Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burgess

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lisa_mom2many
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 6:45 pm

Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burgess

Post by lisa_mom2many » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:45 am

Hi! I'm doing LHFHG with our almost 7 year old daughter and our five year old son. We really love it and it's been going very well, except none of us like the Thornton Burgess stories, which seems opposite of everyone else. I see many raving reviews of the stories but so far neither of them liked Reddy Fox or Peter Cottontail and neither did I. We just found them boring. Could we replace these with something else? We were supposed to start Danny Meadow Mouse and I'm not looking forward to it at all. Are we the only ones that dislike these? I see so many raving reviews of these. Any suggestions, besides trying to make these more fun, which I'm really not feeling because I hate reading them?

daybreaking
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 12:21 pm

Re: Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burges

Post by daybreaking » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:52 am

Others might voice a different opinion, but from my experience, if you drop something because the children (or you) find it boring, you'll be heading down a road that will backfire on you in the long run. Once the children know it is an option to drop things, it opens the door for them to resist other subjects that are not as interesting as others. I have often shared with my children that not all schoolwork is going to be "exciting and fun," but it still needs to be done and it serves a purpose. :) I would think If you tried your best to read with enthusiasm and not share your dislike with them, the children will start to "get into" the stories. I've had several occasions where my children resisted something at first, but as we continued, they started to enjoy it. Even if your children never really find the books to their liking, they will benefit from listening to them and doing the accompanying exercises. :)

Wife to one amazing husband and mother to two precious blessings from above:
ds17 & dd13

StephanieU
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Re: Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burges

Post by StephanieU » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:40 pm

How about jumping to the Potter stories at the end of the guide to see if they are better received?
Personally, we dislike those stories but enjoy the Burgess ones (reading them for the third time right now). I think the more mature/older language takes time to get used to. But they are great practice for later books - devotional in Beyond and Bigger, some of the history in Bigger and Preparing, etc.
Mom to 4
DD (13) MtMM (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CtC, RtR, and Rev2Rev)
DS (11) RtR (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, and CtC plus some of LHTH)
DD (9) Preparing (completed LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger)
DS (4) LHTH

MelInKansas
Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burges

Post by MelInKansas » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:45 pm

You can maybe identify why you don't like them. Some people don't like how mischevious the characters are. How they trick one another or call each other names. Some aren't used to the language and longer readings with fewer pictures. I would try to pin down what the issue is. I think if you as the parent are saying "This isn't enjoyable and we want learning to be fun and interesting" especially at the LHFHG level, that's fine. I think you can make it clear to your kids that we're changing something because Mom thinks it's not working very well, and yeah, they might try to pull something with another part of school but you will realize it and can deal with that. If your children generally like read-alouds then perhaps these really just aren't for you. Skipping ahead to Peter Rabbit at the end is a good idea. That's at least something you can try, and there are still activities in the guide to go along with that. The problem with switching to something else is that then you would also have to come up with the activities that help the child get the "pre narration" skills. It wouldn't be too hard to copy and mimic what's in the guide, but it's definitely not as easy as just using what's in the guide. I have to say I actually liked Danny Meadow Mouse and Peter Cottontail better than Reddy Fox and Chatterer the Red Squirrel is really interesting I think. You could always read ahead and see if it seems like the next ones would be any better.
Melissa
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end"

DD12 - Rev to Rev + DITHOR 6/7/8
DD10 - CTC + DITHOR 2/3
DD7 - Bigger + ERs
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

lisa_mom2many
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burges

Post by lisa_mom2many » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:05 pm

I can see the reasoning with not "skipping out" on something because we don't like it, but I guess I have a couple of thoughts on this relating to our situation. The first is, I don't think our little ones would notice we are skipping anything because they don't know what we are "supposed" to be doing in the upcoming lessons, except that we are supposed to start Danny Meadow Mouse so I think I'll continue with that and see if we still don't enjoy this set. Secondly, I feel like our read alouds should be enjoyable for the kids. I understand that they may have to do some work they don't like in the years ahead, but I don't think it should include our read alouds but rather maybe math or grammar. I think our read alouds should be something they look forward to. With that said, it is a bit of a new experience for them. They love stories, but have only had story books that they've picked with a lot of pictures. Thanks for all of your input! I appreciate the help!

Carrie
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Re: Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burges

Post by Carrie » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:46 am

Hello!!

The ladies are doing a great job of helping you talk through your questions about the Burgess books. I thought I would just pop-in and share the rationale we are using as we selected these particular books for the guide.

In LHFHG, we are working at moving beyond the picture book stage. :D The Thornton Burgess books are just right for moving kiddos from picture book to chapter book listening in bite-sized increments because the chapters are very short. They work beautifully for teaching the needed skills of beginning oral narration, learning to predict a character's actions based on a long-term relationship with the character, and learning to stay with a storyline for a lengthier period of time. Thornton Burgess wrote his stories for a newspaper column for many years that was read and adored by children, so it is a group of stories that has stood the test of time in both child appeal and in writing style. They are definitely an acquired taste, as they have a higher level of vocabulary and more involved plots. :D

Often when kiddos first move away from picture style books into chapter books there is an adjustment period as they are learning to picture the characters in their mind instead. This transition takes some time, but as you go through the year you will notice your kiddos adjusting better and better. I will say that my boys all loved these books, with some taking more time than others to grow into their love of them. :D My oldest two sons are 21 and 18 now, and my 21 year old still kept these Burgess books on his shelf as he moved into his own space. My 18 year old wanted his own set to keep too. My next two boys are 14 and 11 and still remember these books fondly. So, my advice is to read the chapter briskly making sure not to quiz your child over what he/she remembers after the reading (because it may not be much). Just let them work on the skill of listening. Then, quickly do the follow-up activity and move on. My boys enjoyed the follow-up activities, and I could eventually see the little wheels turning in their minds as they began to predict what the various characters will do. You will be amazed by year-end how much they have grown in this important skill area. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

Taramisu
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burges

Post by Taramisu » Tue May 02, 2017 4:47 pm

I will say we had the same issues. My kids LOVE reading and books, as do I, but my son and I both disliked the Burgess books at the beginning of the year. After about half of Reddy Fox we dropped it and switched the the Potter books, which we liked much better, even though they were about as difficult. There were more pictures, which I didn't think about until I read Carrie's post above. For me, I found some of the language even difficult for me to read aloud (the accents especially), so I thought it was just way above his understanding level. Anyway, because of the reasons I had heard to keep on with them, we did finally go back to Burgess about a month ago, though I decided to just pick up where the guide was, so we started Grandfather Frog. This book has been much better than Reddy Fox for us...perhaps just because my son had some time to grow in his comprehension? It is still difficult for him (he is not an auditory learner), but it's better than before and he seems to enjoy it a little more. We will continue with some of the stories we skipped over the summer. So, I would encourage you as others did for me, to maybe try again at a later time if you really don't want to continue at this point, or try another one of the books.

Carrie- I so appreciate your post above. I struggle with anxiety over my son not "getting it" enough in many subjects, but especially comprehension from read-alouds. He is mildly ASD and I'm not sure quite what the issue is, but he can rarely tell me about what I read (the main points at least- he usually tells me something random that isn't the main point and is detached from the plot completely), and he has difficulty in answering the questions in the guide. In the past I have frustratingly re-read the passage (or portions of it) in order for him to be able to get the right answer and understand. Is this wrong? Should I just give him the right answer if he can't answer? I think he has been slowly improving. I'm just sadly a recovering perfectionist mom/teacher and not really sure what to do when he's not really grasping what the guide says.

Thanks! (Sorry to hijack this post)
Tara

MelInKansas
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burges

Post by MelInKansas » Sun May 07, 2017 8:22 pm

Tara,

My oldest is also not an auditory learner and was slow to learn to read as well. She wasn't very good at the narration activities or at answering what had happened in the books, but she enjoyed listening to them and got excited about hearing them so I knew she was catching something even though she couldn't tell me what it was. Gradually through all the HOD guides she learned the skills of narration (and I learned how to NOT short circuit her grasp of those skills, in one of the later guides when she was supposed to be orally narrating back to me what I had read, I used to interrupt her when she got something wrong, and in the instructions about oral narration it says NOT to do that, to wait to discuss it with them until they are all done, in order to not interrupt their train of thought - when I started doing that her narrations got SO much better). She's never been really excellent at it, but has made steady progress with it throughout the years. In 4th grade or so (she's finishing 6th grade now) her Sunday School teacher told me "When we read Bible Studies she is one of the best in the class at answering questions and summarizing what is read." Now I think for her this is because she is reading along. But overall I am amazed at how well she is doing now, with reading, and with narration, just because of the slowly growing, incremental process of learning it through the HOD guides.

As to what to do, I would encourage you to praise him and make him feel successful whenever he gets an answer or tells something from the story. I think I did used to re-read part of the story if she just got an answer totally wrong, but generally if she showed some knowledge and understanding of what was read, I made sure to let her know she was doing great. One thing I really missed in early learning the first time is that again, kids grow at their own pace, but if we get frustrated with their progress, or make them feel like they're not doing well, that's when they might start thinking it's too hard and they can't do it, so why even try? Sometimes modelling something if they are having trouble is a good idea. I think in Beyond Little Hearts it has you do that a lot. Try doing read alouds at a time of day and in a place that poises you and him for the most success. Right after breakfast or lunch for example (unless he gets really sleepy then). Or during a snack. Again, just try to make it as positive of an experience as possible and work towards him getting as much of the story as possible. I hope this helps.
Melissa
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end"

DD12 - Rev to Rev + DITHOR 6/7/8
DD10 - CTC + DITHOR 2/3
DD7 - Bigger + ERs
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

Taramisu
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: Book substitutions for LHFHG in place of Thornton Burges

Post by Taramisu » Thu May 11, 2017 10:02 pm

Thank you, MelinKansas! I think those are very wise suggestions :)

Tara

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