One of the greatest joys of my life is reading. I love to curl up with an exciting novel or immerse myself in research to learn something new. As a homeschool mom/teacher, I enjoy sharing that passion with my two sons. Over the past nine years, my husband Rick and I have watched their skills flourish and interests develop into unique expressions of their own personalities. We found that homeschool offered our family flexibility in our choice of reading materials, times and locations.
In order to develop a passion in young students, I believe that it’s important to balance “have to” with “want to” reading. In our homeschool, there were the required standards for subjects like history, math and science; but we always made time to explore topics that interested the boys. In second grade, my youngest went through every book at our local library about wolves. He read the ones he could, then Rick or I helped with the rest. In third grade, we did the same thing for turtles. My older son consistently chose quirky, humorous books or “how-to” varieties. By allowing them to choose materials that piqued their interest, they grew to enjoy reading.
We also took a flexible approach to our schedule. My sons knew they were expected to read a certain number of pages daily in their “want to” books; but they could choose that time. I discovered they were more likely to read beyond the required pages if they read at leisure. I remember one winter we took on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as a family. My sons and I took turns reading aloud every day. By the middle of the book, we were so captivated that we ditched the other subjects and spent our entire “class” time reading until it was finished. I’m grateful that we had the flexibility to create that special memory.
Homeschool also provides a unique opportunity to read anywhere. Instead of being at a desk every day, my sons can read in bed, next to a warm fire, huddled together on the couch, or even in a tree. These experiences were not limited to fun reading only. Textbooks somehow seem more interesting when read outdoors. I’m glad that many schools have set comfortable reading places within their campus. Children are much more likely to incorporate reading into their everyday life if they have an early opportunity to experience settings outside the classroom.
abcteach has always been a part of my family’s homeschool experience. There are materials to enhance every aspect of reading. The Book Unit section offers many activities that fit well into any homeschool curriculum. First Sentences (Free | Members) are a great way to pique interests by introducing great works of literature in a thought-provoking format. The Independent and Guided Reading (Free | Members) section offers support materials for many popular books and series, such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Dr. Seuss, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Newbery and Caldecott. Vocabulary Enrichment and Reading Comprehensions (Free | Members) provide skill building materials for all levels, along with activities to supplement many popular books.
As parents/teachers who value the flexibility of homeschooling, Rick and I also value the flexibility that abcteach adds to our curriculum. As staff writers, we both strive to incorporate the fun, flexibility and passion of our home classroom into the materials we create for the site.
Carol Welch, abcteach staff writer
Below find a great sampling of abcteach materials. For unlimited access to our full supply, abctools, and more, learn about an abcteach membership!