Homeschool Challenge

We have been homeschooling for about two months now, and WOW! My kids have had some amazing opportunities to do some really interesting things. Rock climbing, farm visits, science classes, outdoor education hikes, theatre, carpentry, art, and the list goes on. The majority of the "schooling" they are doing is coming to them in the form of adventures and experiences that light them up.

Zing! Exactly what we were shooting for.

One of my greatest challenges, however, is getting them to do some very few things I want them to do, or need them to do for the Charter School we are enrolled in. I see that as my motivation to get creative. So they don't want to learn about history? Maybe I can think of a book to read to them or a movie to show them that covers a given topic. They turn their noses up at math? Time to do some baking and measuring.

But how does one get creative when it comes to reading books? This morning, one of my kids told me: "I just don't like to read."

Ouch. Ick. Bummer. Problem.

I loved to read as a kid. Both Rick and I are readers and lovers of literature. I don't see reading as valuable because it's educational; I see it as valuable because of the way reading has touched me, made me feel connected to the world, inspired me, and the list goes on. I don't want my kids to read because "it's important," I want them to read to experience that particular joy.

So what do I do with a kid who doesn't like to read?

I would love to hear responses from other people who homeschool their kids. What's a mom to do with a non-reader? Please share this question with any homeschoolers you know: I'd love to hear as many responses as possible. Thank you!

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Homemaker Man said…
I'm not a home schooler, I know. That seems like a tough one. It's almost a rule that a kid with parents who read avidly and often will also enjoy reading. Do you guys read books--rather than the paper, magazines, computer--in front of the kids?
Don't be above bribes. Do they prefer screen time/computer games? Make them earn it. 30 minutes of reading equals 10 minutes of screen time, or however you want to do it. You can measure it in pages, also. It doesn't have to be screen time - use whatever motivates them. Chocolate, nickels, whatever! And make sure you have some interesting books for the child to read. Some children hate fiction and prefer books about things - airplanes, volcanoes, whatever. Other kids (like my oldest 2) hated non-fiction. I just made sure I had a lot of historical fiction on hand so they might ingest some facts with their reading.
Kerri said…
I just remember the wise words at back to school night with our beloved 5th grade teacher last year. She said something along the lines of not enforcing reading and reading calendars because if they haven't learned to love to read by now, they are just passionate about other things (art, math, science, sports, etc.) and she didn't feel the need to keep force it anymore, let them be great at what they do like. I don't know, it kind of stuck with me. One of my kids reads a book a day, one of them a book a month. they were both raised the same, had the same teachers, same bookcase at home. I just figure, she just not a reader...but she is very passionate about art. So I get her books to read on artsy crafts and things like that..visual books that help her passion. seems to work for now.
Kristin said…
I hope this helps:
Monica said…
@HM: Yup, we read quite a bit. Reading in front of them is hard bc they interrupt me every 25.3 seconds. But I still do it.

@SC: Great idea! I was JUST thinking of some kind of screen time exchange. Also, I hadn't thought of offering non-fiction: a good reminder, especially since the kid in question is a tinkerer.

@Kerri: OK, that got me. Wisdom from MaryJo. Thank you.

@Kristin: Thank you! Very helpful. I think reading aloud with him will be a great strategy. Enjoyable for me too!
Monica said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
Not a homeschooler. But my husband hates the sensation of physically reading but loves books. Books on CD and MP3 format are great!

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