The homeschooled child should be reading for at least 2 hours on a daily basis covering many subjects (history, science, biographies, autobiographies, etc). This does not mean that they have to read only one book for the entire 2 hours, but may be split between a couple books during the same sitting.
Teaching Your Young Child to Read
The young student first learning to read obviously cannot read for extended lengths of time, but should keep 2 hours/day as a goal to be worked towards as they grow, learn and develop. Increase the time gradually as they are able. Young children should be read to daily, and can be allowed to practice reading aloud to parents, grandparents, older siblings and pretty much whoever has an available ear.
Teaching the young child to read begins with helping him or her learn the letters of the alphabet and how they are pronounced. This is referred to as phonics. Children learn how to read best phonetically which is not typically taught in the public schools of today. See these high-quality, free phonics resources below:
Ultimate Phonics Reading Program
Progressive phonics All-in-One Reading Program
Free Phonics Program Lesson Index
Kid Zone Language Arts
Phonics Pathways (available at Amazon) is a very good program that many homeschooling parents like a lot.
The older child is expected to read independently every day; at least 1 hour - 1 and 1/2 hour for middle school students (ages 11-14) and 2 hours for children in the high school years (ages 14+). They may be able to read independently for 2 hours before they reach the high school years; it really just depends on the child. Some kids are reading at this rate while still in middle school.
Recommended Reading Materials:
McGuffey's Eclectic Reading Series: Very popular with home educators, McGuffey's Eclectic Readers are superior in quality. Children who use this series will be several grade levels ahead of what is normally expected. I have used this series with all of my children. My daughter, who is youngest is in 5th grade. She's reading close to high school level now as she is finishing up with the 3rd Reader. All the readers in the series can be read online free. The HIH booklist incorporates all the McGuffey Readers. To give you an idea of the quality of these readers, if you were to purchase the entire set in print, it will cost a little more than $100 for the 7-book set. These books were used in the schools during the early 1900's when education was at its best in America.
HIH Booklist: The Hebrew Israelite Homeschool booklist has been adapted from the original RC curriculum booklist and covers all subjects. Once the young child has learned phonics and begins to read, they can begin the booklist. They would just start at the beginning of the list and work their way down. The list incorporates all the McGuffey Readers. 90% of the books on this list are classics and are of high quality literature. They are also free. Some have to be purchased, but are very affordable for any homeschool budget. Most parents purchase Kindles and download the titles.
HIH Supplemental Booklist: This is a supplemental reading list, in addition to the primary booklist. These book titles are those that were replaced from the original RC list and quite a few more titles have been added. Children can read these books during breaks or as assigned free reading.
Books for Young Readers: Your young reader who is just beginning to learn how to read will likely need additional books for their reading level. These can be read during breaks, weekends and after daily school work is done.
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The Israelite child should be reading materials that reflect his or her own culture, so it is essential to check out the books thoroughly for any content that is inappropriate for them to be reading. This would encompass accuracy of facts, moral content and religious content conflicting with teachings of The Most High. Books should be what Charlotte Mason referred to as "living books" when possible; that is literature that reads more like a primary source of information or a narrative, not like a textbook. So if the child is learning about the American Revolution, for example, what better book to have them read than an autobiography of someone who fought in the war? This way, they get the story first hand from someone who was there.
It is important to remember that the Israelite child should be reading materials that pertain to their culture and identity as people. This would include the Torah/Tanakh, of course. In the example above, Army Life in a Black Regiment, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, an abolitionist and colonel of the first authorized Black regiment would be an appropriate book for a middle school child to read, or a child reading at the high school level. The Life of Olaudah Equiano is another great example as well. I have started to adapt the RC Booklist for our purposes, and it can be viewed here. The original booklist while a great one, does not have enough Black American books or those reflecting Israelite culture, beliefs and tradition. It was highly focused on American life and history as it specifically pertains to Europeans, which we need as well but we also must see ourselves in the narrative, not just on the American scene but globally on the world stage. So the books that were replaced from the RC original, have been placed on the supplemental reading list. As Dr. Robinson suggests, have the child start reading the books beginning with the first one, The McGuffey Primer, then continuing reading the books in order. They should not begin the booklist until after they have finished their phonics program.
A Word About Grade Level:
The homeschooled child is not typically taught according to specific grade levels, but their ability and developmental capacity is the focus. You can use grade levels for documenting purposes, such as with your report cards. Grades are just a way for schools to communicate, so that if your child goes back into the traditional classroom they can participate. Grades are also important for purposes of developing a high school transcript, which are essential for college entrance. However with reading, it is good to be mindful of the level of difficulty of the books. It shouldn't be too easy for them to read and comprehend, but it shouldn't be too difficult either. If you're not sure, simply have the child read a paragraph of the book in question aloud to you. If they are able to read through it with little difficulty and can comprehend what is being said to them, the book should work just fine. However, if they are having a good deal of difficulty then it's best to set the book aside until the child's skills become more advanced. However, do not worry about beginning the older child too early in the booklist. All the books are high quality reading for any age. Remember, the young child should read aloud daily so that they get frequent practice and you can assess their reading skills progress, with complete independent reading being the goal. The older child should be reading completely on their own.
Where to Start Older Children:
If you want to use the educational curricula and regimen on Hebrew Israelite Homeschool, see Dr. Robinson's page. It contains very useful information regarding placement and learning independently. You should also see: The Robinson Self-Teaching Curriculum: The Complete Do-it-Yourself Guide, a free online guide to implementing this approach in general. Remember, if you have any questions contact me.