Just as morning chores seems more a part of “life” than of “school,” so to me the line between life and school is blurry when it comes to reading. Even when they are not completing a math worksheet every day anymore or filling in a blank map, I certainly hope they will be reading.
So far, my two readers are eager and voracious readers, whose technical reading ability outstrips their comprehension or maturity. I don’t have to tell them to read; they just do.
Still, as I put together the plan for the day, I have to make sure there is time in the day for them to read, even though they will themselves find scraps of time to read, and they won’t go to the car without having a book in their hand.
I also have an assigned reading list per term for both of them. I’ve listed 5-7 books for each per term (6 weeks) that they are responsible for completing. These are the books I’ll ask them to share about during tea time, and most of them focus on ancient history (or related stories like Troy and Greek myths).
Then, most days, we will sit down together for an official snack: “Tea Time.” Being pregnant, even I can have a snack without guilt — for the first half of the school year anyway. During tea time I will ask each boy what they’ve been reading and we talk about it. They love to ask me what I’ve been reading, as well.
We’ve never had much success with CM-style narrations immediately after readings, but they seem to give better narrations and have better discussion about what they’ve read when they get some processing and mulling time. Plus, when they knew they would have to narrate immediately afterward, I noticed they were reading differently — putting it in short-term memory rather than getting interested and engaged while they read. Tea time has given us the opportunity to discuss what they’re reading while removing pressure and leveraging it as a relationship-building time rather than a school item to check off the list.
Our Homeschool Hours
See also: Making a Convivial Home: Tea Time