Our house is full of books, and, of course, being a homeschool family has only added to our collection. I’ve always loved books, and I am a voracious reader. My husband is a book lover as well, so it was natural for our love of the written word to overflow to our children. Although our interest in books came easily, here are five ways that we fostered a family book culture. Replicate these in your home to create a haven for books and reading.
Are you one of those homeschoolers who watches dolphins at the zoo and calls it school? Here's a secret: Sometimes we all are. Do field trips have a place on your homeschool calendar year? Are you on the fence about taking the time away from your books? Here are facts to get you off that fence and on that field trip. Home educators spend plenty of time on the mastery of their core curriculum. (Much more than educators at
To say my son is not a big fan of reading may be an understatement. How frustrating! Didn’t he know I had big plans for the type of reader he would be? You know, the read-by-age-four-voracious-can’t put-the-book-down type of reader.
I’m a reading teacher after all! Couldn’t I just mold him into the type of read I wanted him to be? Ha! I couldn’t convince him to enjoy reading anymore than I could convince him that peas were his favorite food.
Whether he’s just taking a vacation day to catch up on a house project or has a random day off from work, I love having my husband home. Don’t even get me started on that wonderful family cocoon we cuddle up in during the slow and confusing time between Christmas and New Year’s. Having my husband home in the middle of the day is a treat equivalent to when I’d be on a field trip and realize that I’d normally be in math class, but was watching a show or taking in zoo animals. It’s out of the norm and always a surprise.
Well, it was.
Homeschooling has come a long way in the last fifteen years. It used to be that most homeschoolers were educating at home because of religious reasons and mostly kept their children hidden at home —afraid that too much exposure to the world around them would hurt them in some way.
These days, people are homeschooling for an array of reasons. Even some who are religious are choosing to homeschool for non-religious reasons.
As a child, I loved pretending to be a teacher. But despite my love of teaching, I never expressed a desire to pursue teaching as a profession. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Specifically, I stated that I never wanted to be a teacher—ever.
I don’t really know why I was so opposed to teaching. It could have something to do with the fact that my parents were both teachers. I watched how hard they worked, how they never seemed to have time off. They carted home papers to grade, lesson plans to write, and stories of difficult students and a failing public education system.
When I started homeschooling many years ago, one of my main goals was to raise readers. As an avid reader myself, I’ve always understood the value of reading. It expands our vocabulary, teaches us, ignites our imagination, challenges us, transports us to amazing worlds, and so much more.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to teach my girls everything, but if they could read well and enjoyed the process, they would be able to learn anything they wanted to. So I did whatever I could to make reading exciting and accessible. Here are ways to nudge your child toward becoming a lifelong reader.
As a former teacher turned unschooling mom, one of the many things I love about BookShark is the variety of resources which spark interest in topics that might otherwise seem a bit dense for young children.
For example, I recently had the idea to introduce my six-year-old to the wonderful world of ancient Greek and Roman history. I was struggling to come up with a way to make it fun for her and something she’d want to explore for more than just one day. I wasn’t positive I could pull this off, but I wanted her to explore this important and downright cool period in ancient history.
If your son tends to dawdle instead of completing a page of grammar exercises… If your daughter draws pictures instead of working on writing assignments... If you’ve seen your child’s shoulders slump when asked to read...
Then you might have a reluctant learner when it comes to language arts. From making excuses to complaining to avoiding the work, these behaviors point to a problem. But there’s good news! Your children can learn the skills they need and even enjoy the process, too!
No matter how much we parents would like to deny the existence of bullying in the school system, we can’t. Public schools can be fraught with social issues which children are easily caught up in. If you are concerned for the safety of your child, then homeschooling is a good option to keep them safe.
But even more than that, homeschooling is also a way to encourage them to be the best people that they can be. It’s a way to turn differences into superpowers!