obsess about whether we are doing enough. Could you give me an idea of how much reading aloud they shoot for at Highlands? And what subjects it tends to have a place (so far you have mentioned it in reference to Christian Studies, and Literature)? Lastly, does it gradually decrease by grade level, or do you continue it even into the upper grades and high school?

    Thank you!
    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 16
    DD, 14
    DD, 12
    DD, 10
    DD, 8
    DD, 6
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    #2
    Hi, Sarah.

    We do continue reading aloud some in class all through school. In the primary grades through grade 3, we read just about everything aloud. Sometimes the teachers read it, and sometimes the students take turns reading. From 4th grade on, as the books and chapters get longer, we may just read portions of it aloud - the parts that we want to stress or the parts that give a clue to a more abstract comprehension question.

    When I was teaching (5th & 6th grades), what I read aloud really depended on what I was trying to accomplish. I always read the first chapter of any book aloud to set a good introduction. When I was teaching Anne of Green Gables, I read the humorous passages aloud with great drama because I wanted the boys to like it and see that Anne was smart and funny. When reading Robin Hood, I let the students be the characters, like in a play, for certain passages because there was so much dialogue, and it tended to lend itself well to that. I remember that there was a particular chapter in The Trojan War that students found convoluted and confusing, so I dropped what I had planned for that class period, and we read it aloud and dissected it until it gained clarity for them.

    Our upper school teachers have students read Shakespeare, Homer, Virgil, etc. aloud because it helps them understand the difficult language and gives them an appreciation of the drama/comedy/tragedy in a way that you don't get when reading silently.

    The answer to how much to read aloud is easy for primary school - everything is read aloud because we are modeling so many concepts in those grades - fluency in the skill of reading, fluency in reading comprehension, learning to pull an answer to a question from what we have read, how to determine the meaning of a word within the context of a sentence, how to write a good sentence, etc. The students read aloud some every day, but the teacher also reads to the students. Primary students need both to hear someone reading aloud fluently and practice in reading themselves. With my children, sometimes my motivation was limited time, which isn't the best motivation, but that's what it came down to. If I was in a rush to finish a subject, I'd read to them just to speed it up!

    After primary school, you can rely on students to read silently because you have shown them how to be good readers. But they still benefit from being read to and from reading aloud themselves. At that time, they are practicing to become good oral readers, and that will serve them well in their lives. Being able to read well orally is the first step to learning to speak in public.

    I hope this helps!

    Tanya

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      #3
      Thank you so much for your detailed answer Tanya. That was exactly what I was hoping for as far as a "how important is this" all through way through school. Having so many different levels going at the same time leads me to often shelve this aspect of the school day, which has been nagging at me for some time. I am going to copy your response, print it out, and put it with my daily notes to continually remind myself how important it is. Thanks for taking the time to help me.

      God bless,
      Sarah
      2020-2021
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 16
      DD, 14
      DD, 12
      DD, 10
      DD, 8
      DD, 6
      +DS+
      DS, 2

      Comment


        #4
        Also wanted to throw in another way to read aloud. My daughter really struggled to understand The Hobbit. She listened to the first 1/3 on audio- then she fell in love with it! I have become a big fan of audio books. It's a nice change for them too
        Mollie

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