Friday, October 23, 2015

Our Read-Alouds & Discussion Block

Continuing on with the homeschool routine series...the last part of our day (after lunch) is reserved for read-alouds and discussion with my three older kids. I generally do Rose's read-alouds during my time with her (before lunch). After lunch, Grace, Christopher, and I do our current read-alouds from BookShark World History 1. This is the level that Christopher is working on; Grace has moved onto Level 2, but I am doing the read-alouds with both of them together, at his pace.

If it is warm enough we do our read-alouds outside, but I fear those days are numbered as autumn sets in around here. We have two books we read from each day:  Favorite Poems Old and New, which is the much-loved red book on the bottom (we lost the dust jacket long ago), and our read-aloud. We just finished The Shakespeare Stealer and we are now reading A Murder for Her Majesty.

I generally follow the schedule in the BookShark Instructor Guide. We usually have several poems assigned, and I read those aloud first. Then we go over any unfamiliar vocabulary from the read-aloud. I love that BookShark includes vocabulary and unfamiliar words in the IG. After I read we discuss, using the questions in the IG.  I don't always ask every question, but I appreciate having them all laid out for me - with answers! If there is a map assignment we look it up on the fold-out map that came with the IG.

So this is how the rest of our homeschool day plays out....Christopher goes off to work on his independent work while I discuss Grace's independent readings with her. Once a week we discuss what she is reading for science and go over her vocab work (she is using Vocabulary from Classical Roots). I also use this time to check in with her about her current writing project and to see if she needs help with anything.  We probably spend about 20 minutes (tops) discussing her independent work, then she goes back to it.

Next I do read-alouds with James, going over discussion questions and map assignments just like above, then discussing his independent work with him. I also use this time to watch his Latin DVD with him when needed. Then he goes back to work and I discuss with Christopher. Rose usually listens in, plays with the puppy, or draws while all this is going on.

If there is anytime leftover I just do whatever needs doing. Maybe I didn't get to finish Rose's readings earlier, or someone needs help with an experiment or writing varies day to day, but I usually have 20-30 minutes of "flex time" at the end of the day.

And that is our day! I am going to put links to all of the different parts of our homeschool day on my homeschool routine page.


  1. I love these posts! But at the same time, every time I think I have my mind made up about curriculum, I read one of your homeschool posts, and it makes me want to use BookShark! Gah! I may never decide!

    1. I do the same thing when I read other people's posts or stuff on forums. I have to keep telling myself to stick to what we already have that works, but it's not easy when there are so many good things out there to try!


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