Our Path to Reading Success

 

A major concern for all parents is for their children to learn to read. While I was pregnant with Jack it was definitely┬áhigh on my list of priorities. I google searched for the perfect books to add to your kid’s library for literary success. I bought Dr.Seuss and read all sorts of books to our boy with great hopes he would love to read. Maybe it was the concern and priority that turned out a great reader or maybe it was just the perfect storm of reading to him all the time. Either way, here’s my very simple list of suggestions to raise a reader.

  1. Read to them from infancy. I read to Jack from the time we brought him home. It was a priority and he was a captive audience. LOL. Those babies aren’t running from you, they love to hear your voice so go ahead and read to them. Also, use your finger to show them each word as you read it, babies and toddlers pick up on this and start putting together what you’re doing. It makes reading less of a mystery for them.
  2. I was a big investor in Dr. Seuss. Love him or hate him, his books make perfect rhyming sense to young children. They are fun, they are colorful, and they teach rhyming and word families.
  3. Make a priority to take them to the library. Once a month or once a week as long as you take them and let them pick the books that they are interested then this tradition will be a recipe for success (and also for homeschooling). I started this when Jack was about 2. At first, I had this method; I led him to the fiction, science, history, geography sections and would encourage him to pick a book he was interested in from each. Today he stays far away from fiction and I don’t pressure him, at six he can read all the science and history books he wants ­čÖé
  4. Ask forward-thinking questions while reading. ┬áFor example, “Jack, what do you think Cheetahs eat?” right before we read the page that answers the question. It gets them thinking ahead and wanting to read for the answer. You can do the same for fiction books as well, “Do you think Dorothy will ever get back to Kansas?”
  5. Sign up for free book programs, if available. We signed up for the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and I highly recommend it! https://usa.imaginationlibrary.com/register_my_child.php?gclid=CKSV1IaG1NECFdC4wAodBmICnQ#.WIPAj1MrLIU
  6. When it came time for him to learn to read on his own, we invested in the book, “How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” https://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Child-Read-Lessons/dp/0671631985/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485029793&sr=1-1&keywords=how+to+teach+your+child+to+read+in+100+easy+lessons

Let me know what your path to reading was and how you were successful, I would love to hear it! If you have any questions on our path, comment below.

 

A New Year, A New Homeschool

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2016 while a year full of blessings left me scattered and quite frankly I’m glad to see it go.┬áLast year we were moving into our new house and doing a ton of remodel and repairs. As a result, we did a lot of already prepared lessons. While they can be a life saver, our son just gets bored easily with it. So it was a constant struggle between he and I. One I’m grateful for.. like all life lessons.┬á

Here’s what I learned from those curriculum struggles in 2016 and what I’m doing in 2017.

It’s okay to teach with shows. Sometimes, I just didn’t have the fight in me to make him sit down and learn from our workbooks and so we used Netflix and DVDs.┬áThe Cat in The Hat knows a Lot About That, Schoolhouse Rock, Sing Song Latin, and The Magic School Bus are some of our favs. Bonus, you can cook or clean while they learn! I’m not saying this should take over your school day, just that it’s absolutely a great tool to use when needed.

Drawing as writing curriculum. My son hates writing and he makes sure I know it! So, I turn more to Draw, Write, Now and my own drawing assignments for him on those days where the old workbook isn’t working for us. Bonus, he’s happy and so am I.

Outside play time = expeditions to learn about the world. A few documentary shows and Little Passport’s are great in teaching about different countries around the world. We then go outside and pretend we’re there. He actually never fights me on his history or geography workbooks but this is a great break.

These are just a few things we are going to do more of this year. The workbooks won’t be going away but we will have more fun in 2017 with our ┬álearning. Just like he wants. Bonus, it’s fun for me too.

So you decided to Homeschooled, now what?

Once you decide to homeschool then you have to decide what curriculum to use. The options seem endless.

now-what-blog-post At first we bought a full packaged curriculum. While there were some great things about it and we still use parts of it.. We have progressed over the last two years to mixing up our educational resources and curriculum. We now use games, the library, and car rides to teach on the spot. Our old curriculum was entirely worksheet based. Our little guy began to hate that! So we started to focus on what he loves most. Hands on learning. For as much as we can. And, we began to mix up our curriculum with science kits, library books, documentaries, etc.

Just remember that like in all things in life; the key for success is flexibility. When a curriculum stops working you can always change. Just stay flexible and look for teachable moments everywhere.