Welcome back to my series, Delight-directed Learning for ANY Homeschool.
In our first four discussions on this topic, we looked at the following ideas:
Part One: Talk to your kids or maybe just pay attention to what they talk about most. What piques their curiosity? There really are very few topics that cannot be developed into an educational experience. We often take these topics and create unit studies.
Part Two: Notice when your student gets excited by something you are already teaching. It really can be as simple as giving your student some extra time to follow a rabbit trail.
Part Three: Notice what has piqued the interest of your student and then plan a field trip based on that interest.
Part Four: Create a “fun school” jar with exciting activities you know your kids will enjoy.
This week, in my last installment, I want to expand on one last idea that I mentioned briefly in Part Two.
Fill a book basket with books on your student’s topic of interest.
Using book baskets is something I learned early on in our homeschool journey, and this method of learning serves a dual purpose.
First of all, filling a basket full of colorful picture books, interesting nonfiction books, and inspiring biographies exposes your children to different genres of literature and encourages a love of reading.
Secondly, reading is just a great way to learn. Put away the boring workbooks and dry textbooks and let your students enjoy learning about interesting topics from real, living books. Even if you do nothing else but let your child read (and read to him), deep, rich learning will occur.
Head to the library and check out books on any subject your student wishes to learn about, and then spend a day (or a week) reading all of them. You will be amazed at how much your kids learn from reading about topics of interest to them. It’s likely you can also shop your own bookshelves for books to read, too. You’re a homeschool mom; every room of your house has a bookshelf, right?
If your kids don’t read them all, that’s okay, too. But chances are good that if you take them to the library, teach them how to find books based on a topic they love, and then set them free to choose the books, they will at least look at them! Use them for required reading, free reading, read aloud time, and bedtime stories. Any time, day or night. It doesn’t have to be just during school hours. If your kids are reading about a topic they love, they will want to read (or listen to you read) about it all the time!
Using this method has encouraged my son to love reading for pleasure, and for school. For a long time, he didn’t even realize he was “doing school.” Today, I rarely have to make any kind of reading list for him. He devours books faster than I can supply them. Our library always has a stack ready to be picked up. And yes, there are many days that all he does for school is read. And I am perfectly fine with that.
Which brings me to the topic of working with kids who don’t love to read so much. That is another great benefit of this method. If you have reluctant readers, be patient. This method of learning may not be an immediate hit, but if you fill their book baskets with books about subjects they choose and are passionate about, it’s only a matter of time. In the beginning, they may only flip through and look at the pictures. That’s okay. Give them time. Read to them more. Help them explore things they love with books. They will come around eventually.
Read more from Marcy in her Author Box below!