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Old 01-20-2003, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I was wondering at what age can a child sit and listen to a story, without the aid of pictures, felt board or puppets?

I'm looking for some guidence as to when I can start to read books like The Boxy Car Children and other stories - chapter boods, I suppose.

Right now my son is 2. 9 months and I have a 2 month old. We read aloud from from several books each night, but they have pictures. Sometimes we do fingerplays and last night I did some shadow dancing on the wall....

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-20-2003, 08:10 PM
 
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My son just turned three and he shows some (little) ability to sit for a book without pictures. He will sit for a long, long time with picture books. What I have been doing for about a year (maybe a little less) is making up stories and telling them to him. He will listen to those. I keep them simple and repetitive and exciting. I have kept him quiet during speeches at weddings etc. by whispering the story of "Thomas and his Tractor" in his ear. Also, talking him through "Meditations for Children" keeps him interested, although not quite as much as my spontaneous made- up tales of adventure and intrigue These seem a logical prelude to books w\o pictures because he is getting the concept of the story as a whole process and the ability to listen and visualize.
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Old 01-22-2003, 06:46 PM
 
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I think it varies alot from child to child. Chinaberry catalog mentions "precocious listeners". My personal opinion is that 2nd children listen longer earlier because they tag along listening to their older siblings' books.

There are several books (often available in public libraries) that give age ranges for children's books as well as annotated descriptions of the stories. Ask the Children's Librarian at your local library for help -- they went to school for this sort of thing! Chinaberry catalog usual gives age ranges on their books, as do other catalogs...and usually they don't all agree, as it's a matter of personal opinion.

Don't overlook freeform storytelling. Dh is a master of this, and has entire casts of characters living in make-believe lands (this is where I got the name Queen Gwen, as I noticed she was modelled on me). It doesn't have to be that elaborate, though. I tell very simple stories that go through a typical day of the characters and let my 3yo contribute as she sees fit. I think this helps her use her imagination. Obviously, there are no pictures or visual aids involved. For us, this type of storytelling often occurs out at the swingset or in the car, etc.

Best bet is to just get books from the library, give it a whirl, see what the kids like.

BTW, I never used feltboard or puppets when I read a book...I'm so impressed that you do!
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Old 01-22-2003, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Queen Gwen - I don't use felt boards or puppets to tell stories, but I have them just for fun....when I feel up to it...

have you seen this site:

http://hometown.aol.com/BeeME1/bookstore.html

I have tried telling ds some stories from scratch, but he isn't interested. What physical signs should I look for? I can recite stories or rhymes and he is familiar with and he becomes captivated, but anything new doesn't really take.

like I couldn't just tell him a new story from Aesop's fable without pictures...I think his language skills are still not quite there yet....
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Old 01-23-2003, 01:52 AM
 
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I'm trying to think back to the first time I told my little guy a made up story. We were lying in bed and I was trying to get him to settle and he wanted to play (sound familiar to anyone?) Anyway I turned off all the lights and told him I was going to tell him a story. I remember the story was about a motor-cycle because that was his most recent interest and the main character was Thomas who is a favourite friend of his and his cousin. Also, at the time, my son was very scared of loud noises and happened to have been scared out of his wits a couple days before by the sound of a Harley revving up. In the story, Thomas's father gets a new motorcycle and Thomas really wants a ride but he has to help his father fix it first. Then Thomas gets to sit on it and is scared that it will be too loud and the father teaches him to cover his ears to block out the sound and they go for a l0vely ride. What captured my son's interest was the sound effects (hammer, screw driver, motorcycle) and the fact that he could relate to Thomas's fear. As far as visual clues, I could not see him as it was dark but he lay still and asked me to repeat things. Also he requested that story again and again for a few months...now it's tractors
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Old 01-23-2003, 02:15 AM
 
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Under about 4 is pretty young for chapter book I think. My dd is 3 1/2 and has been listening to them for a while, but I would think that is not "average" as she is fairly advanced for 3. WHat we did was work up to real chapter books. When my son was sitting well for long story books, we began short chapter book with lots of pictures like the Frog and Toad series, Little Bear books, etc. When he coudl sit for an entire book of that level, we started with the the trilogy of My Father's Dragon books. It's a really cute story, still has some illustrations and the chapters are very short. We are just starting Little House in the Big Woods, which woudl be another excellent first chapter book, as would the Wizard of Oz books.
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Old 01-23-2003, 11:11 AM
 
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The first story I made up for dd was when she was about 2...we had just come home from the playground and were having a snack. So I told her a story about a little girl who went to the playground, went on the swings, then came home and had a snack. It was probably about 3-5 sentences long. Dd was enchanted. I could see the wheels turning in her head as she realized that I was telling about someone doing stuff like she just did! She wanted me to immediately tell it over again...and again. We've come to expect this "repeat" factor and try to keep track of names of characters, etc.(my dad didn't realize this and would spin these long yarns which he would promptly forget. Dd would pester him endlessly to "tell it again").

Khrisday, that's an excellent point about Frog and Toad, Little Bear and other beginner chapter books. 3yo dd often picks those out at the library. They're in the beginning reader section. If she seems restless we can end after 1 chapter. She also likes Amanda Pig (she has a thing about pigs) and Mr. Putter & Tabby books.

Edited to say: Thanks for the link! We use some Charlotte Mason ideas, and I've been reading alot of classics to the girls lately. I bookmarked the page!
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Old 01-24-2003, 01:41 AM
 
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We dont read chapter books often (we hoeschool 6,4 and nearly 2) I think they are hard to follow for us. with three small ones we need something we can sit and read KWIM? But we do like the fantasy series the belt of deltora. After we act out the good parts HTH!
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Old 01-24-2003, 11:03 PM
 
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It varies with the child so much. My oldest was listening to books on tape and we we're reading chapter books (winnie the pooh, harry potter, etc) by two and a half. My youngest is almost 2 and a half now and not any where near ready for that yet. (though he is in the room hearing the stories I'm reading to#1ds.)

And if you make up stories for them with them or you pets as the characters -- they'll sit spell bound. I tell "Amber cat stories" some real -- some fantasy, also "Nicholas and Peter" stories -- all on request. Nick will ask for a "nicholas stories about nicholas and mommy whne peter was in your womb" And after I tell the stories they always ask "did that really happen?"
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Old 01-25-2003, 02:52 AM
 
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From another point of view... don't underestimate how much they are listening just because they aren't curled up next to you. Our seven year old would tie us down and force us to read non-stop; our four year old always seemed much less interested. We would read chapter books to our older girl and picture books to the younger one, who would play nearby as we read to her sister. Even as a just-turned-three-year-old, our youngest would periodically ask questions about the chapter book we were reading or one we had just finished. Usually not while reading, but out of the blue in the car or the grocery store, or in the middle of dinner. She was paying attention and knew what was going on the whole time. As anyone knows who has tried to have a private conversation since having children, they listen to everything we say!

For early chapter books, I would suggest the original Pooh books, Paddington, Runaway Ralph and/or the Mouse and the Motorcycle, and our favorite, Charlotte's Web (you can watch the movie when you finish the book).

Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2003, 03:04 AM
 
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How about before they are born?

My dh and I have always read to each other and have formed a habit of sharing ideas together orally and saving interesting articles that are entertaining and fun.

So.. when dd and ds, ds, ds showed up, we continued to share w/ each other and w/ our lovely child.

When I was a young mother, I was on a Parent Board that brought Jim Trelease to town to talk to us about Reading Aloud. In his book, this is what he recommended.
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Old 01-25-2003, 03:09 AM
 
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When DS was little, I enjoyed sharing Eric Carle's brightly colored books w/ him. The concepts in those books grew w/ him. As a third grade teacher, I use some of the Eric Carle books to illustrate a point:

e.g.

The LIttle Seed for seed transfer.

Hermit Crab for Ocean Habitats and for months of the year.

Grouchy Ladybug for telling time.

Papa, Can you Get the Moon for me? for astronomy and moon phases.
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