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Literature CO-OP/Direct Aims of Literature Study

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    Literature CO-OP/Direct Aims of Literature Study

    Hi! We are doing a small family co-op with 3 families, but 2 of us make up the bulk of the kids! In our small group we have 6 kids. Three boys and 3 girls. Almost all the children in the group have some varying special need. The kids are ages 8, 9,10,10,10,11. The 8 year old (my son) should really be doing the 2nd Grade literature studies, but he is the only one and it wouldn't work for our group time. He is doing surprisingly well with the reading material and even the writing (I won't say that it is his favorite or anything, but he is not losing it (like he does over a page of math facts!). In the beginning, we assigned a paragraph or page to each child and then I read aloud the rest. We thought this was a valuable experience, but as time goes on we are feeling that the discussion is probably more worth our time than the read aloud. (which consumed the bulk of our time) The moms are all working well with their kids at home and getting them through the material through whatever means necessary (audio etc) and then teaching them phonics at their actual level. (myself included with the 8 year old)

    I have a few questions. One is in the direct aims of the literature studies. I totally understand how to use the guides. My questions are more at the actual reading and how classes look that are only 1x a week.

    My older daughter is doing this for "her work", my son is really doing this because I wanted him to participate in a group discussion. We do read together most chapters, but they also always listen to the chapters on Audible. I wondered if I was doing my older daughter a disservice in this though? She is reading it, but by the time we get to the comprehension questions she has read it and listened to it. I know "listening" comprehension is higher than reading...... I also know many families use Audible and every family needs to do what keeps their homeschools running. I could, however, probably have her stop listening and have her only read the book and I'm just wondering if I shouldn't start requiring it. However, we are enjoying listening to it at lunchtime and even my 6 year old is listening. It keeps lunchtime more sane and quiet as well. Thoughts?

    At our last co-op we had a 2 week "gap" (but everyone kept reading during our break) and so I simply went through 3 chapters in the hour and did not have anyone read aloud. It was, in my opinion, our best "session" yet. Almost everyone was eagerly raising their hands (including a child that last year I could barely get her to interact) and seemed to generally be enthusiastic about participating. They were all "getting" it, even the trickier more intuitive questions. I was just wondering how do the once a week classes generally handle the literature selections in grades 3+ ? Do you only cover 1 lesson, do you do a quick review of the ones covered at does that generally look? How did/does Delectare do it? I'm trying to make the best of our situation, without compromising the material.

    I had much anxiety about having my son do the literature studies but I can't believe the excitement he has and has "risen" to the challenge. I'm still "remediating" his phonics a bit and he just began TS 1 and it is going very well. Last year, I had him start SC Spelling Book 2, but it did not go well. He could not spell the words, even at the end of the week. I kind of gave up and went back to All About Spelling. He only made it past AAS 1 and once we started AAS2, he would take a long time to get through a "step". This year, he is spelling words I did not know he could spell and having no trouble. Amazing!

    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

    Christine, your co-op sounds delightful! As long as the older students are reading and discussing, you are achieving the goals of Literature. As moms within the co-op you can decide how to make the best use of your weekly time.

    We want more than phonics lessons by this stage, so you are doing well by requiring your daughter to read, read, read. All of the students need to practice reading. If you enjoy the audio versions on top of this reading and if a good audio version assists her comprehension, you may freely continue this practice.

    I do understand your concern, however. We do not want her to rely on the audio to the exclusion of developing her own reading abilities. Some suggestions:
    1. Because this is her "work" and she is older, she might have a lunchtime copy with which she follows along.
    2. You might have the older students be designated readers of shorter passages at co-op to kick off discussions.
    3. Phase out your own oral reading at home and ramp up her portions.
    4. Allow your daughter the privilege of taking over an unrelated daily Read-Aloud for younger siblings. Reading to younger children requires more fluency, inflection, and energy to hold their attention, so she might read silently on her own, practice aloud, and then read to the family. This will give added practice in case the audio books might otherwise diminishing her reading practice.
    5. Allow her to read aloud in other areas of schoolwork and life. "Read aloud the directions at the top of the page," you might say before you begin. "Please read the three Kids' Menu options to everyone," etc. Spur on reading as a demonstrated achievement. (Likely younger ones will begin saying, "I can read those myself!")

    pickandgrin or others well-versed in typical Cottage School protocol may have time to chime in further.

    As long as all of your children receive daily reading practice and enjoy the literature discussions, I love what you're doing!

    It makes me smile to think of how far your oldest has come. You have worked hard!!


      I love all of Cheryl's ideas! I would encourage you to take a look at your cottage day in full to asses how much of each skill needs to be done during each subject. For example, in some years I have had eager and able readers read aloud Greek Myths whereas in other years I have read it aloud in its entirety! I encourage you to decide what is best for this class for right now. If you want to increase a skill area over time, then name that and slowly work toward it.

      As Cheryl listed in #2, you may have them each take one sentence instead on one paragraph. I learned at HLS to always read aloud first, then toss it to students, so you could read the first page, then choose a paragraph or 2 for students to read aloud to the group. Start with your strongest readers or make sure they get the longest or most difficult sentences. Younger students can read shorter sentences, or ones that repeat harder vocabulary for a second go in the paragraph so they can take advantage of hearing it recently. Once they've all had a turn, you can take it back up and finish the chapter.

      If your students are already reading aloud plenty in other subjects during your day then there's no need to press it here if discussing is what really brings it alive. However, if they aren't reading aloud anywhere else in your day this might be the best place to practice. Maybe have a mom-powwow to discuss what you want them to do together that is difficult to accomplish at home.

      To your direct question, our lit classes at HLN generally review previous material, read aloud a chapter, then complete the workbook together while discussing material and going deeper. If time allows, then they move on to the next chapter and repeat. As students get much older (high school), the literature classroom takes on much more of lecture/discussion atmosphere with students putting in their solo reading and study guide work at home. Those who need modifications still make use of Learning Ally and/or parent assistance to prepare their at-home work.

      I hope this is helpful! Your group sounds lovely!
      Festina lentē,
      Jessica P

      11th year HSing · 9th year MP
      @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
      11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School