As a homeschool parent, one of my most important goals for my kids is that I want to raise kids who love reading. I want to pass along my love of books to them. This means that making learning to read fun is critical too.
So often when kids are little, they love it when parents read books to them. Soon, they are ready to read on their own. But somehow, the process of teaching a child how to read often sucks all the fun out of reading. By the time kids become fluent readers, they often believe that reading is a chore.
It doesn’t have to be this way! Here are 3 tips for making learning to read fun in your homeschool.
Reading Lesson Hacks
Keep Lessons Short
No matter what subject you are teaching in your homeschool, it is critical to keep lessons short. Kids often have shorter attention spans than we think, and when lessons run longer than a child’s age-appropriate attention span, they can get tired and fatigued.
This fatigue often comes out as frustration, discouragement, or resistance.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure that lessons are no more than 2-5 minutes long for each year of your child’s age. So, reading lessons for a 5-year-old should not be longer than 10 to 25 minutes. If your child is struggling, you can make the lessons even shorter.
This same rule applies whether you are teaching reading, spelling, math, or any other subject.
Short lessons will help your child stay focused throughout the lesson. This is also a great way to keep things positive and prevent homeschool fights before they even begin.
Include Hands-On Activities
Using hands-on activities in your reading lessons is a great way to keep active kids engaged and interested. Try to incorporate your child’s interests into the activities that you choose to make them even more fun for your child.
Consider trying some fun ways to practice sight words like these:
Reading Race: Put a stack of letter, sound, or word flashcards at one end of a hallway and sit on the other end. Challenge your child to run down the hallway, grab one card, and run back to you. Then they can read the letter or word on the card out loud before running to grab another one.
Frog Pond: Spread out letter, sound, or word flashcards on the floor. Call out a letter or word and challenge your child to hop onto the correct card.
Mystery Word Painting: Use a white crayon to write alphabet letters or words on a piece of paper. Give your child a set of watercolor paints and ask them to paint the paper to reveal the hidden word. Then read the word together.
Using hands-on activities for teaching reading is also a great way to help kids learn better and remember more. Activities are a great way to include different learning styles in a lesson. Lessons that accommodate more than one learning style will help engage more of your child’s brain and help them remember what they have learned.
Keep the Goal In Mind
One of the best ways to encourage and motivate kids that are learning to read is to help them feel successful as early and as often as possible. When we’re teaching our kids how to read, this means finding a book, with a cover and pages, that your child can read.
It’s great if your child can read words from flashcards or a reading lesson, but there’s nothing quite like being able to read a real story in a real book.
Look for a homeschool reading curriculum that includes real books that kids can read. This is a great way to help them understand that all of their hard work is leading to them being able to read those books that they love for themselves.
With a few simple tweaks, homeschool parents can make learning to read fun for kids and help them develop a love of reading that will last a lifetime.