My 6 yo (Andrew) and I had our second reading from Nesbit’s book: Shakespeare’s Stories for Young Readers today. I used a lovely idea I’ve read about on a few blogs / mailing lists: making a cheat sheet for the story. I made mine as we went along, not the smoothest perhaps, but it did have my son interested. He kept wanting to make Ferdinand ‘bad’ before we read of his character. Once Miranda loved him, my son decided Ferdinand was ‘good’ and we gave him a smile. Notice my “spirit” Ariel. Oh, and Caliban, who is described as a monster.
Hopefully it’s readable! Doesn’t everyone love my drawing skills? LOL. So, here’s the key we used:
- Smile face is a “good” guy.
- Frown face is a “bad” guy. (Even though our villains changed to good at the end, I didn’t redraw. Perhaps I should have.)
- Boys/men have pants (aka 2 lines) and girls/women have skirts (aka a triangle with legs).
- Kings (and queens, if there had been any) have crowns.
- Arrows show two sets of brothers, and three parent/child relationships.
- Hearts are for devotion (Gonzalo) and love (Ferdinand and Miranda).
- X eyes mean the person is dead.
- Sycorax is a witch, so Andrew said she needed a pointy hat!
We added the chess piece just because we like chess. Andrew also wanted to add the ship in, so I sketched one. Overall, he really paid attention. I’d need to smooth out my drawing – it interrupted the reading too much, but we did okay. Since this is my wild child, I am pleased at the involvement he had with the story.
I am also glad I put him in his own year. For many people, combining the kids works wonderfully. But I am not one of that group. I really enjoy the one-on-one time to focus on each child.
And yes, I restarted school the day after Christmas. The vacation has driven me nuts! I need a little routine, and they do better without an all day free-for-all. In my defense, we’ll mainly be reading for the rest of the month. We’ll write some thank-you letters for English, and putter with a few other things, but we won’t go full swing until we start Term 2 mid-January.