When your homeschool reading program isn’t working, it is easy to get into a rut. Soon you are convinced that you need to switch reading programs. Instead of making that drastic switch, sometimes you just need to make a few changes. Look at these five things to try when your homeschool reading program is bombing.
1. Take Something Out
It can happen to any of us. We think we have to do everything suggested in our reading program because more means better. Step back, look over your program, and decide which part you truly don’t need to cover now.
The focus will narrow on what is important to teach that day.
2. Split a Lesson in Half
A well-planned reading program will give you an ample amount of suggestions for attacking each new concept. Splitting one lesson plan in half gives your child time to linger on what is being taught that day.
When new reading concepts were introduced, my boys comprehended them better when they had more than a day to think about them. Remember that you can set the pace!
3. Put it Aside for a Short Break
One rookie mistake to avoid when teaching reading is charging ahead even when you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall. You wouldn’t think we intuitive homeschool moms would do something like that, but the signs of a resistant reader aren’t always obvious.
One sure thing is that if tears are part of your everyday reading lessons, then something is not working. Most of the time young children cannot articulate what the problem is. They just know something is not right.
Putting aside your reading program for even just a week and focusing only on the joy of reading aloud will help you to isolate the problem. More importantly, the time spent together reading aloud will associate reading with pleasure instead of tears and dread.
4. Do More of What is Working
Also, a well put together reading program will give you a variety of strategies for teaching different learning styles. If your child is remembering reading concepts better with hands-on activities, then add more of them.
If he is a strong auditory learner, then both reading aloud to him and adding in audio books will support his learning style. In addition, I let my auditory learner repeat information aloud.
Find what is working about your reading program and build on those parts.
5. Ask Your Child
Choices are empowering even at an early age. If your child is old enough, ask him what he wants to read. One year, one of my sons was reading at a beginner level. I had read enough books to him that he knew what he did not like.
Though he couldn’t explain exactlywhat he did like, he knew hew was bored by the book about farm animals that I was using to advance his reading skills.
A child’s motivation to read something that interests him is a great tool to advance reading skills. Knowing this, I simply asked which book interested him. He was ready to move on to another Nate the Great book. We read eleven Nate the Great books in the next 11 days, and my now eager reader advanced to a higher reading level within the next week.
Reconnecting With Your Reading Program
A perfect reading program is just a myth, but it can work perfectly for your current needs when you make a few adjustments to it. It doesn't mean the program is deficient. After all, being able to make changes to your reading program to fit the needs of your children is one of the best aspects of homeschooling.
Find the spark again in the reading program you chose by refining it and watch your child soar with his reading ability.
About the Author
Tina Robertson celebrated the graduation of Mr. Senior in 2013 and Mr. Awesome in 2015. Because of her love for new homeschoolers, she mentors moms through her unique program called New Bee Homeschoolers. She loves all homeschoolers, though, as she shares her free 7 Step Curriculum Planner, unit studies, lapbooks and homeschooling how tos. She can't sing, dance, or craft, but she counts organizing as a hobby. She is still in the homeschool trenches blogging at Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus.