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Preschool Corner: Gladys Aylward

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Preschool Corner: Gladys Aylward

Friday, October 29, 2010

Preschool Corner: Gladys Aylward

preschool corner

Between colds and apples and everything else, I haven't been around here much. But that also means I've been busy doing other things.

One of those things has been reading. Though I am far from reading to my kids as often as I'd like, we've been incorporating chapter books in with the other picture books. Last night we finished our third chapter book since beginning this summer. We've read Mr. Popper's Penguins, Charlotte's Web, and now Gladys Aylward.

Gladys (as she's become affectionately known around our home) is the last we've read. I'll admit, that when I started reading chapter books to my 2 1/2 year old and almost 4 year old, I wasn't sure how much they'd really get, if anything... not to mention if they'd enjoy it. But just when I am sure they haven't caught anything, Tornado pipes up with a question or comment during the reading that tells me he's catching more than I thought. And though I know Sweet Pea is catching even less than Tornado, that isn't stopping her from requesting that we read it just as much... or from carrying the book around and looking through the picture-less book during other times of the day.

We all really enjoyed the read! It was a great introduction to missions (aside from "let's pray for our missionaries"). I really appreciated the opportunity to discuss death, hardship, and some of the other themes in the book from a Biblical worldview with my children. While I don't know that Sweet Pea even picked up on them, Tornado definitely has and it has opened up some conversations about them.

In addition to reading the book, and in order to expand on it, I worked in a few things into the reading. Initially I thought about doing something with each chapter, but I don't have time and energy for that and I was afraid I'd put off reading the next chapter until I could do the "fun" thing I'd planned, and I decided that reading was more important than putting it off to do some little something. So we did what we could.

With chapter one we looked at the globe and trekked out her planned journey on Google Maps. Then I let them color a map of the eastern hemisphere and drew a line for him to trace of her path across Asia. Tornado liked that. He also found and colored China. Tornado often talked about China and Russia, both when we were reading and when we were doing other things. Often the earth comes out to look at where she was. (Geography)

During the chapters when she was traveling through and trapped in Russia (and therefore surrounded by people who didn't speak her language) I found a website that had some phrases in Russian and we listened to them. (Social Studies)

I also stopped here and there to explain things, answer questions and expand on things.

One important thing you should know is that there were a few places that I chose to edit out for content, either skipping the paragraph entirely, or changing the words around a bit for issues I wasn't ready for my 2 and 3 year olds to hear about. Be aware of these things when reading anything to your littles! :)

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At October 29, 2010 at 1:06 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

YWAM also publishes a series of excellent missionary biographies for younger children, too. We are slowly collecting the set because they are so good!

At October 29, 2010 at 9:47 PM , Blogger KJ said...

I've been wanting to start chapter books with my son. I'm coming from the Homeschool Creations link up.


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