3 Ways to Encourage a Love of Reading in Your Homeschool
Do you shy away from reading in your homeschool or do you embrace it? If your child is a reluctant reader and only attempts the bare minimum, consider implementing these three practices into your homeschool. Your child may want to enjoy reading but simply hasn’t found his/her perfect niche yet.
Family Read-Aloud Time
Set aside time to read the classics: Black Beauty, Heidi, The Secret Garden, Treasure Island, and Swiss Family Robinson to name a few. Choose books that are slightly above your child’s reading level to pique their interest. Read aloud to them, regardless of their age. Consider going over challenging vocabulary words with your child, but remember that many unfamiliar words will most likely be understood through context. Make it fun with tea time, treats, or other special family events! Do you have preschoolers in the home? Consider implementing early learning reading activities into your homeschool routine to get them excited about reading. And don’t forget, whether you are reading together as a family or your child is reading on their own, you can absolutely count reading as schoolwork. So, don’t forget to mark it down if you are required to keep track of schoolwork or hours in your state!
Create a Well-Stocked Home Library
Our family left the country for a year-long mission trip and had someone watch our home while we were gone. In order to protect our plethora of books throughout the house, we moved all of the books (and their shelves) into one, well-ventilated room to ensure they wouldn’t be destroyed by the elements. Once all the books were moved in, it was clear that we now had, well, a library! We have left it that way ever since. My husband has even organized the books by subjects for easy access. Who knew that this library would come in handy during times such as these! I used to joke that I didn’t need to go to the local public library because I already have one. (I still did though.) Now that I can no longer go and browse their bookshelves, I am so thankful that we have everything that our children need right at home! I love that if my children are bored, they can search through the shelves and find an obscure book they have never read before and then fall in love with it. When my son ran out of Hardy Boys books to read, he found some Nancy Drew ones and realized that they weren’t that bad! Some books might be a little over their heads, but they will walk past that shelf, interested and anticipating the day when they can pick it up and read it for themselves.
Be sure to include books for all age levels. Not sure which books are the best fit for your child? Research different homeschool reading lists to get a general idea of which books would be best for certain grades and ages. Include all genres as well. Stock your home library with fiction, how-to books, field guides, biographies, concordances, picture books, board books, and everything in between! Throw in several high interest books into your collection. If your child is an avid Lego fan, have a small collection of Lego-themed books! Of course, you don’t need a separate room dedicated to your home library, but just the simple act of collecting a wide variety of books for your child to have in hand as opposed to online can go a long way.
Initiate Fun Trips to the Library
If your libraries are open, plan frequent and regular trips to allow your child an opportunity to check out books that they might not otherwise have a chance to see. Make a big deal about your child owning his/her own library card and give them an opportunity to use it often. If your library is offering curbside pickup only, let your child have fun looking at the online catalog of books and choosing a few that seem interesting. Meanwhile, find some books that go along with what you are learning in history or science and request those ones as well. Some libraries are even offering virtual storytime during the current pandemic. If you have little ones in the home, utilize this resource to help get your children excited about books and reading!
Once you begin developing a love of reading in your home, begin to expand it out into other subjects. You can extend reading time in so many ways—cooking, drawing, acting the story out, and so much more! You can even add activities for preschoolers or even activities for middle schoolers to make the learning go even further!