Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reading and Copywork with McGuffey Readers

I'm so glad we finally started using the McGuffey Readers on a regular basis.  It took way too long to do this!  Since we have some reading struggles, we are taking it slowly.  So far, the results have been very positive. 

How We Use McGuffey Readers

We start off by reading a story in the book. Katie reads from the McGuffey Primer.  Although some may think she is too old (10) for the Primer, I chose it so that she would gain more confidence in reading, and give her more practice in handwriting, spelling, and grammar in a very practical way.

After she reads the story, I then have her read all the words from the word list that follows the story.  We use a separate spelling program, otherwise I would use the McGuffey word list for spelling.  Often times, words from her spelling book also appear on the McGuffey word list, so this provides great review and practice.  Once she has a good grasp on reading each word on the list, she then copies two sentences from the story and draws a picture about them.  We repeat this nearly every day until she has written the entire story.


You can modify what we do to suit children that are less or more advanced simply by reducing or increasing the amount of copywork.  The McGuffey Readers are so flexible!  If your child is not quite there yet, just work on a portion of the word list until that portion is mastered, then move on.  If your child is beyond this, you may want to move on to the next reader. 

Note: When we move on to McGuffey's First Reader, I do not plan to assign every sentence as copywork since the stories are longer.  Can you imagine how daunting that might be?    So, I plan to choose the sentences that I believe would be most beneficial, and maybe allow Katie to copy her favorite sentences as well.  I'll gage that by her level of interest, progress and time.

Katie never complains about her McGuffey assignments.  I believe she enjoys them because they are practical and creative (drawing).  Next year, we may use the McGuffey Readers for spelling rather than using a separate book.  The boxed set includes a Progressive Speller too, but I haven't put much effort into looking at it yet.  With some prayer and research, I trust that God will lead us down the right path for us.

Now, if I could just sharpen Katie's math skills, I would feel much more balanced!

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