I have a confession to make. My homeschooled-since-birth kid does not have the ‘reading bug’ (you know, that bug that ALL those other homeschool kids have caught!). She doesn’t complain (too much) when I assign books for her to read or we have our daily quiet time reading. But, in her own spare time, she does not willingly choose books.
There, I feel better now that I’ve confessed… I’m not the only one with a kid who doesn’t grab a book at every opportunity, right?
So, what’s a homeschool mom to do when her kid doesn’t love reading? Provide every opportunity to choose books. Assigned, if necessary!
Here’s how it looks in our home.
Depending on our weekly focus (history, science, or interest-led) we have an assigned reading period. TJ gets to choose what she would like to read from our book basket filled with books on whatever topic we are studying (nonfiction and literature).
I also assign some specific books or reading assignments, depending on what we are studying. On science weeks she has a science text and a health book that she reads from. During history weeks, she can choose the topics she wants to write about and looks them up in the encyclopedia or other books we have on our shelves.
We also have our “Good Books” study time. During our science and interest-led weeks we have a 30-minute period each day where we choose good books, read them (both of us reading silently) and discuss. Last year we read through a few of the Narnia books and this year we’ll finish the last few and choose some other good books.
“For Fun” Reading
Every day we finish our school time with a 30-minute tea time. We get a snack, have a cup of hot cocoa or tea and read a book. We have one shelf that is filled with all kinds of good literature that TJ is free to choose from.
One thing that I’ve just discovered is that my daughter actually likes nonfiction. I’m a fiction buff so I honestly didn’t see it coming. So, instead of just assigning literature, I keep a lot of nonfiction books in our book basket and she can choose to read those.
So, if there is a certain topic that your child finds fascinating, stock up on those books! You might just spark a new fire for reading.
Rules for Reading
We do have a few rules for book selections.
- No ‘twaddle’ during school reading time (no comic books, Cul-de-Sac Kids or other fluff choices). TJ is free to read these during her own time or at bedtime.
- The 3-chapter rule – every book deserves a 3-chapter try. I don’t want TJ to get into the habit of barely starting a book, declaring it boring, and moving on to something more interesting. So she must read at least 3 chapters of a given book before declaring it unreadable.
- If a book is especially important to me or I feel it deserves particular attention it becomes a read aloud or literature selection. If there is a book that I don’t feel should be missed, I read it aloud or we add it to our “Good Books” study list.
Have some tips for non-bookish kids? Share them below!