One of my daughters learned, mostly on her own, to read fluently at age 4-1/2. I didn't even really get to have the satisfaction of teaching her to read!
However, she has always preferred picture books or shorter books to lengthy chapter books. Even at age 12, she would rather be pursuing her hobbies of photography and videography than to sit down with a chapter book to read. Something about sitting still, reading, hasn't been her cup of tea.
So, occasionally, I assign reading to her.
Yup, I do.
I'm so mean!
This time, because I was selected to review a Literature Study Guide from Progeny Press, and because my other daughter was in a very, very busy part of her school year, Brittany was "chosen" by me - Mom - the teacher - to help review this literature guide.
Of the several literature guides from which I was able to select, Across Five Aprils, The Cay, and The Bronze Bow, I chose The Cay, by Theodore Taylor. In our history studies, we were currently studying World War II, so this fit in perfectly. We had already read The Bronze Bow a couple of years prior, and while Across Five Aprils also takes place during a war (the Civil War), I decided to select the Guide that would match our history studies.
Eleven-year-old Phillip lives with his parents on an island off the coast of Venezuela in 1942, but when the Nazis begin torpedoing ships nearby, Phillip's mother insists that he and she return to the United States. Their ship is torpedoed by a Nazi submarine long before they reach the U.S., however, and Phillip finds himself marooned on an island with an old, but strong, black deckhand named Timothy. When Phillip goes blind from an injury, he slowly realizes how caring, wise, and resourceful Timothy really is, and the color of their skin is unimportant.
Since Brittany didn't really love reading chapter books, I chose to "hook" her interest by allowing her to listen to the first chapter online at www.Amazon.com while we both followed along in the downloaded version of The Cay on our Kindle reader. (The first chapter or so was free to listen.) I felt it was very important for her to literally "hear" the accent of the characters, because she is not as familiar with Caribbean accents, and it could be tougher to understand some characters' language if she didn't have an introduction to the language by listening to this on audio.
I also mentioned that when she came across the Caribbean accents in her reading, if she found a sentence she didn't understand, she should read it aloud, a bit quickly. If she still didn't understand it, she should come ask me or my husband to explain it to her.
Even though audio format is Brittany's weakest method of learning, we have built up this skill in her over the years so that now she loves to listen to audio books online. Who would have guessed this five years ago? !!!
Progeny Press began their work in writing literature guides with a Christian perspective back when they were homeschooling their own children. They recommend that junior high and high school students read the entire literature book in one week, and then spend the next 6-10 weeks working through the literature guide, typically one section per week.
I had requested the audio version of The Cay from our library on a Thursday evening (online), but because of being out of town the following Saturday, and due to our local library only being open four days per week, it would be five days before I could pick up the audio CD of The Cay.
Lo and behold, when the audio CD was ready for me to pick up from the library on the following Tuesday, Brittany had already finished reading the entire book! She definitely got "hooked" from hearing Chapter 1 on audio, so she decided to sneak away into her bedroom a few times that weekend and read The Cay on the Kindle while turning on the "text to speech" function on the Kindle. I laughed! The "text to speech" function isn't all that great, but she chose to listen to the entire book while reading along with the text!
Hi! I'm Julieanne!