Homeschooling and Reading Together


Daughter (age 5) and mom reading favorite "vampire" book together.

Like many parents, we read to our daughter from the time she was a baby.  She always loved books.  As a  one-year-old, she would toddle over to her low bookshelf, pick out a favorite book, and bring it to me to read to her (over and over).  Reading together was a frequent activity throughout the day, and she spent as much time with her books as her toys.

When we started homeschooling, reading together became part of our "curriculum".  If I was reading to her, we could read books of a higher level than she could read on her own because her comprehension level was ahead of her reading level.  If we were learning about Colonial America, we read books about life in colonial times instead of text books - and always with lots of pictures.  I also introduced her to cherished favorites from my childhood.

Even as our daughter grew older and became a voracious reader on her own, we still found time to read together.  We read history and did French together.  She or I would pick out novels that I read to her.  We would sit sideways together on a sofa while we read, and it felt like a special time of the day.

The last couple of years, we decided to read plays and short stories together.  We would take turns reading, switching turns with character changes in the plays and after several paragraphs with the short stories.  We still do this, although, our time at home together becomes less and less as she grows older.

We are currently reading our way through The Haunted Looking Glass edited by Edward Gorey.  This collection of horror stories selected by Edward Gorey was a favorite of mine when I was young.  I couldn't remember the title, but was able to find it by searching horror story collections through our library consortium.  I remember thinking this book was so scary when I was little.  It had enough creepiness to it, that it gave me nightmares.  So far my daughter thinks it is good, but pretty tame compared to some other books she has read.  We'll see how it goes.   I'm also interested to see if the same stories that were so scary when I was a girl feel as scary now.