This is the first post of a new weekly theme called, “Homeschool Boosters” (thanks to my own homeschool veteran mom for the title!)
You literally don’t *need* anything to homeschool. Not a math book. Not a handwriting curriculum. Not a timer. Not a nothing. All you need is a deep love for your children and a desire to learn along side of them. In living life together, we’ve found some things that have helped simplify our homeschool days. These “boost” what we are already doing and I want to share them, week by week.
This week is our “Reader’s Edition” of Homeschool Boosters. I’ve compiled five different items that encourage a natural love of reading and keep us in real life rather than chained to desks. I hope some of these are helpful to you as well!
And join me next week for another edition of “Homeschool Boosters!” Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or would like for me to write on a specific homeschool boost topic!!
1. The complete set of, “The Chronicles of Narnia” audiobooks.
One of my main philosophies is that you do not need a reading curriculum to teach a child to read. All you need are books, books, books, space and time for your child to “read.” Sometimes we just don’t have the time to read aloud to our kids and oftentimes, with this philosophy, a child starts to read later in age. Having audiobooks are like gold to a homeschooled child (and mom!) I’ve found that an audiobook will really hold a child’s attention when they are at home at around the age of 9 (depending on the book, sometimes much earlier!)
Of course, when you are in the car, you have a captive audience who are seat belted and can’t do anything but listen. (You could literally get a coffee and just drive around neighborhoods you wish you lived in while your children sit silently listening to whatever happened to the White Witch!!)
But really, the Narnia books are as interesting to me as they are to the kids. Chapter 13 of “The Magician’s Nephew” is particularly one of my favorite and gives me chills every time!
When I say, “give space and time for a child to read” I mean, does the child have an abundance of books close by? Does the child have the time to read, either during the day or late at night? Or is their schedule so full that he only reads texts and has no time just to read for fun?
We have adjustable lamps on each of the kids’ beds. Again, they aren’t fancy, they are just another tool to help them read as often as they can. We have bedtimes in the house, but after the bedtime, they can read for however long they want (which is usually for 1-2 hours after we say goodnight.) At that time their imagination is allowed to run wild as they read old classics, modern picture books or abridged adventure novels, whatever their reading level allows. They do this in the cozy comfort of their beds, with the bed lamp on and their imaginations ready!
Our lamps are the traditional kind like this lamp here, but if we ever replace them, I’d like to get something like the lamp below, which are smaller and less intrusive. Another option would be a headlamp or a plain book light, although I’ve yet to really find a book light that really did the job well.
These are some of my absolute favorite ways of teaching a subject! These books come from the perspective of why you wouldn’t want to be/do/live/with/without things or people. It then ends up teaching all about the subject in a really fun way. There are so many to choose from, you can most likely find one of these books on whatever subject your child is interested in.
4. Mad Libs!!
Our grammar curriculum is Mad Libs…no joke. These are so much fun and can be done at any time. They have become a priceless tool that teaches spelling, grammar, sentence structure and team building. Plus…the grosser the words the funnier the mad lib. Make sure when it is your turn to choose a noun, you choose a bodily fluid, it’s the only way to do it.
5. Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
This is a book filled with lists and lists of quality books for your child to read. Written by a Christian, homeschooling veteran, it really answers the question of, “What should my kid read now?” after they have plowed through all the Boxcar Children or Nancy Drews.
Taken from the very first page, Mrs. Hunt says…
“Children don’t stumble onto good books by themselves; they must be introduced to the wonder of words put together in such a way that they spin out pure joy and magic.”
I agree with this. Children don’t automatically become avid readers, while they are in the formative reading years (before they can choose what to read themselves) all the books put in front of them should be ones of quality. Honey for a Child’s Heart is a great guide to do just that.
Thank you so much for joining me on this week’s edition of “Homeschool Boosters!” Again, please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or would like for me to write on a specific homeschool boost topic!!
***Affiliate Information: All these links are affiliate links. Please know that every purchase through one of these links helps buy an exhausted homeschool mom a venti americano…or her children museum tickets…something like that 🙂