|Joseph helping Ezra with his reading lesson. senk 2014|
Joseph loves to read. He has started his first chapter book, "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White, and is often found sitting on the couch reading some of his favorite children's books.
Recently, while I was breastfeeding our four-month-old, Gratian, Ezra requested his reading lesson. Unable to help him at that precise moment, I was astonished to hear Joseph say, "I'll help you, Ezra!"
So, with "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading" by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington in hand, Joseph turned to the appropriate page, and started reading the Instructor's directions to his younger brother. Ezra was delighted - as evidence of all-smiles reveals - and followed along really well.
But this isn't the first time Joseph has read to his brother. In fact, he often likes to grab his favorite Berenstain Bears' book, cozy on the couch, and read to me and Ezra while I am nursing the baby. He will even ask us to choose our favorites so he can read them to us.
Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise co-authored a great book, "The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home," which has been really helpful in our homeschooling adventure in the Shenandoah Valley. In a world where literacy is vital, reading (including comprehension) is one of the core components of Joseph's education. Bauer and Wise state in "The Well-Trained Mind": "A classical education relies heavily on the written word. As a parent-educator, your number one goal should be to have your child reading fluently when she starts first-grade work" (2009:31).
It's exciting to see Joseph only a handful of lessons away from the end of "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading." We have been working through this book for so long that it is a definite measure of how much Joseph has learned over the last two years. So, as we look toward first grade for Joseph and preschool for Ezra, we anticipate the lessons to come - those learned as a student, but also as a parent-educator.