The Daily Newspaper and Junk Mail - Cheap Reading Material
© Beverley Paine, 2004
If you don't have a lot of time to read aloud to your children, and this tip is pitched largely at the working parent who doesn't get to spend all day with the children, why not take advantage of the newspaper?
Most daily papers are written at upper primary level and contain a variety of writing styles and genres, from journalistic reporting to general interest or how-to articles, book and movie reviews, product reviews, gossip, info-advertisements to classified ads. Weekly papers are the best, as they are huge and have the largest range of reading material, including the much sought after comics and television guides!
Don't dump the paper on the table and hope your children will engage with it. Break the paper into sections and ask who wants to read what section first. Have a cuppa and a snack and sit and read and share things that interest you. Read some bits aloud to each other. You will be modelling behaviour that your children will, over time, naturally emulate. You don't need to push them to tell you stuff, or ask you questions. That will happen over time, if you don't put a heavy emphasis on it or make it a chore. Children suss out 'lessons' and very quickly 'tune out'. This isn't a reading lesson, it's a sharing time.
And it isn't just the newspaper that can be used this way. Any newsletter or magazine will work in the same way. In our home we sat together and read the junk mail, pouring over the catalogues and brochures, talking about what was in them and sometimes even how different items were marketed to us!
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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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