I must say that I am feeling relieved that we are nearing the end of Born Free. It is not a bad book by any means. I was just a little bland/dry with vocabulary way over Annabelle's head. I have found myself wondering why I just didn't put it on the shelf and return to it on another time through the program. I came up with a few answers:
1) It was our very first chapter book EVER, quitting at the first try seemed to me to be a downer.
2) I didn't want Annabelle to think that every book she has a hard time getting through she could just skip (or pretend she has a hard time getting through).
3) I noticed after the first week of reading it her listening and comprehension skills were getting much better. If this was a benefit of this book I did not want to hinder that.
4) I noticed that it challenged me to think of ways to keep her engaged. I love a good challenge that involves thinking skills on my part.....keeps me sharp (kind of). :)
This was the first engaging activity I thought of due to number 4. I wrote a post about it in detail. Feel free to check it out if you're curious. This kept her busy for a number of readings...
...so did coloring for her animal notebook. Believe it or not she is really listening here!
Sometimes what got us through the reading was taking a little break and acting out some of what we just read. She's pretending to be a lion. This is how they drag things around.
Other times it was the promise of a fun activity. During one of our readings it talked about the beach, the reef, and all the colorful fish that the author saw while snorkeling. After this reading we went and looked at saltwater fish at Petco.
Another time there was a picture of a tribe woman with beautiful beaded adornments on her. For that reading Annabelle beaded her own necklace.
It also talked about the author water painting some. For that sitting she water painted this beautiful rainbow with fireworks.
These were just activities that I came up with as I pre-read the book. My plan was to do them afterward not during, but they proved to be most useful during. I would stop and recap what was happening every once and a while to make sure that Annabelle was still listening. :)
Overall, I am very glad that we persevered through this book. It has been quite the experience and we have both learned quite a bit from it. However, I'm quite ok with the fact that I will not have to reread it again until Asa is in Kindergarten. :) Happy blogging!