I am amazed at how different children can be-especially siblings! Earlier I posted some of our ideas on homeschooling a child with dyslexia. Today I am going to post on some of our ideas on homeschooling a child who doesn’t want to stop reading! My daughter is a reader. She loves to read. We have to constantly tell her to put the book down to get out of the car, to walk into the store so she won’t walk into anyone, to go to bed….you get the idea. She always has a book in her hand. Yes, the fact that she loves to read is awesome-however, it can also make homeschooling a challenge.
Reading, spelling and grammar are not really major areas of concern. She is an amazing speller but I continue her spelling program to reinforce what she knows from reading. She reads amazingly well. I do continue to have her read aloud for at least a few minutes each day. Grammar is interesting. If she sees a page that has improper grammar, she can spot it quickly (she is a good editor); however, grammar does not come naturally when she writes. Thus, most of her grammar I have her fix. She writes a paragraph. I have her take a break from it and come back to it the next day. She then edits her own errors and does fairly well. If she does not take a break, she doesn’t slow down and edit properly.
Math: How do you get a child who likes to read to do math? Find math story books! Our favorite series is the Life of Fred series. All of my children read through the books; however, Sawyer reads them, works the problems and then redoes each book. She LOVES Life of Fred! The stories are funny and relevant.
Science and History: Another area that I have to be very inventive. I have stated in the past that I am a very eclectic homeschooling teacher. We mainly use the Waldorf approach but in this case we use as many living books as possible (more of a Charlotte Mason method). Living books are simply books that children can relate to. Living books tell a story that becomes real and that you can feel like you are living. For example, this year one of Sawyer’s blocks included Judaism. She read books on Judaism but she did it begrudgingly. I also had her read The American Girl Series Rebecca. Rebecca is a little girl who grew up NYC and her family is Jewish. Sawyer learned exactly what I wanted her to learn. She learned how Judaism effects a person’s everyday life and the historical events that are celebrated throughout the year by people of the Jewish faith. Finding living books that relate to what you are trying to teach can be a challenge but it is doable (I actually found one about a family that harvests silk worms during our textile block-that took a lot of researching!).
Organization: Now it may just be my reader that is completely disorganized but I hear from other parents that organization is an issue for their readers as well. When Sawyer begins reading, she does not stop (a good thing right? not when you are trying to do school work!). We use the timer on the microwave a lot. She can read first thing after breakfast for 30 minutes. The timer is terrific for a lot of things. We use it to limit her time reading during school time and as a motivator for activities that she does not want to do. We set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes. She sees the time going by and she is able to continue with grammar or spelling. Getting through all of her work in a day can be a challenge as well. I am still working on this one and am open for suggestions..smile. We tried a daily workplan, a weekly workplan, a workbox type of system in which she moved a card from needs to be done to the done side and simply me asking her what she has completed. I saw on a post recently (I cannot remember where so I cannot give them the credit right now, but if I figure out I will) a method with clothes pins in a jar. The clothes pins are snapped around the top of the jar and as the activity is complete, the clothes pin is dropped into the jar. I may give this a try this year along with a timer.
What about pesky papers? We use our main lesson books to place all papers into. Papers are glued, taped or stapled into the book right after it is completed. This includes the wonderful art work that used to be floating around the house. Once a week, she goes through her cubby to declutter. Again, this is still a work in progress. As she gets older and more independent, paper organization and time management will become more important goals (these will be in her goal list for this next year).
Do you have a reader? I love suggestions!