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How do you do free reading?

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    Anita
    Senior Member

  • Anita
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Originally posted by Colomama View Post
    I buy washable liquid paint, probably that crayola variety Anita is talking about, in big bottles. They use ice cube trays as their palette. Keeps the paint separated and usable. Add a felt backed plastic table cloth and you're set.

    I buy a new table cloth at each turn of the season when they go on sale. $2 for spring butterflies? Sold! Keeps the mess contained and Im not all crazy about cleaning it because I replace it 4 times a year. Sometimes it's on a table. Sometimes it's on the floor.

    I think of art as like tying shoes. At first it's going to be all messy and drive you crazy. The drama! The mess! But, with practice, things get neater and quicker. They don't spill their paints as much. They don't paint the wrong thing. And pretty soon they can do it all on their own.

    And drawing paper is not lined notebook paper. Decent supplies are key. We have real watercolor paint paper, not just computer paper.

    But don't think art is just drawing and painting. My daughter sewed a doll blanket for fair this year. And we are learning to knit this winter. My son built a football stadium out of legos.
    1) Shower curtains from the Dollar Tree. BAM. Or synthetic oil cloth by the yard from Wal Mart. BAMBAM. Both are super cheap.
    2) Yes! Do not skimp on crayons, colored pencils or good quality paper and scissors if you can possibly help it. Crayola is awesome for almost everything at this age (though I keep our supply closet vey basic; invisible ink and expensive character coloring books need not apply). Prismacolor has, hands down, the best colored pencils. Dollar Tree has decent first scissors, but Fiskars from WalMart are my favorite. Tru-Ray construction paper from Amazon or Hobby Lobby — or just card stock in standard 8.5x11” — saves money (because you use less) and also saves HOURS OF FRUSTRATION. Good paper makes a beautiful finished product that folds, bends, rolls and strips beautifully and it’s sturdy enough to hold up to a minor beating. The colors are also nice and saturated.
    3) NOPE! Art is definitely not just 2D. Get your kids interested in fabrics, yarns, melt and pour soap and candle making, cooking, baking, cake decorating and glueing jewels and gems on stuffed animals and dolls. (E6000 glue is cheap, stands up to the washing machine after it dries and is washable while wet.) Add yarn hair to your paper bag dolls. Get some GIANT googly eyes from WalMart (my daughter LOVES those) and give your creation some 3D expression on his face! It doesn’t have to be fancy. You should see the sculpture my oldest makes with magnetic blocks. Search “ModPodge crafts” on YouTube and then report back in six months when you’ve finally surfaced from that rabbit hole!

    The possibilities are myriad. And definitely without needing to spend a fortune or derail your entire home and home school.

    Leave a comment:

  • Colomama
    Senior Member

  • Colomama
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    I buy washable liquid paint, probably that crayola variety Anita is talking about, in big bottles. They use ice cube trays as their palette. Keeps the paint separated and usable. Add a felt backed plastic table cloth and you're set.

    I buy a new table cloth at each turn of the season when they go on sale. $2 for spring butterflies? Sold! Keeps the mess contained and Im not all crazy about cleaning it because I replace it 4 times a year. Sometimes it's on a table. Sometimes it's on the floor.

    I think of art as like tying shoes. At first it's going to be all messy and drive you crazy. The drama! The mess! But, with practice, things get neater and quicker. They don't spill their paints as much. They don't paint the wrong thing. And pretty soon they can do it all on their own.

    And drawing paper is not lined notebook paper. Decent supplies are key. We have real watercolor paint paper, not just computer paper.

    But don't think art is just drawing and painting. My daughter sewed a doll blanket for fair this year. And we are learning to knit this winter. My son built a football stadium out of legos.

    Leave a comment:

  • Anita
    Senior Member

  • Anita
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Originally posted by AlexandraMarie View Post
    That is a good point! Honestly I am amazed how good my kids are at drawing. We draw at least once or twice a week for the Memoria Press curriculum and they just draw in their free time. I am thankful that they have the power to see things. Last year we started keeping nature journals and I think that helped. My daughter keeps asking for a wooden paint palette for Christmas. Up to this point we have stuck with water colors, they are not messy and I have a toddler that gets into everything. I don't want to hold her back. SHe is 5.5 she will be 6 by Christmas. Would you get the wooden paint palette or have her wait? Unfortunately my mind keeps going to the mess.
    Even simpler: Crayola Washable Kids Paint. WalMart, about $5. It paints with beautiful, vivid saturation but washes off of everything — even hands, furniture, clothing — with just water. (And some soap if you’re feeling squirrely.) “Wood paint” is just watered down acrylic. It is not so washable! Wait for that until she’s older, for sure. But even then, wood paints are super cheap — $1 each, usually — and they come in a huge variety of colors and textures. I use them to paint peg dolls, matroishkas, paper, plastic, anything that will stand still. I ModPodge over the top to make it permanent (don’t let me go down a ModPodge rabbit hole, we’ll be here all day, not getting anything done!). We use paper plates as disposable palettes.

    Is that helpful?

    Leave a comment:

  • AlexandraMarie
    Senior Member

  • AlexandraMarie
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Originally posted by Anita View Post
    Not Sarah (obviously) but just wanted to chime in.

    I am an artist. I never took lessons. I *sort of* had some training in middle/high school and a bit in college. My older daughter got the bug, too. It just came with her DNA. She makes things all. the. time. You cannot stop her. She just *creates*, pretty much constantly. I do on a lesser scale because I just don’t have the leisure. But my work has improved greatly over the years just by making time to work at it. I don’t take classes. I just work with what I’ve got (and sometimes look at YouTube for minimal instruction or inspiration). My daughter sees or hears something that fires her imagination and she’s (literally) off and running to grab markers, construction paper, scissors and tape. (And usually googly-eyes.)

    Point? Some of my best work — that I’m proudest of — just came from the drive to create. With whatever was lying around. This started when I was a kid and continues to this day. So don’t feel like you have to provide formal art lessons. If she wants to create, she can. She just has to be bored enough. I think the technical term for this is Folk Art. It was — and is — everyday artisans who work hard for a living, but who still find time to make beautiful things. Not because they want to be “cultured”, but because the drive to create something lovely is so strong within them. How many quilts, baskets, hand-turned pieces of stone ware, items of clothing and home furnishings can you point to that were made by your grandmother? How about gorgeous wood work or wildlife whittling from your grandfather? This is a dying tradition. Excluding the (obvious) primary reason that almost everything can be bought cheaply to decorate one’s world, this tradition is dying because we think we have to either be perfect at it or make money off it. (It still grates me that people automatically assume art must always equal commerce. As if to *not* market and sell your work is somehow diminishing to your talent. Can’t we just make l
    ovely and satisfying things because we want to? YEESH.)

    Anyway.... random. But I’m happy I expressed it. HA!
    That is a good point! Honestly I am amazed how good my kids are at drawing. We draw at least once or twice a week for the Memoria Press curriculum and they just draw in their free time. I am thankful that they have the power to see things. Last year we started keeping nature journals and I think that helped. My daughter keeps asking for a wooden paint palette for Christmas. Up to this point we have stuck with water colors, they are not messy and I have a toddler that gets into everything. I don't want to hold her back. SHe is 5.5 she will be 6 by Christmas. Would you get the wooden paint palette or have her wait? Unfortunately my mind keeps going to the mess.

    Leave a comment:

  • Anita
    Senior Member

  • Anita
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Not Sarah (obviously) but just wanted to chime in.

    I am an artist. I never took lessons. I *sort of* had some training in middle/high school and a bit in college. My older daughter got the bug, too. It just came with her DNA. She makes things all. the. time. You cannot stop her. She just *creates*, pretty much constantly. I do on a lesser scale because I just don’t have the leisure. But my work has improved greatly over the years just by making time to work at it. I don’t take classes. I just work with what I’ve got (and sometimes look at YouTube for minimal instruction or inspiration). My daughter sees or hears something that fires her imagination and she’s (literally) off and running to grab markers, construction paper, scissors and tape. (And usually googly-eyes.)

    Point? Some of my best work — that I’m proudest of — just came from the drive to create. With whatever was lying around. This started when I was a kid and continues to this day. So don’t feel like you have to provide formal art lessons. If she wants to create, she can. She just has to be bored enough. I think the technical term for this is Folk Art. It was — and is — everyday artisans who work hard for a living, but who still find time to make beautiful things. Not because they want to be “cultured”, but because the drive to create something lovely is so strong within them. How many quilts, baskets, hand-turned pieces of stone ware, items of clothing and home furnishings can you point to that were made by your grandmother? How about gorgeous wood work or wildlife whittling from your grandfather? This is a dying tradition. Excluding the (obvious) primary reason that almost everything can be bought cheaply to decorate one’s world, this tradition is dying because we think we have to either be perfect at it or make money off it. (It still grates me that people automatically assume art must always equal commerce. As if to *not* market and sell your work is somehow diminishing to your talent. Can’t we just make lovely and satisfying things because we want to? YEESH.)

    Anyway.... random. But I’m happy I expressed it. HA!
    Anita
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Anita; 10-16-2017, 07:02 AM.

    Leave a comment:

  • AlexandraMarie
    Senior Member

  • AlexandraMarie
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
    Alexandra,
    We also have mostly readers, with one or two who DO read, but usually only if they have exhausted all other options. Which is the point I wanted to share with you - the value of boredom to encourage readers. The variety of activities our kids have available to them is pretty limited, especially the older they get. My kids 10 and up usually rotate between: being outside, drawing, piano, legos, and reading. Throw in some board or card games and that's pretty much it. Each one of these is something we consider "good," so we don't stress over which they choose - and with so few choices, reading is usually right up there.

    This takes a couple of things to accomplish:
    1) A personal library of books that are SO GOOD your kids will be happy to read them over and over again. Filter, add new ones on a regular basis, but also allow them to read the best things A LOT.

    2) A "NO" button. I wish I had one! Then for each of the many, many times I get asked if they can watch something or play Wii, I could just hit the button. It would be so much easier! But the truth is there - you just gotta keep those others things relegated to the "set time each week" sort of category - otherwise, they will always pick the brain candy instead of the soul food.

    3) Continued use of the phrase, "I am not here to entertain you." When your kids come to you with some version of the, "I don't know what to do" complaint, this is how to answer, most times. Don't get me wrong - I love reading to my kids, playing cards or other board games, and whatnot. We love "family things," but in the day to day, when their school is over, and I am still working with others, or making dinner, or folding laundry - these are the times when you simply let them be bored. Then as they resort to reading out of desperation, they will eventually get hooked. This is especially true for reluctant readers. (Speaking from experience). They may not magically morph into bookworms, but they WILL read MORE.

    HTHs!
    AMDG,
    Sarah
    Thank you for this Sarah! I just had my fifth kid and the most encouraging thing I heard from you is me telling my kids that I am not here to entertain them. By the time we are done with school, I am tired and have a newborn to hold and nurse and house work to catch up on. My 2, 4, and 7 year old boys play outside a lot and rough house. My daughter doesn't want to do those things and I feel a constant guilt hanging over me like I am not giving her enough. I responded to your Hoffman Academy post, because I just started that with her. She also is asking about art, which I feel I may need to outsource as well. I am realizing I have limitations and can not be everything for my children. I will continue to fill my shelves with GOOD books and let my daughter re-read. We do have pretty strict technology rules, apart from letting the two younger ones watch about 40 minutes in the AM while we do school, we pretty much stick to a family movie night. I do need to learn to value letting my kids be bored. I do read aloud to my kids every night at bedtime and once a day on the days we aren't doing school, but my daughter would have me read to her all day. I believe me telling her no is what is causing her to read a lot on her own.

    Leave a comment:

  • KF2000
    Senior Member

  • KF2000
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Alexandra,
    We also have mostly readers, with one or two who DO read, but usually only if they have exhausted all other options. Which is the point I wanted to share with you - the value of boredom to encourage readers. The variety of activities our kids have available to them is pretty limited, especially the older they get. My kids 10 and up usually rotate between: being outside, drawing, piano, legos, and reading. Throw in some board or card games and that's pretty much it. Each one of these is something we consider "good," so we don't stress over which they choose - and with so few choices, reading is usually right up there.

    This takes a couple of things to accomplish:
    1) A personal library of books that are SO GOOD your kids will be happy to read them over and over again. Filter, add new ones on a regular basis, but also allow them to read the best things A LOT.

    2) A "NO" button. I wish I had one! Then for each of the many, many times I get asked if they can watch something or play Wii, I could just hit the button. It would be so much easier! But the truth is there - you just gotta keep those others things relegated to the "set time each week" sort of category - otherwise, they will always pick the brain candy instead of the soul food.

    3) Continued use of the phrase, "I am not here to entertain you." When your kids come to you with some version of the, "I don't know what to do" complaint, this is how to answer, most times. Don't get me wrong - I love reading to my kids, playing cards or other board games, and whatnot. We love "family things," but in the day to day, when their school is over, and I am still working with others, or making dinner, or folding laundry - these are the times when you simply let them be bored. Then as they resort to reading out of desperation, they will eventually get hooked. This is especially true for reluctant readers. (Speaking from experience). They may not magically morph into bookworms, but they WILL read MORE.

    HTHs!
    AMDG,
    Sarah

    Leave a comment:

  • AlexandraMarie
    Senior Member

  • AlexandraMarie
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Thank you for all your responses. I will have to get the headlamp for my son ! I will continue to have him read for at least twenty minutes out loud on non scchool days. I am going through the Mensa List with my daughter; she wants her free t-shirt. Maybe after that I'll look into some other lists or series and of course we use the HLS reading list. My next decision will be whether or not to donsexond grade literature with her next year or skip to third. I feel the first grade core is perfect for her except her reading and comprehension are much more advanced

    Leave a comment:

  • Jen (formerly) in Japan
    Senior Member

  • Jen (formerly) in Japan
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    I personally am a bookworm, so I was determined to raise kids who would at least *read*. I have been able to accomplish it in three of my kids.


    1. Night time reading. We have always had set bedtimes in our house, so in order to encourage reading, we allow the child to read for an extra 30 mins in bed, then turn off their own light (give them a timer). As the kids age up, the 30 mins gets extended. What starts out as a privilege ends up as a lifetime habit. As we all know, it's the little things when they are little.

    2. Day time assigned reading. I have far more literature in my homeschool than the MP core assigned reading. My kids always have a "reader" with assigned reading. When I am not using Sonlight or Bookshark, I use common sense with good book lists and my own general knowledge from being a bookworm myself.


    Bonus: how *I* do free reading. When I read the title of your thread, I assumed you were asking how a mom can get more reading time in! Because, bookworm. I read about 5 books a month. I have grabbed the knack of reading on my e-reader (although I still do love paper books), and holding it one handed. I read while I brush my teeth, while I stir soup, while I use the hair dryer, in the little waiting times at kids' lessons, in the afternoon if I can (although that usually ends up as a short nap, ha, ha). The love of reading is a deep and powerful thing. Once it's instilled, it's a lifelong habit, so well worth the time to encourage it in your kids.



    Good luck and happy reading!


    Jen
    Jen (formerly) in Japan
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Jen (formerly) in Japan; 10-15-2017, 03:47 PM.

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  • Mary
    Senior Member

  • Mary
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Originally posted by Michael View Post
    Here's the thread. The booklist is in the third post. No need to get lost now, Mary!
    Oh, thank God! I was somewhere in the inmost recesses of the forum, wading through posts directing people to email Tanya.

    Leave a comment:

  • Michael
    Senior Member

  • Michael
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Originally posted by OrthodoxHandmaiden View Post
    Now, wait several days while I get lost in the forum trying to find that link for you...
    Here's the thread. The booklist is in the third post. No need to get lost now, Mary!

    Leave a comment:

  • Anita
    Senior Member

  • Anita
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    Daughter, 7, and son, 9, are both in 1st Grade together (we have special needs here). My daughter has to be torn away from books. My son will read for school but not for pleasure. Both his father and I are big book worms; we have a house full of books; he loves stories and he’s gaining mastery of language. So I actually don’t worry that we won’t be a reader. I think it will just come with time. Until then, we surround him with books; we read; we read to him; he reads to his baby sister; he is asked to read (even for things like Sunday school lessons at home) and he notices more and more what things say when we are out and about. He’ll be a reader. But it will happen on his timeline.

    Parents who read have kids who read.

    Leave a comment:

  • MyLittleWonders
    Senior Member

  • MyLittleWonders
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    My three big boys wouldn’t necessarily choose to read on their own but they do read readily if I assign it. So that’s what we do. I use titles from MP’s read aloud packages, Saint novels, titles from Ambleside Online, and often will get more by an author they have enjoyed in the past. They are assigned about 25 minutes a day. Sometimes it’s a different book each day kind of how Ambleside assigns - so they slowly work their way through a few books. Or they read one book every day until it’s finished. My second son loves having a few books going plus a different book that he reads from daily.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mary
    Senior Member

  • Mary
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    My dd12 is precisely the kiddo meginiowa described as "Put that book down...". *LOL* She has always been a bookworm and keeping her in books has been a full-time job.

    My dd10 only recently became a book-reader on his own. He was my boy who would rather play with Legos or action figures or...anything except reading. He enjoyed being read to but he wouldn't read on his own.

    If your reluctant reader enjoys the read-alouds (having you read to him), he *may* enjoy listening to audiobooks. I started doing this with my ds and he really liked it. Among his favorites are The Phantom Tollbooth, Homer Price, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and anything narrated by Jim Weiss. 7-year-old boys aren't typically known for being the type to curl up with a good book; however, if you can get him absorbed in an audiobook while playing with his toys, you *may* slowly draw him into an interest in free reading as he gets older.

    In our case, my dd would read some great books and would talk about them at the dinner table. When ds realized they weren't available on audiobook (like Detectives in Togas and The Green Ember), he was incentivized to crack the covers himself. I spend all available extra cash on books and audiobook CDs. DH had built-in shelves installed a few years ago as a Christmas present. Voila! Our front room is now a "library" and is filled with a wonderful selection of books from which my don't-know-how-lucky-they-are children can choose. Martin's Booklist is a fantastic resource if you're not sure where to start! (Now, wait several days while I get lost in the forum trying to find that link for you...)

    Also, when I told my son he could read in bed with his headlamp (provided his lights are out by a certain time), he just thought that was the coolest thing ever. Starting around age 9 (he's almost 11), he'd climb into bed with one of the Paddington Bear chapter books and giggle himself to lights-out.
    It may take awhile, but if you keep exposing him to good books, he'll likely begin to read things on his own. This doesn't guarantee that he'll begin to devour books, but at least he'll be getting them somehow. I think hearing a good book is just about as good as reading the book itself.
    Mary
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Mary; 10-14-2017, 05:26 PM. Reason: waaay too many emoticons. Or emojis. whatever they're called.

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  • Meginiowa
    Junior Member

  • Meginiowa
    replied
    Re: How do you do free reading?

    The ones who will not read on their own get required reading, the others often have to be told to "put that book down and....". I started collecting booklists years ago with my first, who read so fast it was hard to keep up. The Moffits series and the Five Little Peppers are good and often easy to find cheaply or in the library. Pray she likes Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys at some point, because there are dozens of them. And Redwall and the rest of the series when she is ready. We do love Magic Treehouse here, plus the non-fiction companions for same. If you go to the library, there are some really good books-of-books available Honey for a Child's heart, comes to mind. that will help direct you to good quality stuff. Let the Authors Speak is a classic for "living books". Pintrerest is a good, free, place for lists as well.

    Leave a comment:

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