DIHOR is arranged into nine literary genre units. Distinctives for each genre are specifically taught. You can use this as your entire reading program or as a supplement to an existing program. The nine units can be done in any order, and can easily fit into your other studies. Some families use the Non Fiction genre repeatedly to develop research skills and give structure to whatever topic the child takes an interest in. The exercises can be used to add a literature component into your history (or other) read alouds (yes, this program is flexible enough for you to do the reading aloud and have all the children do their respective exercises for the same book).
Each unit has 20 days of instruction, which is all laid out for you in the Teachers Guide. The format runs like this: 20 days of instruction, with the reading done on a daily basis. 15 Days of leveled lessons. To culminate, 5 days to work on a choice of three major projects.
You will need one Teacher’s Guide and a Student Book for the level/s you will use.
Story elements are taught in each genre (Character, Setting, Problem/Conflict, Cause & Effect, etc). Each unit emphasizes one story element,and one major Godly character trait, with 3 sub qualities. Character traits are defined and taught using examples from the Bible, but is not ‘preachy’ in it’s presentation.
At the back of the Teacher’s manual there are generous notes under these topics: Getting Started, Student Placement, Literature Pacing and Selection, Time Alloment. Also included are glossaries of genres, character traits & story elemnets. Notes on Reading Strategies for the Teacher and student, as well as Qualities of Good Reading (how to tell how well your child is reading).
Oh yes, and there’s more ;)… Each genre has at least one ‘Emergency Option’ These are activites you can assign the child to do alone if you are not able to do the lesson that day for some reason. These have proven to be great stress relievers for those days when things just don’t go according to plan!
Ideally each child is to spend two years on each level. The levels are specifically not graded according to school grades, but skill levels. If your 10yo has not done any study on literature elements, then starting at the lowest level is recommended, as it lays the foundation skills. Of course, we moved our dc up a level if it was needed, without any hitches.
Time taken for a lesson depends on how fast your child reads (reading can often be done at any time). The worksheets vary in time length as the activities are so varied. Not a lot of writing in the 2/3 and 4/5 levels, more in the 6/7/8 level, but some require discussion with you, or deeper thinking, referring back to the book,etc. Generally, no more that a half hour for the lower level worksheets if the child is managing it ok. More writing and higher expectations for the 6/7/8 level. This curriculum is not designed to include tests.
We spent one year covering all nine genres, and are now starting again with the dc on the next levels. If you do this over a year, strictly following the plan, your child will have studied 27 books!
DIHOR incorporates a variety of methods to facilitate greater understanding of the text, which include the following:
*vocabulary building exercises
*pre reading activities
*lessons on nine key story elements
*guided literature discussions
*evaluation of characters’ actions in light of the Bible
*creative projects with a unit study flavour
*exposure to a variety of literary genres:
The instruction and activities are meant to enhance the reading experience, without dissecting the text until the pleasure of reading is lost.
Make connections within the text, raise questions before reading, creating purpose.
Develop higher-order thinking skills
Participate in literature discussion to gain a deeper appreciation of the text.
Weigh book characters and philosophical issues (using a Chrsitan standard)
Emphasize visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles through various projects
Foster apppreciation for different literary styles
Carrie Austin has done a huge amount of work to create this program. It is jam-packed with things to do, but is not overwhelming due to the way she has structured it all. You can choose to not do some things, without it affecting the progression or desired outcomes.
We have used this program for about two years now. I love that I can incorporate literature study into other subject areas, and that all the lessons are laid out for me, but I am not bound by them. I love that I can use any books and am not locked in. The best thing I have seen from doing this program is the children learning with ease, an excellent basis for higher level literary analysis. They already know the terms, and can get on with the meatier stuff.
Another thing we have done is to use this program for teaching writing. Once they know the distinctives of a genre, they can then write their own story. They have had good clear examples to mimic.
DIHOR can provide needed structure for those of us who need it to stay on track, but also heaps of flexibility. Overall, this is one of the best curricula we have used over the past 12 years of home educating.
Permission is granted to the original purchaser to reproduce patterns and worksheets for individual or classroom use.
Suitability for Group Use: 1-1 • Small Group • Large Group or Family • Multiple Ages • Co-op or Classroom suitable
Amount of preparation required: Some prep for genre ‘kick-off’ activites, but otherwise minimal
Age Range: 7/8 – 14yrs
Educational Philosophy: Delight Directed • Living Books/Literature Based • Unit Studies
Photocopiable Resources Included?: Yes
Teachers Manual: Included
Learning Styles: Auditory Learner Suitable • Kinesthetic Learner Suitable • Visual Learner Suitable