Thirty-one years ago with a one-year-old toddler in tow, my husband and I
began homeschooling my younger sister who was in eighth grade at the time.
It was definitely homeschooling out of necessity due to some problems that
she was having at school with bullying and meanness because of her
moderately mentally handicapped condition. I did not know much about
homeschooling. I did read Dr. Raymond Moore’s books, and I knew that they
coincided perfectly with the teaching in my elementary education degree and
my master’s work in reading education (in terms of how children learn).
However, to say that I knew what I was getting myself into would be a great
So basically I did whatever Dr. Raymond Moore suggested, whatever we learned
about in any books we read, whatever we learned at the Gregg Harris
homeschooling workshop, and, eventually, what we were taught at homeschool
conventions and parenting seminars. Our curriculum writer at the time, Dr.
Raymond Moore (“Growing Kids God’s Way”) recommended reading aloud quite
frequently even during Lisa’s eighth-grade year. Likewise, Mr. Harris said
the same thing in The Christian Homeschooling Workshops. So we came home and
did just they said to do!
My first two children, Joshua now thirty-two and Kayla following three years
after, were auditory sponges. They made reading aloud such a joy, that we
quite literally spent three to five hours every single day five or six days
a week reading aloud. We broke up our reading throughout the day and
evening, and we even called it by various names, like subject reading in
the morning. This is what we called what people now call unit studies.
Joshua liked to call it subject reading because it made him feel like he was
really doing school at a young age! In the afternoon, we had storytime.
Various times of the day we had Bible and character time. And of course
bedtime stories and more. Some days we would have a “read all day” day in
which we would make sack lunches and not leave the sofa for five or six
solid hours. Other days we had such silly times as
“matching-green-sweat-suits-read-aloud” time! (Don’t laugh at me….that
really makes me smile!)
I had read Jim Trelease’s *”Read Aloud Handbook,” plus had learned about read
aloud benefits from the aforementioned seminars and books, but I couldn’t
begin to anticipate the huge impact those early years of reading aloud would
have on those children and on our future children. We grew to love reading
aloud so much that quite literally, I have read aloud at least a couple of
hours every day for my first twenty-five years of parenting!
What about those benefits? Well, all of my children were eager to learn to
read. They had such warm feelings of being read to that they could not wait
to learn to read themselves. They have all become strong readers. They all
love learning as a result of that early reading. For my dyslexic children
and my late readers, reading aloud became invaluable. It built up their
background of experience and their listening comprehension dramatically.
Then when each one did learn to read, he or she brought that background of
experience and auditory comprehension with them into their reading
experiences, and they had amazing comprehension immediately upon learning to
“read” (decode words).
Educational benefits aside, reading aloud has given me the warmest, fondest
memories than a mother could ever ask for. There’s a place in my heart, a
little corner of my heart, called the read aloud corner. It is warm. It is
filled with good memories. Of snuggling with mama on the couch. Of rocking
with mommy with books in her big chair. Of squeezing four, five, or six of
us in mommy and daddy’s bed with a stack of books two feet tall. Isn’t it
amazing to think of the benefits that homeschooling makes available to us?
*affiliate link 🙂
Our favorite patriotic “devotional”! Our two sons, ages fifteen and eighteen, asked me to get this back out for this summer’s reading since we haven’t done it for two years now. I LOVE this book. Short readings–about 5 to 10 minutes each, plus “This day in history list” for each day. So inspiring!
You might be familiar with one of the authors, William J. Bennett, from his amazing story collection, “Book of Virtues” (a great read aloud book for families with multi ages of children and even older children!). He has done it again in this wonderful 365 excerpt patriotic book!
If you homeschool, you want this book! If you homeschool and you are doing American history this year, you definitely want this book! 🙂
“American History Parade” pg. 235 (Today in history)
1776 The Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence
1802 The US Military Academy opens at West Point, NY
1826 John Adams, age ninety, and Thomas Jefferson, age eight-three die
1831 James Monroe, fifth US President, dies at age seventy-three
1959 A forty-ninth star is added to the flat to represent the new state of Alaska
1960 A fiftieth star is added to the flat to represent the new state of Hawaii
Click here or on the picture below to get this book!
DISCLOSURE: I am an affiliate for these products that I recommend. If you purchase these items through my links, I will earn a commission, but you will not pay more when buying a product through my link. 🙂
Last night was the 238th anniversary of Paul Revere’s Ride & today is the 238th anniversary of Lexington & Concord and the “Shot Heard Round the World.
So read some classic poetry by Longfellow today!
Paul Revere’s Ride
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
|Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”
Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
>From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.