Today marks a first in our home. Today we finished our first chapter book read-a-loud.
We read daily, of course, and read and read and read daily. Nevertheless we generally read “one sitting books”; usually 3 or 4 at a time actually. But the boys have never done chapter books really well. To be fully honest, Little Brother did not, till the last year, allow me to read more than 3 to 5 minutes at a time, and was not at all interested in sitting for stories and reading time.
In the past 6 months or so Little Brother has demonstrated a growing maturity and our reading time has stretched back to the 45 minutes or more at a sitting that was routine before Little’s brother hit about 16 months and began to voice (and act out) his lack of interest in story time (he’d not even agree to play while I read to Big Brother for a long time Little Brother felt it necessary actively interrupt rather than just ignore or refuse to participate).
Recently I decided to try a chapter book, it has been about 6 months since the last time I attempted one with the boys. I chose My Father’s Dragon after seeing so many other homeschooling moms with BOYS suggest it as a “not to be missed” read-a-loud (gotta love home school message boards).
The book, and the experience, was a resounding success. The book is 77 pages long and broken into 10 chapters; most days we read 2 chapters. today we finished the BOOK. Each chapter follows the same formula thus making it easier for the boys to follow the story. There is a small illustration on most of the pages, but it is not a picture book. The illustrations are simple and pen and ink; and while the boys really wanted to look at them, and study the map at the back, the story held their attention without the art.
I am so excited!! Next we’ll be reading the sequel: Elmer and the Dragon: Big Brother asked for instantly at the conclusion of My Father’s Dragon.
After that, I am so excited to be able to finally dig into the shelf of read-a-louds I have been collecting. Keeping the books fairly short and simple I am thinking of progressing on to:
The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
The School Mouse