Shared Oral Reading
© Beverley Paine, 2004
If you can, borrow a few copies of the same book from the library. If they are different editions and have different pictures or covers, that's great: you can do a comparative study! The point, however, is to make sure the text is the same. Then the fun can begin.
Why not share reading the story aloud? You can agree to read the first sentence and your child read the next and so on to the end of the book or chapter, or to the beginning of the next section. Or different readers can take the part of different characters and read lines of dialogue, as in a play. Ask the librarian if she can get in multiple copies of books containing plays for children...
Some picture books have parts that are like the chorus of a song. Little kids love to recite these sections, while you read the narrative. Choral reading, or reading in unison, is fantastic to listen to. Children feel comfortable when their voice is lost in the 'crowd', and as 'performers' their self-esteem soars and they quickly learn how to pronounce different words, where to put in pauses, and how much expression to use.
When you read together as a family, it's fun to break after an action-packed scene and try on the roles yourselves. Or you may all read the same story, but at different times. The shared retelling of a plot can transform the readers into the story; in their minds they become the characters.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment 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. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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