Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Frances Study Guide

The Frances Study Guide
By Valerie Bendt

This charming book uses the Frances series written by Russell Hoban to encourage the love of reading in the beginning reader. The books used are Bedtime for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, Bread and Jam for Frances, A Birthday for Frances, Best Friends for Frances and A Bargain for Frances. Bendt provides an overview and discussion questions for each story along with beginning reading activities. There are puzzles, game suggestions, handwriting practice, and coloring sheets provided with variety between each story. There are many questions for each story to ensure comprehension of the story. This is a great tool for the deaf student, since sometimes a deaf child tends to fill in the missing information. The goal of this book is to enjoy reading a story together and encouraging a love for reading. If this love is acquired at a young age, then your child will always have knowledge at his fingertips. I found with my daughter that a love for reading wasn’t there because she didn’t understand what the words on the page meant. I remember the first story I signed to her – The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Once she realized that the words on the pages created a fascinating story she wanted more and more. The Frances Study Guide does just that through a series of stories that teach meaningful lessons. Now the stories will need to be signed and not read aloud, but this can easily be done. I would suggest using these books up to age 9-10 without offending your deaf learner. After that the stories and activities may seem babyish. The activities are really geared at a young learner. You know your child better than anyone else, so you decide what is appropriate and what is not. While using this book with my children I did what fit into my homeschool and didn’t feel guilty about skipping some projects. We used this as a supplement to our regular curriculum, but it could easily be a nice six week study for Pre-K through 1st grader.

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