Thursday, April 9, 2009

Reading Time

By far my most favorite time of the day is when I sit in our recliner with a chapter book in my hand. And my older boys sit on their "reading blankets" (thank you for making these, Grandma Maryann!) and listen. (Yes, Weston joins in ocassionally...though he has gotten a bit disruptive as of late.)

The rule is that your body stays on your own blanket. You may look at books as you listen (this really helps my more active child - it is remarkable how much BETTER he hears me when he is distracted just a little).

We just finished reading James and the Giant Peach. Oh what fun! To get Jackson (just turned 5) to enjoy chapter books, I started this routine out by reading Junie B Jones books. Oh, they are so funny! From there it did not take him long to become a lover of chapter books. (He is not naturally drawn toward books anyway, so long books without pictures was not exactly interesting to him at first! Now he just loves the time we spend and he is frequently heard saying, "one more chapter!" which is a huge accomplishment in our family!!

One thing that also has helped keep him engaged is that before we start reading each day, we talk about where we left off. Then while we are reading, I stop here and there and ask one boy or the other a question about the story (multiple choice for my 5-year-old, and tricky trivia questions for my 7 yo avid reader/listener. They both LOVE answering questions about the book. (Isn't that funny?)

I have been frequenting thrift stores lately, trying to get a "chapter book library" built up now that I have a reader in the family (Davis). I don't think it will be long before he is ready to read some of them. In the mean time, we are reading from the nice selection of books collected so far.
Our collection includes:
Narnia books (of course)
Tales of a Forth Grade Nothing
Junie B. Jones series
How to Eat Fried Worms
The Trumpet of the Swan
Henry and the Clubhouse
The Borrowers

What chapter books have you read to your kids, or do you remember reading as a kid? I am always looking for suggestions!


Bronwyn said...

Yet another great idea from you! I love this! I can't wait to start chapter books with Emily, but wasn't exactly sure when to begin. When did you start?

I know in 1st grade, we used to read Mr. Poppers Penguins to the kids. Other good ones...the Ramona series, Indian in the Cupboard (a favorite with boys), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Sideways Stories from Wayside School- so silly which makes it a favorite!, Amber Brown books, Frindle, Charlotte's Web, My Side of the Mountain, Manaic Magee, Shiloh, Because of Winn Dixie, and OH! So many more I could go on and on. I have several hundred in my garage from teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. If you are ever over here, please come peruse my "library" and take home whatever you'd like!

Jenne said...

Thanks for the GREAT list! and thanks for the offer to peruse. that is AWESOME! I am going to check out the Sideways stories after we finish Prince Caspian!

Pate Family said...

For beginning chapter books on his own I think he might really like A-Z Mysteries, Magic Tree House (although there are some I skip like Mummies in the Morning- and you have to talk about the "magic" in them) Amber Brown, and even the Arthur series. I think series books are so good for beginning Chapter book readers because they will stretch themselves to read a harder level if they are already engaged with the characters. Reading a book without picture cues is hard at first, so if they have already done the work of developing the basic pictures in their mind because they have had one or more of the books read to them they can focus on the hard part of reading. We have also discovered a series from Focus that is a spin off from AIO called "Kidsboro." There are only 4 books- but Ainsley has read each one probably 5 times at this point. They are a little higher reading level than beginning chapter books, but great. Another fun read aloud series is Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. I bet Jackson would love them. Great teaching opportunities in these books.

Ginger@chirgies said...

No way! Anessa and I just finished Prince Caspian about 15 minutes ago. Ahhhhhh, LOVE those books! My parents used to read the Sugar Creek Gang books to us and I loved the mystery of them. Let's see... Stuart Little, the Magic Treehouse Anessa enjoys, what else?....Bronwyn mentioned I guess my other ideas, besides the Little House Series, but I'm not sure how that would go over with a boy audience. I guess you could try Farmer Boy and see.

I'd really like to get into Missionary Biographies. We read a great bio on Benjamin Franklin from the library. For our Easter Basket I picked up a couple books, "10 Girls who changed the world" A chapter per person, Corrie Ten Boom, Susanna Wesley, Amy Carmichal, etc. (Better role models than Hannah Montanna - thankyouverymuch!) There was also a series for boys. Just some more ideas.

And I love the blanket idea! We haven't done very well at incorporating the younger three into this because of the distraction/interruption factor. I'll have to try it!

sorry for the long novel. :)

Christine said...

Oh, I love hearing everyone's book ideas! I've gotten some great ideas from looking at the reading lists on homeschool curriculum websites such as Five in a Row & Sonlight. My Father's Dragon is a good beginner's chapter book. Also, the Wayne Grover dolphin books are captivating - even to an adult :)

Jon and Erin said...

Oh Jenne, I was an avid reader as a kid and I still have most of the books. They're mostly mysteries or adventure books. If you want to barrow them you can. It will be a few years yet till I am reading them to Noah. One we read out loud that I remember the boys LOVING was "My side of the mountain". A boy runs away from home and lives in the mountains. It may be too hard yet though. The Trailblazer books by Dave & Neta Jackson are good ones about important people of the faith. A child helps, say, Luther etc. I have a few of those too if you want to see how they go over.

Anonymous said...

We have "reading blankets" too:) I love the idea, it is so helpful with keeping them still and in there own space! Chapter books are what we are hoping to start reading together soon, I finally feel like the girls are at an age where they will listen and get it. Such great suggestions on here for reading material too!!

Mae said...

Jenne: Your boys look so cute on their reading blankies. What a fun time just to read to them and watch their expressions.
I am so excited that both Jenna and Elsie love to be read to. Such sweet time.

Mae said...

Jenne: Your boys look so cute on their reading blankies. What a fun time just to read to them and watch their expressions.
I am so excited that both Jenna and Elsie love to be read to. Such sweet time.

Vicki said...

Hi Jenne,
I had to add one of my favorites. It might be for a year or two from now (but probably right now for your oldest!)
Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen L Taylor. I don't even know if it is still in print. But a fun book to read little by little. Great lessons!

Megan said...

We started with Winnie-the-Pooh, the complete collection (the one you gave us). It was a great way to start chapter books. Less pictures, short fun stories. It think we read it front to back 6 times. Then we moved on. We just finished Charlotte's Web, and Jenna really loved it! It's so fun to be into these bigger books!