lizklein

Accelerated H/B/L Level Consumption

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lizklein

My 7 year-old is an avid reader.  She devours stacks of books.  I currently have her and her 5 year-old sister combined for H/B/L A, but she's already read all of the Level A books and the Level B books.  She'd read more levels if we had them in the house!  At first I thought that wouldn't be a big deal, but now when we go to read them as read alouds, she seems bored.  I hesitate to just allow her to move on to the next level as I'm not sure I'm ready for her to take on heavier topics like WWII, etc. that come in the next levels.  I've thought about using the next levels as book lists and checking out the maturity-appropriate books from the library for her to read at her own pace.  But what are we missing by doing this?  I do believe she is comprehending what she reads and learning from it, but she's not necessarily at the point of being able to easily articulate that learning or write it down.

 

What have any of you done in this situation?  Do you take the topics that the H/B/L covers and find additional materials for them to consume while staying with the same H/B/L level?  Do you let them advance on?  I'm trying to figure out how to have her enjoy and participate in read aloud time, but still have it challenge her intellectually.

 

On a side note, I'm part of a Facebook Group for Gifted Homeschoolers.  It seems like it is mostly coming from a secular perspective.  Several of them have said that Sonlight is not necessarily geared towards "gifted" children and suggest other resources.  But in looking at them, I don't necessarily see how they would be more beneficial, and with many of them I have been concerned with the content as they were decidedly secular.

 

Thoughts?

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Hunny

I recommend digging deeper into the history topics.  You can probably find more at the library.  Add in some hands-on learning, videos, and field trips when possible.  Find sequels and other books by the same authors of the books she has read for additional reading.

I also recommend that in the future you do not allow her to read the read alouds from the HBL to herself before you read them aloud.  She needs to develop her listening comprehension skills as well as her reading comprehension skills.  Instead, get her a set of readers and/or make lots of trips to the library and let her devour those books. 

Young gifted children don't always have the maturity to understand the topics in the books they read that are written for older children.  It is good to be careful about what she reads. 

For now, maybe ask her the questions that go with the read-aloud before you read.  If she can answer them, let her do something else while you read aloud to the 5 year old.  If she can't, then have her listen to it as you read aloud with the goal being that she can answer the questions when you are done.  Let her draw or color while you read which may help her focus her attention on listening to you.

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R. A. Olson

Since A and B are less coordinated between history and readers, I think it would be pretty easy to insert other books either for you to read aloud or for her to read independently. There are a bunch of different book lists out there marked by age. Another thing you might try is to find audio books for the books she's already read. Having the book read by professional voice actors might make the story more interesting again and allow your daughter to pick up more than she got the first time around.

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Irene Lynn

Are you saying that she has read all the readers, the read-alouds, and the history books for A and B?  Are they all within her reading range?  My answer would vary depending on her level of reading and interest. What kind of books or topics light up her eyes? 

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lizklein
22 minutes ago, Irene Lynn said:

Are you saying that she has read all the readers, the read-alouds, and the history books for A and B?  Are they all within her reading range?  My answer would vary depending on her level of reading and interest. What kind of books or topics light up her eyes? 

Read-alouds and history books yes.  I didn't get the readers because we didn't use Sonlight LA, but she's beyond them.  I haven't found anything she can't read.  I know she reads at least to a level O-R.  As far as interests, she'll really read anything you put in front of her.  She doesn't seem to have specific topics that she shows preference too, but I also haven't specifically asked her.  She just seems to really love consuming information.  I did notice that in the later cores the readers seem to correlate more with the topics covered in history and read-alouds so I probably would check those out from the library at that time.

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lizklein
29 minutes ago, R. A. Olson said:

Since A and B are less coordinated between history and readers, I think it would be pretty easy to insert other books either for you to read aloud or for her to read independently. There are a bunch of different book lists out there marked by age. Another thing you might try is to find audio books for the books she's already read. Having the book read by professional voice actors might make the story more interesting again and allow your daughter to pick up more than she got the first time around.

That's a great idea about Audio Books. I think she would love that!  We do check out a lot of books from the library that she reads for leisure.  Do you know of any supplemental book lists specific to the Sonlight cores?

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lizklein
1 hour ago, Hunny said:

I recommend digging deeper into the history topics.  You can probably find more at the library.  Add in some hands-on learning, videos, and field trips when possible.  Find sequels and other books by the same authors of the books she has read for additional reading.

I also recommend that in the future you do not allow her to read the read alouds from the HBL to herself before you read them aloud.  She needs to develop her listening comprehension skills as well as her reading comprehension skills.  Instead, get her a set of readers and/or make lots of trips to the library and let her devour those books. 

Young gifted children don't always have the maturity to understand the topics in the books they read that are written for older children.  It is good to be careful about what she reads. 

For now, maybe ask her the questions that go with the read-aloud before you read.  If she can answer them, let her do something else while you read aloud to the 5 year old.  If she can't, then have her listen to it as you read aloud with the goal being that she can answer the questions when you are done.  Let her draw or color while you read which may help her focus her attention on listening to you.

Do you have any go-to resources for adding videos and hands-on learning?  We do get lots and lots of book for the library.  She reads in our guest room where I keep all the future Sonlight books.  I knew she had been reading some of them, but when I set down to make a list of the books she's read for our supervising teaching, I realized she had read all of them haha!  But in hindsight, it doesn't surprise me lol  

Good idea about starting with the questions.  I think the other part of this issue is that I've been letting my mom read their books to them while I'm working.  She is not as inclined to go through the discussion questions with them so I try to circle back, but then it often doesn't end up happening.  I would love to be able to give her more difficult comprehension work to go deeper with these books, but I'm not sure where to start with this either.

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Irene Lynn
1 minute ago, lizklein said:

Read-alouds and history books yes.  I didn't get the readers because we didn't use Sonlight LA, but she's beyond them.  I haven't found anything she can't read.  I know she reads at least to a level O-R.  As far as interests, she'll really read anything you put in front of her.  She doesn't seem to have specific topics that she shows preference too, but I also haven't specifically asked her.  She just seems to really love consuming information.  I did notice that in the later cores the readers seem to correlate more with the topics covered in history and read-alouds so I probably would check those out from the library at that time.

Okay.  I always loved the idea of Sonlight.  I loved their books!  BUT I couldn't figure out how my daughter fit into the early cores, so we didn't start Sonlight until a bit later.  My daughter loved ancient history and we had already covered ancient Egypt in more depth than Sonlight did in any of the early Cores by the time she was 5. Greece and Rome followed in depth by age 6. We covered the Middle Ages and Renaissance/Reformation by age 7.  Somewhere in there we started grabbing a few books from Cores G&H.  When she was 8 we covered the explorers and very early American history, but began floundering.  She didn't love American history as much as more ancient history.  The next year we jumped into Sonlight in Core 100, which was called SL7 back then. (She wasn't ready for that much writing, but she was ready for that level of depth.) Plus, I threw in most of the books from D&E for fun.  She loved it!  

If your daughter is a voracious reader and loves to learn just about anything, then you might need to do your own thing until you find a good fit. Here are some things we did.  We used book from Greenleaf Press - Famous Men of Greece, Famous Men of Rome, etc. and other books recommend to go along with them.  We also used Genevieve Foster books, biographies, more Usborne books, Dorling Kindersley books, and books and more books from the library.  

Since you are doing A, perhaps adding in more geography and cultures could be lots of fun!  Look up clothing and foods and landscapes and animals from each place.  Find a famous person from that area and read a biography.  Find several Cinderella type story picture books at the library and compare how the different cultures tell them.  Bill Peet, the author of Capyboppy, has written several other books that are delightful and so has A.A. Milne and there are a bunch of Boxcar Children books. Or go a different direction altogether!  You could read more about birds or snakes or some other science area.  My daughter got into snakes when she was little, so we read a bunch of books on snakes of all sorts and read The Jungle Book and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and any other snake book or book with a snake I could find. Later, when dd got into birds, we found a good book called, Everything You Never Learned About Birds.  That one was fun and actually took us a little while. At age 7 your daughter might be ready for The Chronicles of Narnia or The Hobbit for books that might take her a little bit longer to read.  My daughter enjoyed some books by Avi; one was Poppy and Rye.

My primary focus in homeschooling my children is to aim toward the light in their eyes.  If the light starts to die, then it is time to reexamine some things.  Is it too much, too little, or something else?  If she needs more than A will give her, don't be afraid to move ahead until she is engaged again. 

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R. A. Olson
3 hours ago, lizklein said:

That's a great idea about Audio Books. I think she would love that!  We do check out a lot of books from the library that she reads for leisure.  Do you know of any supplemental book lists specific to the Sonlight cores?

I don't know of any Sonlight supplemental lists offhand, but you could take a look at the Summer Readers or search for books that may have been switched out for something in the more recent versions? I was mostly thinking of lists like this one or this one.

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lizklein
On 9/28/2018 at 10:40 PM, R. A. Olson said:

I don't know of any Sonlight supplemental lists offhand, but you could take a look at the Summer Readers or search for books that may have been switched out for something in the more recent versions? I was mostly thinking of lists like this one or this one.

These are great, thanks!

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lizklein
On 9/28/2018 at 7:23 PM, Irene Lynn said:

Okay.  I always loved the idea of Sonlight.  I loved their books!  BUT I couldn't figure out how my daughter fit into the early cores, so we didn't start Sonlight until a bit later.  My daughter loved ancient history and we had already covered ancient Egypt in more depth than Sonlight did in any of the early Cores by the time she was 5. Greece and Rome followed in depth by age 6. We covered the Middle Ages and Renaissance/Reformation by age 7.  Somewhere in there we started grabbing a few books from Cores G&H.  When she was 8 we covered the explorers and very early American history, but began floundering.  She didn't love American history as much as more ancient history.  The next year we jumped into Sonlight in Core 100, which was called SL7 back then. (She wasn't ready for that much writing, but she was ready for that level of depth.) Plus, I threw in most of the books from D&E for fun.  She loved it!  

If your daughter is a voracious reader and loves to learn just about anything, then you might need to do your own thing until you find a good fit. Here are some things we did.  We used book from Greenleaf Press - Famous Men of Greece, Famous Men of Rome, etc. and other books recommend to go along with them.  We also used Genevieve Foster books, biographies, more Usborne books, Dorling Kindersley books, and books and more books from the library.  

Since you are doing A, perhaps adding in more geography and cultures could be lots of fun!  Look up clothing and foods and landscapes and animals from each place.  Find a famous person from that area and read a biography.  Find several Cinderella type story picture books at the library and compare how the different cultures tell them.  Bill Peet, the author of Capyboppy, has written several other books that are delightful and so has A.A. Milne and there are a bunch of Boxcar Children books. Or go a different direction altogether!  You could read more about birds or snakes or some other science area.  My daughter got into snakes when she was little, so we read a bunch of books on snakes of all sorts and read The Jungle Book and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and any other snake book or book with a snake I could find. Later, when dd got into birds, we found a good book called, Everything You Never Learned About Birds.  That one was fun and actually took us a little while. At age 7 your daughter might be ready for The Chronicles of Narnia or The Hobbit for books that might take her a little bit longer to read.  My daughter enjoyed some books by Avi; one was Poppy and Rye.

My primary focus in homeschooling my children is to aim toward the light in their eyes.  If the light starts to die, then it is time to reexamine some things.  Is it too much, too little, or something else?  If she needs more than A will give her, don't be afraid to move ahead until she is engaged again. 

Very good points and thank you for the recommendations.  This has been very helpful!!

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Mommylissa

In my experiences when I was in the gifted programs as a child in school myself, the focus was on puzzles/mazes/riddles, problem solving, debate, sciences (very secular, no God), and having more hands-on experiences and lots of field trips specifically for the "gifted" since we were able to miss school and keep up with our traditional school work.  I personally never liked having that label and being set apart from my peers, but I do appreciate all of the additional learning opportunities I was given. 

I have a son whose brain is very much mine. I did not want him to experience being "gifted" like I did. I want him to develop a better appreciation for working with people of all abilities than I was given in school. As an adult, I do wish now that I spent more time learning with "regular" kids. I also want my son to have more time doing the things he is interested in and less time having adults tell him what he aught to be doing with his gifted brain. We love Sonlight because I feel like the stories really teach kids to appreciate people of all sorts of abilities and circumstances, and it also allows a lot of flexibility for me to challenge my son where his interests lie. Last year we took a break from Sonlight, went to a co-op 3-days a week that uses A Beka. My son was then in 5th grade and he excelled in his class, and also scored higher on the Stanford tests than his peers. I credit that much to all of the good reading we have done that started many years ago with Sonlight P3/4 (and of course we were reading much before then too). 

If a Sonlight book is part of a series, I will get him the other books. If I can find movies or documentaries from the library that go along with what we are reading, I check them out and we watch them as a family. And we are always listening to audiobooks in the car. I go online and type in the topic of what we are studying, check the box for audiobooks only, and then reserve everyone they have. We listen to about 15-20 minutes of each one to decide if it is something we like or not. If not, we just return it and move on. Sometimes my kids will not like an audiobook one year, but two years later when they are more mature they love it. So we just try again now and then as it fits our studies. As far as interaction with peers, over the years we have used the YMCA, library, local play groups, robotics clubs, bible clubs, etc. as they match the needs of our family and age of my kids. I often remind my son to not become prideful and haughty when his knowledge and abilities seem above those he is around. This year he is attending an experiential learning center one day a week that challenges his knowledge of math, science, and literature while building teamwork in a hands-on outdoor environment. This program is only open to middle school/high school so it is our first year trying something like this. We have also always sought out any free or low cost learning opportunities we can find: Nation Park Jr. Park Rangers, Open Farm Days, anything like that where he can learn and explore on his own and discover what really interests him. We are at a point of seeking out less traditional farms: This year we went to a mushroom farm and learned how they are grown and harvested. 

All that said, I would not toss Sonlight aside. It do believe it is a great foundation for gifted kids, especially if you want them to have a Christian worldview. Like you said, I too have seen many other parents of gifted students approach their child's education with a secular perspective, but that is not what I want for my son. So I use Sonlight as my foundation and build our curriculum from there. (I have also at times purchased addition reading books from A Beka, BJU, Christian Liberty Press, etc. ESPECIALLY if I find them at a yard sale or book swap for cheap or free.)    

 

 

 

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