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In my first two articles of this series, I shared with you about the first two Rs of our homeschool structure - redemption and recitation. Our third "R" is reading - an uber-essential skill, of course, in the early elementary years, and one on which hangs so much future learning. And so, in our homeschool day, we divide reading into two skills: learning to read and reading to learn.
Learning to read
We have used a couple of different products in our phonics instruction, but the main one was part of Abeka's kindergarten curriculum.
We also used the Starfall website to reinforce what she was learning, but old-fashioned books were our first and main source of phonics learning.
Along with phonics, we focus on oral fluency. We began by using the Abeka readers pictured above and then got a series of readers called the American Language Series that presents stories with controlled spelling patterns from simple short vowels to digraphs and diphthongs.
Reading to learn
Monday - choice!
This is our daughter's favorite day, when she can curl up with Anne of Green Gables or The Black Stallion without anyone telling her to put it down and finish her school work. We talk about what she reads but right now, at least, we don't do big assignments with it. There is plenty of time for that later.
Tuesday - poetry!
This is my favorite day, because I love love love poetry and want my daughter to have that same love. We have a bunch of poetry books in our home, and on Tuesdays (except when we have our Classical Conversations community day), she reads a poem, copies it into a notebook, and draws a picture to go with it. You can find some other ideas for poetry here on a moms blog that I write for.
Wednesday - history!
Because we use Classical Conversations, our history is spelled out during the year. This coming year, in Cycle 2, we are going to be learning about world history from the Middle Ages to modern times. For that we mostly use the Usborne Internet-linked Encyclopedia of World History, which covers almost everything, and supplement it with other books that we find at the library or in e-book bundles like the "Build Your Own Bundle" sale has. During the summer, she is reading through the "History Lives: Chronicles of the Church" series, which we are all learning a lot from!
On Thursday, we read about the CC science topic of the week. In the past, I have been delighted to use this series of ebooks, which weaves the weekly CC topics with Scripture that talks about it, too. It is great for early elementary children, though maybe a little light for upper elementary.
During the academic year, we use the book Window on the World to read about and pray for the areas of the world that we study. On off weeks, we read missionary and other biographies, both stories and books.
What are your favorite reading materials to use with your children? Share in the comments below!