We have a thirteen year old who is very behind in his reading
skills. Although he has greatly improved this year, he is still testing
about one grade below his current grade level. We are going to be
homeschooling him to catch him up in all areas of Language Arts. We
are excited about finding your products (from the Cathy Duffy Homeschool Reviews). Our question is this: Is it beneficial to choose
books that he is already familiar with (ones that he has read before or
seen the movie?) or should we choose books that are new to him? What
is your opinion? We don't want to overwhelm him or make reading a chore,
but we also want to take this opportunity to challenge him enough;
improving his skills.
Thank you for your kind attention,
Andrew and Jennifer
Dear Andrew and Jennifer,
Your son sounds perfectly normal for his age, where reading levels vary widely. Having talked with many parents over the years, I think that choosing only 3 or so guides to study for the year (instead of 4) and then reading many fun books beyond those analyzed will be the best encouragement for more enjoyable reading. If I were you, I would choose one of each, perhaps one title that he has read and really enjoyed, one title that he has only seen the movie for, and one title that is new and challenging him a bit. In this way, he feels invested in the guides chosen and will enjoy learning literary technique and critical thinking with stories he enjoys, yet he can stretch and challenge himself with one title that is new and perhaps harder than the other two.