Why Should You Read Aloud to Your Children?

I’m a huge proponent of reading aloud. I read an article recently that expertly explained the benefits of reading to your children, far beyond the point they can read to themselves. Indeed, even through high school.

“In conversation, we tend to use verbal shorthand, not full sentences. But the language in books is very rich, and in books there are complete sentences. In books, newspapers, and magazines, the language is more complicated, more sophisticated. A child who hears more sophisticated words has a giant advantage over a child who hasn’t heard those words.”

When children are young, they are exposed to language exceeding their own reading level by being read to. This introduction to complex expression of thought equips them in a way reading to themselves cannot. Continue reading

Recent Reads

Welcome to this month’s edition of Recent Reads!

Aloud Adventure

The Sign of the BeaverAlthough he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.
Note from me: My kids loved this book. Great adventure, a little danger and themes of understanding people different from ourselves.

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Caught up in Contagious Joy

I began a new book this week that, given the first chapter, I know is going to be phenomenal. Just a quick post to share a brilliant quote from it.

Exuberance – The Passion for Life
by Kay Redfield Jamison

“We have given sorrow many words, but a passion for life few.

Yet it is the infectious energies of exuberance that proclaim and disperse much of what is marvelous in life. Exuberance carries us places we would not otherwise go — across the savannah, to the moon, into imagination — and if we ourselves are not so exuberant we will, caught up in the contagious joy of those who are, be inclined collectively to go yonder. By its pleasures, exuberance lures us from our common places and quieter moods; and — after the victory, the harvest, the discovery of a new idea or an unfamiliar place — it gives ascendant reason to venture forth all over again. Delight is its own reward, adventure its own pleasure.”

Doesn’t that set fire to your soul and send a shiver of anticipation down your spine? This is what I want out of life. What I strive for. To bring exuberance and passion to the everyday mundane moments of life. Go out and have a day filled with irrepressible exuberance!

Recent Reads

“Recent Reads” is new feature on Dissonant Symphony. You can expect to see a post like this once or twice a month detailing our current page turners. I’ll include a short description of each book and every title will be a link to purchase it. However, I highly recommend utilizing your local library whenever possible. We spend copious amounts of time reading. I’d be dead broke and living in a box made out of books if I purchased all the literature we consume. I generally assuage my conscience with the idea that if I “fail” at all other aspects of homeschooling, but have passed along a voracious love of the written word, I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Continue reading

Discovering the Library

I would not have survived my first year homeschooling without the blessed tranquility of our local library. Each Friday, I loaded up my kids and spent a couple of hours perusing new adventures found on the shelves in the pages of books. During each school week, I placed gads of books on hold, so I could waltz in and lazily grab my stacks of knowledge. The snowman books were a June selection. Clearly my kids share my affinity for winter, snow, and all things Christmas-y.

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