Newsletter #374: Summer Reading - Archived Online.
Since 1980 The Teaching Home has provided families information,
inspiration, and encouragement from a distinctively Christian perspective.
Co-Editors: Veteran Homeschool Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short
"The man who does not
read good books
has no advantage over
the man who can't read."
– Mark Twain
Selected Issues Archived Online
Free Ebooks & Audiobooks
• Open Library - 1 million+ titles
• ManyBooks.net - 29,000+ titles
• Book Depository - 11,000+ titles
• The Online Books Page - Index to 1 million+ titles
Free Ebooks & Audio Books
• Books Should Be Free - Audiobooks & Ebooks
• The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project, Bringing yesterday's classics to today's children - Ebooks and audio recordings
Free Audio Books
• Faith Comes by Hearing - Audio Bible downloads. Scripture recordings in 733 languages.
• Audio Books for Free - Fiction, nonfiction, and children's categories
Explore these lists with the understanding that not all books will be appropriate for all children or families. Your best bet might be to ask for recommendations from like-minded friends who have read good books.
• Classical Christian Education Support Loop: 1000 Good Books List (by grade level and type of literature). Read "Using the List."
• Favorite Home School Books (listed by grade level)
• Patrick Henry College Literature List (to prepare students for college)
Pizza Hut Book It!
Free Online Study Guides
These free online study guides include background and information to enrich your reading and/or to test reading comprehension.
Free Online Reading Logs
Reading Comprehension Resources
Reading comprehension is the process of connecting the words that we read to thoughts that we think and is an important aspect of the basic skill of reading.
Reading comprehension skills were dealt with extensively in the following newsletters which are available online in our newsletter archive.• Facts - Newsletter #23
• Inferences - Newsletter #25 and #26
• Analysis - Newsletter #28
• Application - Newsletter #29
• Evaluation - Newsletter #30
Teach Your Child To Read
• Curriculum Guide for Reading Mentors is a free 184-page ebook with in-depth information on teaching your child to read, including pre-reading phonics practice and teaching phonics step-by-step.
Five-Finger Reading Level Test
Select the correct reading level for your child to read independently -- high enough to challenge him but not frustrate him. Following is a simple way to help you select reading materials on your child's ability level.
Ask your child to read aloud a page of average length from a selected book. As he reads, press down one finger of your hand for each word he misses. The number of fingers down lets you know how difficult the material will be.
• 0-1 Mistakes - Easy. Choose easy materials for your child to read alone for fun and to build speed in a slow reader. This easy level also frees him to focus on new words or concepts. It is a good choice for technical or difficult subjects like science or math.
• 2-3 Mistakes - Challenging. Choose materials on this level to stretch your child's reading ability and vocabulary. You should be available to answer questions while your child reads.
• 4-5 Mistakes - Difficult. Use difficult reading materials only when you will be reading with your child. Help him sound out new words using phonics rules. Explain unfamiliar vocabulary and teach him to use a dictionary. Expecting your child to read alone at this level could lead to frustration, skipping over words, and low comprehension.
We trust that you find this newsletter informative and encouraging.
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Deciding whether 2/5 or 4/5 was the larger fraction had our daughter puzzled. I attempted to show her the difference by cutting out circles, which I called "pies," marking them in fifths, and shading 2/5 of one and 4/5 of the other.
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1. God loves you.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
2. Man is separated from God by sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) For the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23)
3. The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.
He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
4. We must personally receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Eph. 2:8, 9)
Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.
Listen to the Bible Online. Choose from six English versions (plus Spanish and other languages) at BibleGateway.com/Audio.
Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) when you tune in to these online stations:
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• Free Ebooks & Audiobooks
• Reading Lists
• Pizza Hut Book It!
• Free Online Study Guides
• Free Online Reading Logs & Book Report Forms
• Reading Comprehension Resources
• Teach Your Child To Read (Free Ebook)
• Five-Finger Reading Level Test
"Summer reading" implies reading for pleasure!
We hope that the ideas that we have gathered up for this issue will help your family enjoy reading together this summer.
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a homeschool, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.
Effectively Teach Grammar & Study God's Word
1. Read Aloud Together
Reading is a pleasurable summer activity with educational benefits. Reading together as a family makes it that much better!
• Select a book that will keep the interest of all family members.
• Make this time relaxed and enjoyable, but stop to explain or discuss items that come up.
• Read with expression at a slightly slower pace.
• Read together before or after a family activity, such as a meal, Bible reading, or bed time.
• Read at the table, sitting together on the couch, or outside.
An alternative is to listen together (at home or in the car) to an audio recording of good literature, such as those from your local library, free downloads (see left-hand column), or Sing 'n Learn.
2. Select Good Books
To help your children enjoy reading and to benefit their character and education, select their reading materials carefully.
You can read aloud to your child at a higher reading level than his own, but select a more comfortable reading level for him to read independently so he does not become frustrated, skip over words, or have low comprehension.
A standard that can be applied to selecting literature is found in Philippians 4:8:
• True. Story is based on truth and reality.
• Honorable. Christian character is reinforced.
• Just. Appropriate consequences are meted out.
• Pure. Characters and story are pure. Sin is not described, admired, laughed at, or rewarded. Language is clean.
• Lovely. Beauty is portrayed (in illustrations as well).
• Of Good Repute. Emphasizes what is good about things.
• Excellent or of Virtue. The material is moral and edifying as well as of high quality.
• Praiseworthy. We can praise God for what we are reading.
• Select or read to your child books that meet his needs and interests and also stretch his horizons.
• Select a variety of literature:
· Historical fiction
· Biography (including missionaries and great Christians)
· Nonfiction (even textbooks)
· Books set in different time periods and geographic
• Look for books in a series.
• Unabridged books are usually best.
Watch your child grow by reading good books this summer!
Two New (3rd) Edition Gold Books
3. Bible Read-a-Thon
The Bible is the spiritual nourishment that our families need to grow in the Lord.
If you have never experienced the blessing of reading larger sections of Scripture, this summer may be a good time to try it.
Following this daily schedule will enable your family to read the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs in 31 or 62 days.
Take turns reading aloud as a family or follow along while listening to a recorded tape or CD of the Bible.
Listen to your selection of translations and languages online at BibleGateway.com.
Use one of these options (estimated reading times are based on recorded readings).
• Read it all at once in 31 days. (50 minutes each day)
• Read half as much each day and take 62 days to complete it. (25 minutes each day)
• Divide the daily readings into morning and evening segments. (25 minutes twice each day for 31 days; 12.5 minutes twice each day for 62 days)
Also see The Teaching Home's unique Bible-in-a-Year Reading Schedule and tips.
Teaching Aids for Parents –
4. Keep Reading Logs
It is very encouraging, as well as useful, to record all the books each of your children has read.
• For younger children you can make a large or small decorated poster and list the books they read with a simple plus or minus mark indicating whether you would recommend the book or read it again.
• Print and paste a reading log (see left-hand column to print an online form, or make your own) on poster board or construction paper and let your child decorate it with his own art, stickers, or photos cut from a catalog or magazine. You can also find an image of the book he has read on the Internet, print and cut it out and paste on the chart.
• For older children, notebook pages give space for more details such as (see left-hand column to print forms):
· Book title and author
· Number of pages and date read
· Genre (nonfiction; present-day, historical, or science
fiction; biography; fantasy, etc.), subject, or topic
· Overall rating (e.g., 1-5, with 5 = highest)
• You and/or your child can discuss and add a Christian worldview evaluation that might include the positive or negative examples set by the characters, whether good was rewarded and evil punished, etc. See more on evaluation of literature in Newsletter #23.
• A book report can also be attached. (See left-hand column to print book report forms.)
These records will be encouraging for your child to see how much he has read.
They will be valuable for you to ensure that your child is reading a variety of genres and positive Christian worldview books.
You will also be able to know which books are good for your other children to read and which books you can heartily recommend to others!
5. Form a Reading Club
Your reading club can be an informal meeting once a week, twice a month, or just one Book Party. It can consist of members of your own family or a group of other homeschoolers.
• Exchange recommendations for favorite books and why you like them.
• Present oral reports or speech and drama projects; do an art project together. See "100+ Creative Book Reports / Unit Study Activities" in Newsletter #26.
• Have a book party or presentation with each child giving a five-minute book report (a traditional report or an idea from the list in Newsletter #26), perhaps dressed and acting as a character in his book. Set up a table to display books and projects. Refreshments can include some suggested by the books.
• Use a literature study guide. See suggestions in Newsletter #26.
Sharing your book with friends or family will make it more enjoyable!
Request Free Print Catalog -or- View Flip-Book Catalog Online
6. Read to Someone
Use your gift of reading to bless another.
• Find someone older to read to as Jo and Amy in Little Women read to their elderly aunt.
• Read to a child. One of a child's favorite things is to be read to - and it takes so little time and effort.
• If you are not able to read in person, tape record your reading and send it to your grandmother, a shut-in, or even your little cousin that lives across the country.
• Learn to read expressively and meaningfully:
· Select something that is easy to read
· Read at an appropriate pace
· Group words in natural phrases
· Enunciate words clearly
· Use appropriate intonations
· Try to sound like the person speaking in the story
· Pre-read your selection while practicing these skills
• You can also read together in your own readers theater. Read how to online.
Don't forget the joy of reading together as a family!
7. Teach Your Child To Read
You can teach your child to read this summer, saving you much time and stress during the coming school year – if your child is ready. (Reading readiness depends on the individual child and is not based on your child's intelligence. It is more important to establish a solid foundation of reading skills than to push for early reading.)
• Start with short lessons and gradually increase the length. If your child becomes frustrated during a reading session, stop on a positive note, rather than try to finish the lesson.
Instruction materials can be a simple manual such as Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, A Beka's Handbook for Reading, or Valerie Bendt's Reading Made Easy which includes the words you say to explain the lessons to your child.
A good phonics system will teach all the letter-sound connections used in English words, 87 percent of which can be read by sounding them out with the rules of phonics.
• See Newsletter #97 and/or the free 184-page ebook listed in the left-hand column.
Teaching your child to read does not need to be difficult – all you need are a few phonics resources, patience, and enthusiasm!
8. Listen To Your Child Read
For a child that is still learning to read, it is very helpful for you to sit down with him and listen to him read a little bit each day. He will profit from the practice, and you can encourage him, catch any mistakes he makes, and become aware of gaps in his reading skills.
• Select good books at an appropriate reading level (see above).
Note: Many of the library's easy readers may not be good for your child to read; nonfiction books may be safer, but watch for nonbiblical elements of evolution, humanism, occultism, modern youth culture, and psychology.
• Check comprehension by asking questions and having your child retell in his own words a portion he has read.