The Benefits of
When we began our homeschooling journey, I took the advice of the Curriculum Consultant and got everything she told me to get. Needless to say, we used some and realized others did not work at all for our family. After a few years, I got better a choosing curriculum and saw what really worked for everybody!
Everybody needs to read on a regular basis!
I noticed a huge difference after we bought a particular program called Sonlight. Now with all curriculum, you have to take in the fact that you may not like/use some aspects to it. Sonlight is a literacy-based learning Curriculum. This is excellent for reading and reading aloud. They know their books and have great learning from them. However, for Dyslexics and a large family, I felt they're actually curriculum books lacked in that area. Their phonemic areas were non-existant and we desperately needed that for Dyslexic learning. Penmanship was their, but not really along with Spelling etc. The curriculum was actually well organized and completely perfect....For another family!
Their books however....Opened a new world to us!
We would sit down everyday and read aloud together. My son who couldn't read, began to read. I solely attribute this to Reading Aloud. His sentence structure was more in depth and his vocabulary grew extraordinarily. His confidence also grew and so did his love of learning, all through the wonder and time spent on reading aloud.
What do I mean when I say Reading Aloud?
Reading Aloud is when you as the parent are reading to your child out loud. This includes: talking and reflecting on the story and/or new words...animating it and bringing the words to life-so-to-speak. I usually place my fingers on the words as I read so they are not solely looking at the pictures in the story!
Personal reading is where the child reads out loud to you, the parent. I do not recommend letting your child read quietly on their own until they are well established in reading. Often times, they will glean from the pictures and not the words that they are attempting to read. This needs to be taught in their Personal Reading time, while reading aloud to you the parent. This builds the habit of going to the words first and then the pictures for a more in depth thought, instead of the latter.
After we began reading aloud, my eldest son and I chose a book to read in his personal time. He came to me afterwards one day to say, "Mom! I can't believe this story was funny. When I read it before, it wasn't funny?"
What he meant was: when he looked at the pictures and placed the story in his mind, the story didn't appear to be funny. Then, when he read the words, he found out what the pictures were actually portraying not what he gleaned from and saw (read) in the pictures from the pages.
I still read aloud to myself and actually would read the Bible out loud sometimes to fully grasp some concepts or situations. For some reason, having those two senses going at the same time, my mind can better process and understand, or better position my thoughts in proper order. This is the same for my children and many other Dyslexic's.
I encourage you to read aloud with your children or have your child read out loud to you so; you can gently guide them, sound out words together, look up words together, etc. This is great for bonding and family time as well...all while learning!
Here are some amazing books we have loved reading aloud (in Personal too) as a family: