One of the daily homeschool requirements is that Em read for at least fifteen minutes. This has taken on a variety of forms – her reading out of grade-appropriate books to her dad or me, reading to herself, and also having us read to her at the end of the day in addition to her own reading.
I’m an “early to bed, early to rise” type, so often the end of day reading falls to Dave or Danielle. And Dee had begun reading Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone earlier in the summer before it had fallen by the wayside for other things. They picked it up again this week and started over with one small change.
At a particularly long chapter, Dee explained that reading so much, all at once, hurt her throat and wore out her voice. She enlisted Em’s help – offering to read two pages for every one page Em read.
And as we drove to Grandview on Tuesday, stopping for gas, bread, chicken feed, the library and bank – Em and Dee took turns reading from the book.
Dee prefaced the activity by saying, “Now, there are plenty of big, difficult words in here. Just let me know if you have trouble with any because these are big words and some are made up words and can be hard to pronounce.”
What surprised me was the level at which Em was reading. A year ago she was struggling with simple words like “the” and now she was reading at a decent pace, tackling some rather enormous words. I was struck by how well my little girl was reading and that what she was reading was above her grade level (on Amazon it suggests that the book is for age 9-12 or grades 4-7). She also chose to imitate the accents and read with excellent pacing and emphasis.
I think I should mention how thankful I am that Dee took this tack. She saw the potential for more from Em that I had not thought to look for. Thanks to her, Em is tackling a book that is challenging yet interesting. On Thursday, we ate lunch and then sat in the living room, passing the book around, Dee and I reading at least two pages each and Em reading at least one for a couple of rounds. It was lovely. It is wonderful to see her so interested in reading and so willing to engage in it.
I plan to expand this to her other studies – Life of Fred, Story of the World, and more. Engaging her help in reading all of these different books will help with retention and fully engage her with a full learning adventure.
Yesterday I said to her, “I am so excited to see you reading, and reading so well, Emily. It is quite obvious you have been working very hard to get this good.”
As I spoke, tears came to her eyes, “Thank you, Mama.”
My sweet little girl. And huge thanks to my sweet big girl for seeing what I had not.