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Reading Aloud = Free Entertainment!
© Beverley Paine, 2004
Imagine this: Eight-year-old Roger sits quietly, putting LEGO bricks together. April, two-years-older, doodles on the back of a paid bill, and Thomas, just turned four, cuddles sleepily on my lap. I'm reading The Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl. It's a funny book with some scary bits. We love the way Roald Dahl uses the words - his are definitely words that need to be heard out loud. They sing-song along and ignite the imagination. We see the story unfold, feel the emotions. The action seems real.
My voice, their imaginations and the magic of a great story teller... A night at home with the best entertainment in the world and it's free! Life couldn't get better than this.
Seek out great 'read alouds'. Some of these may be classics, like Tom Sawyer, Black Beauty, Moby Dick or Heidi . Don't neglect picture or chapter books. You can tell a great read aloud by how it sounds when you read it aloud to yourself in the library or bookstore. Don't be shy. Here's a tip to remember: if you ever have any doubts about whether you will like a book, try the read-aloud test. If the words don't flow, it's going to be rather heavy going and you may find many passages tedious to read, especially if you are reading the book aloud to the children. The best authors always read aloud their manuscript before sending it off to the publisher.
Don't forget non-fiction. Biographies, autobiographies, great historical epics or true stories about explorers, adventurers, inventors, artists and other famous and not so famous people are great ways to bring our wonderful world home to young people and excite them about learning in all the traditional curriculum areas. A good author will inject some vigour and pace into an account in such a way that engages the listener - any listener, not just a fellow adult. Don't underestimate your child's ability to follow a story simply because her reading skills aren't at the books level. Remember you are reading the book, not her!
Children's reading skills lag way behind their comprehension. That's why reading aloud to them is so important.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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