Now more than ever, it is important that we are talking to one another. New social distancing rules have found many families staying home more to ensure their health. This means fewer co-ops, outings, and field trips, and fewer in-person connections with friends. For many homeschoolers, this means we are with our families more than ever.
Most homeschooling parents can agree that spending time reading aloud as a family is a worthwhile endeavor. Who doesn't love snuggling with little ones while reading stories that open up imaginations and fill minds with wonderful tales? For many, it's a peaceful, almost magical time, one that ends too quickly as kids get older, outgrowing family reading time.
Talking with our kids about a book they are reading can peter out before the conversation even starts. Why? The questions we ask, what we know about the book, and the way we hold discussions all matter. Good discussions are all about connection, and if there is one thing we homeschoolers do well, it's connecting with our children.
Everyone knows that reading aloud is one of the most important things parents can do for their children. As parents, we have the best of intentions, but sometimes our reading aloud routine can get thrown off course.
Maybe your children have been under the weather.
Maybe your homeschool routine is in a rut.
Sometimes the news is scary. There are things happening in our world right now that are near to impossible to discuss with children without leaving them fearful. As parents, we want to protect our kids from hatred and hurt. We want them to remain children and enjoy every drop of childhood magic for as long as possible.
And yet, we want our children to grow into adults who will make a difference in this world. We want to raise compassionate, thoughtful men and women who will put an end to the hatred and hurt.
I admit it. I was disappointed. Read-aloud time didn’t look like I expected it to.
My vision: Quiet children, hanging on my every word while sipping hot cups of cocoa and wholly engaged in the story.
Instead, our read-aloud time was filled with interruptions and fights over who was sitting where and whose blankets were touching.
Although I have loved books for as long as I can remember, my eldest daughter is not interested in reading. She would rather play outside and build things than read books.
Because I believe that reading books is an essential part of a child's education, I’ve worked to find methods that promote a love of reading in even the most reluctant of readers.
It happens. Not very often, but more often than I would like.
I notice a child is behind in his reading assignment, and I start to ask questions. Then, my child drops his eyes and mutters, “I hate this book.” Instantly, I’m a mess of feelings; I feel frustrated, maybe angry, and most of all disappointed.
We have read the research and we know how important it is to raise our children in a print-rich environment. The number of books a family has in their home is linked to academic achievement. But building a library can be an expensive venture. No one can afford to go out and buy several hundred books at once.
With planning and patience, you can slowly grow your library over time. Before you buy, know what to look for so that you spend wisely.
The journey of teaching my younger two to read and write has often been difficult. No matter how gently or how slowly I try, the frustration with letters and words is still there. And yet, in the midst of that struggle to read, there has never been a struggle with books or stories themselves.
My kids love books. They love stories. A literature-rich education has been a constant for us, regardless of dyslexia.