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« Thoughts on Waldorf-inspired homeschooling | Main | When you give an unschooler a cookie... »

February 26, 2008



I have had the same experience. We have homeschooled since day one however as a former teacher I spent many years working on my oldest trying to work her through her dyslexia and make her be a reader because I am a reader. I had it backwards. With my other two I relaxed and let them go at their own pace (we have been unschooling for a little over a year now).

My oldest is 10 loves to have me read aloud, and as often as possible. She has heard some of the best books that way. She also loves to listen to audio books which we get from the library. She does not, however, enjoy reading for more than 20 minutes or so unless it is a book she has listened to many times. My middle child, age 8, adores reading and reads as often as I do, which is a lot. My son who just turned 6 has on his own and because he wanted to, taught himself to read using Hooked on Phonics and reading from Hymn Books (he likes that the song books break the words up into syllables so he can read the bigger words.) I have only helped him when he asks and has learned more easily than the other two.

The best thing to do is to read a lot if you want your children to read a lot.


This is a great question, and I agree about modeling reading to your children. My personal suggestion (in addition to reading a lot, and modeling this to your children) is to watch movie adaptations of popular books, and read the book, either before or after watching the movie. Although some people may think that watching film versions of books are a bad thing, I think it only becomes so if a person chooses only to watch the movie version and not read the actual book itself on which the movie was based.

I suggest this because it has been my experience that watching the film version makes the reading of the book more exciting - for me and for my son, who is now a high school sophomore. (We've been homeschooling/unschooling since he was in 2nd grade). There are more and more books that are being turned into movies nowadays, so there is a long list that one can go through and then do a comparison/contrast between the book and the movie, if one wanted to. I imagine that this could help get a reluctant reader to want to read more, especially if the child finds the story of the movie very interesting.

Just a few good books that have been turned into movies that come to mind right now are:

Charlotte's Web
Tuck Everlasting
Ella Enchanted
Harry Potter series
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
The Chronicles of Narnia
A Series of Unfortunate Events

And of course, there are many, many more. I'm currently looking forward to seeing "Inkheart" when it comes out in the movie theaters!

Pass the torch

This is such a great post. So often we continue to focus on the child to try to "fix" something, when what we need to do first is look at ourselves.

Reading for pleasure is one of the 40 Developmental Assets and I think it's so important.

I think it's very interesting when I look at my own kids. The year I homeschooled, my daughter read about 500 pages per month - for pleasure. Now that she's back in school - very little. I'm hoping we can turn the tide again when schools out for the summer.

Great post. (Here via Carnival of Ed.)


Thanks for contributing this post to this week's Carnival of Family Life (www.jhsiess.com/carnival-family-life), hosted at This Full House (www.thisfullhouse.com). Be sure to stop by on Monday, March 10, 2008, and support your fellow participants by checking out all of their wonderful contributions.


I think you should start him with his own blog or creating his own books of things that interest him. Have him dictate the story to you and have him illustrate it. Then he can read his book to others. As he does more and more, his reading will increase. Eventually he will move onto books that interest him. My nephew was that way and once he found something that interested him, he wouldn't stop reading but it was the starting that was the problem. LOL


Over and over and over I have heard the same sort of story from unschoolers. It's been our experience as well, with both of our eldest children learning to read around age 9.

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