Mom-to-Mom Support/When do I move on to the next book in Little Stories for Little Folks?

When do I move on to the next book in Little Stories for Little Folks?


I am wondering if I am taking too long to move to the next book. Not sure if I am being too much of a perfectionist, definitely possible, but it is taking way more time than the suggested 2 books per week. Any thoughts?

Dear Mom,

Ah, your question touches on one of the great benefits of homeschooling.  That is, when public schools base goals on the “average child,” we still must remember that no two children are alike.  In the homeschool, goals can be “specific-child” directed, rather than “average-child” directed.  Thus, if two books per week doesn’t allow the child time to master the first book, one book per week is a better plan.

So, if a child stumbles over perhaps 10% of the words, but reads the rest with fluency, then it’s probably time to move on to the next book.  But if the child stumbles over 90% of the words in the book, it’s not only time to slow down, it’s time to take a week’s break from the books!  If the latter is the case, the best approach is to step back a bit and return to the last book that the child can read with ease.  Explain that you’re going to take a week or two to play reading games (without any new stories), and then will spend some time in review.  The reading games used will be the Silly Willy Sentences in the back of Little Stories for Little Folks.  Since reading a column of similar words seems far less intimidating than reading “a whole story,” the plan of attack is to give the students success with individual words before returning to the Little Stories for Little Folks books.  (Work on these skills for about twenty minutes each day).

In the meantime, it is still vital to get the kids reading those library books.  Again, select books that are somewhat below their reading level, which will give them reading success and therefore encouragement.

After a week or two of “reading games,” return to the Little Stories for Little Folks books, but at a pace which isn’t painful to the student.  (I don’t know which levels your students are reading, but remember that Little Stories for Little Folks advances at a fairly rapid pace; students who have completed all four levels will be reading between 2nd and 4th grade level, depending on the “measuring device” employed).

When the student reaches Level 3, reluctant readers might even slow to half a story each day, as long as they continue reading practice outside of Little Stories for Little Folks time.  (It is still best to read at least one story each week, however).

Finally, learning is a process that requires countless repetitions for mastery.  Some children are quick studies in math but not so much in reading and vice versa.  Others take their time with both, but do make progress and eventually are on par with their peers.  All of these learning patterns are normal and reflections of the unique and unrepeatable beauty of each child of God.

You’re on the right track.  (Don’t forget to look back a year or two and remind the children—and Mom, too—of how much they’ve learned since then)!

May our good Jesus bless and guide your school year,

Nancy Nicholson

About Nancy Nicholson

Nancy Nicholson is one of the founding authors of Catholic Heritage Curricula. Equipped with an abundance of God-given talent, a major in Secondary Education–English, and years of experience homeschooling her own children, she has written over thirty educational titles, beginning with Little Stories for Little Folks. Her unique ability to develop programs and workbooks that “fit” both advanced and struggling students is due to her experience raising children of different ability levels and learning styles: two of her children are developmentally challenged, while another went on to graduate from Harvard and is now a college professor.