Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Student's Love of Reading

By Brittany Dorr

Are you interested in helping your child develop a natural love for reading?  One of our 7th grade students can be found with many books in her hands. This school year she has checked out 68 books and loves to read! Her reading choices have expanded to more higher-leveled choices so I wanted to pick her brain as to what has made her branch out in her reading and how she would encourage other readers to do the same.  Below is how she described this developing love!

003.JPGMy first books I remember reading are Jigsaw mysteries and Bailey Kids (2nd-4th grade reading) and I liked them because they are mysterious and have weird characters.  After that, I got into the Magic Tree House series because of the time travel, going back in time and saving the day.  My favorite Magic Tree House book was when they met Leonardo Davinci because he was creative and didn’t let his past of having his Dad not there for him get in the way of his future (a challenging lesson for us all).
I currently read various books that have interested me- Fantasy book, poetry, Vampire chapter books, Study of short stories, biographies and Historical Fiction.  I have recently checked out a book on Socrates but the information was too detailed and it seemed like homework.

I recommend to new or reluctant readers to look for books that have to do with the hobbies that they like.  Also look for books with characters that they can relate with.  For me, I relate with the characters like myself, who didn't fit in with the crowd.  These kinds of characters shut out their differences by writing in the diary or creating a space to read.

I appreciate reading for the imagination of what the author writes about.  Through reading I can understand some of my friends by reading about characters similar to them in books.  

Please comment below and tell us how YOU developed a love for reading!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Start A Co-Op? Who Me?

Co-Ops don’t have to be time consuming or control your weekly lesson plan.  Co-Oping does not mean you have to do an entire unit with other families or become a teacher. You can Co-Op in a way that benefits your student and work with your home school life!

I. Work with a small group.
Choose families that you already know and feel comfortable with. Maybe a family that you sit with in the Great Hall while your kids are in a workshop or someone you sit with at the park while the kids play. II. Work Together on a Small Unit Pick a topic or unit that you are already planning on doing this year. Share what your plan is, what your learning goals are. What do you want your student to get out of it? Share your ideas and resources. III. Pick a small part of the unit to do together and a day to do it. This will allow each family to attack the subject matter in their own way and work the group lesson and plan into their own family's schedule. For science, you may do the lab together, but each family can address the other parts of the unit in their own way and in their own time.
VII. Share your success and challenges! We would love to hear about any families who choose to co-op, let your adviser know how it is going!
IV. To avoid frustration make sure every participant has a responsibility role. For example: those that do not like to lead teach could supervise siblings, make a treat, host the event or sponsor purchasing materials.  V.  Establish clear boundaries in the beginning. If it is in your home and you need everyone to depart by a specific time then state that upfront and adhere to with a gentle reminder if it is disregarded.  VI. Trade co-op roles with others. For example: your a math wiz and another interested co-op parent loves science. You can head up the math and they can take over science.