This past week has been a really chilled week, the kids have been tired and overwhelmed and I have just wanted to curl up on the couch and not move. So most of our learning plans went out the window but even without me guiding them, they have been learning non-stop. Mainly due to their love of reading and stories.
We have a set of audio stories that I bought years ago (Ladybird Classics: The Complete Audio Collection). Both kids love these CD’s.
They are Classic stories and some of the language is a bit different to what the kids are used to so there are lots of “mom press pause, what does that word mean, or why is she saying that or what is a workhouse ?” But they have been listening to these stories over and over again and keep asking for them when we are in the car. They tend to pick 2 or 3 and then for a week or so they listen to those same stories a couple of times before they move on to the next batch. But every now and again they ask for a repeat of one of the older stories.
One of the brilliant side-effects of these audio stories is that the kids have been seeking out the book versions to read – my daughter has actually now read 3 different versions of the Wind in the Willows after listening to the audio version. And that has sparked another interesting conversation – Why are there so many different versions of these stories? Why in one version does a character do or say x but in another version they do or say y? Lots of interesting observations have been made.
My daughter’s current favourite has to be Little Women – she has loved being introduced to the wonderfully different characters by her audio story. So she was thrilled when a copy of Little Women – Little Women: Band 18/Pearl (Collins Big Cat) arrived in the post for her. She immediately started reading it.
This is the second “classic” story that my daughter has read in the BIG CAT reader series (the first one was Black Beauty) and I am really happy with them. They have managed to condense the classic story into a very manageable 77 pages (the book band for this one is Pearl which is aimed at Year 6 children – my daughter would be going into Year 6 in September if she was in school and easily managed this by herself).
And yes we love the fact that Beth is home-schooled (look above).
I like this for the very simple reason – it makes an old classic accessible for my daughter. Once she has read the more condensed version, understood the key story events she then has the confidence to look for a longer more complex version of the story and try that. By reading this reader she is gaining confidence both in her reading ability and the actual story (she does not like stories that are too scary – the fact that she now knows the girls will be okay means she will not put the longer version down midway through when Beth gets sick).
One of my passions is to build a love of stories and a love of reading in both the kids. And I want that love to include a wide range of stories. I don’t want the kids to be “put-off” reading classics because the langauge is a bit different or because they don’t understand all of the events. I think exposing the kids to condensed versions of the classic stories helps to prevent this. They have already got a love for stories like Black Beauty, Little Women, Oliver’s Twist. They are learning some of the older words and afterwards they are not as intimidated by a larger, thicker, more complex version of the story.
From time to time the lovely people at Collins Primary send us a few books for us to use. This copy of Little Women was included in one of our bundle of books. I was not paid for this post and I am under no obligation to write anything. I am sharing about this book because my daughter has enjoyed it and I think it is a great way to introduce a classic story to younger kids.
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