Thursday, February 09, 2017

More on Read Alouds

I got this article in my email yesterday from Rainbow Resource.  It's a fascinating article about the value of reading aloud and as you know, around here we are huge fans.  We read some ourselves and we listen to a lot of audiobooks.  Right now, everyone in the house is listening to an audiobook but me.  I'm reading a conventional book.  Anyway, some benefits listed in the article include building a larger vocabulary, increasing reading desire, and making kids fall in love with reading.  You should go read it as well as the rest of this post, in which I copied a post from my blog from 2014.

 As I may have mentioned, we have been doing read-alouds before bed every night forever.  When the last kid moves out, I may have to start babysitting or read to the dogs or something.  Actually, for the past year, since I have been art journaling, I haven't been doing the reading.  We have been either listening to audio books which we either check out of the library or download from our virtual library system.  This has been good for both the kids, because if my daughter doesn't know how to pronounce a word, she'll ask and my son and I both look at it and see if we know what it is.  On the rare occasions we don't (his vocabulary is extensive!) we look it up on to get the meaning and the pronunciation.  It's cool living in this age where that is available.  Also, it is great to listen to an audio book for several reasons.  Those guys all do such a good job.  It's fun to listen to the accents.  As rural Kentuckians who have been listening to an Irishman reading recently, we've enjoyed how they put random Rs in places we wouldn't think to put them.  For example in the Artemis Fowl books, there is a character named Maria which is pronounced Mareer (rhymes with career) by the reader.  Last night when my daughter would read the book we are on, she would pause every time before she said Maria and smile.  Fun times.  Other fun times we have had is when I am reading and I get overly tired and start saying things wrong with hilarious results.  I personally have to pause when I am reading any of the Brotherband Chronicles books by John Flanagan because of the giant crossbow they have in the bow of the ship, causing me to have to stop and think whether I should say bow or bow ... which in turn has led to the discussion of homonyms and now that I am looking up the definition of that word, I see that we also need to discuss homophones and homographs.  I don't remember ever hearing of a homograph before.

Anyway, here is a list of books I recommend reading to your teens or tweens:

Harry Potter  (best ever).
Ranger's Apprentice  (a close second). 
Brotherband Chronicles  (A very good sequel to Ranger's Apprentice with different characters but in the same world, very humorous.) 
Peter and the Starcatchers (The first one starts out really slow but push through this, because it gets way better and very exciting further on).  
Artemis Fowl (He starts out as a criminal mastermind but reforms gradually and goes straight.)
Lord of the Rings/Hobbit 
Hank the Cowdog Probably really for the younger kids but I enjoy these myself at my age.  Mostly.  The one about the vampire cat can grate on the nerves a bit (okay, a lot) and the one by Drover is not good.  Otherwise, the rest are cute. 

Percy Jackson - As mentioned previously the books are way better than the movies.   It is an interesting premise, that the Greek gods are real and have all these illegitimate children  with mortals and if you are religious, you might want to reject these but as we have discussed, these Greek gods would be very unsatisfying gods to have as they are irresponsible, immoral, not trustworthy, etc.  Also, it is assumed that youngsters at 12 need to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. which may make more conservative families reject these.  We have just discussed our feelings about that and went on.  The books are very educational about Greek/Roman mythology.  The companion series to these is
The Kane Chronicles - Very educational about the Egyptian mythology.
The 39 Clues.  Educational about a lot of stuff.  Reasonably enjoyable for all.

A Hero's Guide To Saving your Kingdom and The Hero's Guide Storming the Castle and the other one before that ... these were great.
Dragon Rider - not a series, just the one book.

Some that my youngest son enjoyed on his own, but his sister and I didn't not share his enthusiasm:
Deltora Quest
Eragon - series
Dragons in Our Midst 

This should get you started.  If you read all of these, that's approximately 150 books.  You'd better get started NOW.

We find that a couple of chapters before bed every night is a great way to finish the day.  

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