"the generous supply of tales, prescribed for the younger children, makes reading a delight, creates a desire to understand language, and equips the children with an ever-extending vocabulary, and, by so doing, increases their power of expression when they are called upon to describe what they have read."
From a Parents' Review article:
You can also use something that happens in the reading to make a connection- 'Remember when we saw that movie about...? Today we're going to read a different perspective.' Or 'have you ever seen a bear? Today we'll be reading about somebody who fought with a bear,' or anything, really, to pique interest, salt the oats, hook attention. Don't be overly elaborate- keep in mind if you oversalt the oats, they are inedible.
But Don't over-explain: that gives the child the idea that the book is too hard already. It's also a way to make a child sick of a book before she ever gets to the meat of it. You know how when somebody tries to explain a complicated game to you before you play, and the explanation is tedious and maddening and confusing and you just want to scream "Let's play already!" Or maybe, "Forget it! Let's just watch a movie!"
Again, there will be times when it is necessary to choose a different book. Keep this in mind as you make your selections:
"There is absolutely no avenue to knowledge but knowledge itself, and the schools must begin, not by qualifying the mind to deal with knowledge, but by affording all the best books containing all the sorts of knowledge which these 'Twins,' like everyone else, wanted to know. We have to face two difficulties. We do not believe in children as intellectual persons nor in knowledge as requisite and necessary for intellectual life. " Volume VI
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (A Touchstone book)
For Additional Study:
Many of the same helps with narration will also help your student work through a more difficult book.
Pages 71-74 of Volume IV of Miss Mason's series (if you can make the time, read pages 60-100)
Volume VI on Literature (it's just four or five pages)
Chapter 15 in Volume III is about schoolbooks and how they make for education. It would be helpful in understanding the principles behind selecting books. See also chapter 21.
$5.00- Education for All, a new CM journal, Buy Now! Feed Your Mind! This issue contains several articles on handicrafts, outdoor play, nature study and science. See sidebar for purchasing options if you are in the Philippines.
$3.00 Five Little Peppers and How They Grew Copywork (grades 2/3, carefully selected with an eye toward finely crafted sentences, lovely bits of writing pleasant to picture in the mind's eye, and practice in copying some of the mechanics of grammar and punctuation typically covered in these years.
$3.00 Aesop's Fables Copywork for Year One! Carefully selected with an eye toward well written sentences, memorable scenes, and some practice copying sentences that model the basics of capitalization and punctuation. Suitable for use with children who have already mastered the strokes and letters for basic penmanship.