It’s no secret – homeschool families are into reading! And what is more motivational or fun than printing out some themed reading trackers for your kids? You can use them to keep track of chapters read, books read, or even time spent reading. Decide on a fun family prize for reaching their goal, and watch your kids rack up even more reading time using these trackers.
Developing a Reading Habit
If your kids have not quite fallen in love with reading yet, then here are a few solutions for you.
First, figure out if you’re allowing them to love reading, or if you’re “schooling it out of them.” In other words, does your reading program or curriculum make them hate reading because they’re constantly filling out worksheets instead of getting lost in a story? Or, does your reading curriculum only include excerpts of great literature instead of the whole story?
Some of these issues may cause reading to be a drudgery in your homeschool. But, if you allow your kids the freedom to read what they love and to get lost in a book, you may find that they love reading again. And you won’t have to nag them about it either!
Cutting ourselves loose from a stifling traditional reading curriculum was the first step in recovering a love of reading in our homeschool many years ago.
One simple change you can make is to require less worksheets about reading in your homeschool. The traditional classroom teacher has to assign things like book reports and worksheets to make sure the kids have actually read the book! But as a homeschool parent, you can use more natural assessments like narration. In this way, you’re modeling for your kids how to discuss what they’re reading. And kids really do love to tell back what they’ve read from an engaging story!
While narration is big in the Charlotte Mason world, you don’t have to be a Charlotte Mason purist to be able to use it! It fits in an eclectic homeschool style too. And it’s the best tool for getting off the printables hamster wheel.
All Kids Are Readers
Next, if you need to be encouraged that all our kids are readers, then definitely check out The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller. She’s a public school teacher who is writing from that specific context, but what she has discovered among her students is universally applicable data.
She contends that all kids are readers – some of them just don’t know it yet. And she brings some fabulous solutions for helping our reluctant or emerging readers.
Even our dyslexic kids can learn to love reading. We just sometimes have to accommodate their specific needs.
Check out these related resources:
- Homeschooling with Dyslexia
- The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
- Three Strategies to Use When Your Kids Don’t Love to Read
Once you’ve figured out the underlying challenges to a culture of reading in your homeschool, you’re ready for some fun trackers! Check them out below.
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.