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As any parent, and especially as a homeschool parent, I feel like we usually end up trying to help our kids navigate through challenges of either reading or math. Sometimes both. But typically it seems most people are naturally better at one or the other. For me it’s reading. For my husband it’s math. It is also math for my daughter, so beginning reading has had it’s ups and downs.
At this time she is six and a half. Our homeschool doesn’t follow the public school schedule. We school all year and take breaks when we need to. Our schedule and curriculum is definitely more child-paced. We don’t use graded curriculum by age, but by when she is ready to learn it.
I first introduced a reading curriculum in February of this year. After being excited about starting she quickly began getting more and more frustrated, at times even ending up in tears because of something she couldn’t figure out or remember. So we stopped. Not a big deal. She just wasn’t ready yet. We refocused on math, science and whatever else came up that she wanted to learn about! (I also learned during this time that she wasn’t reacting well to a new vitamin we were trying with her, so we stopped it and her mood and temperament began to improve quickly!)
Around April we decided to try again. I say we because I asked her and she wanted to try again. I’m a huge book lover, so she has been surrounded by books her entire life, and she very much wants to learn to read. For herself and also so she can read to her little sister. How sweet is that?!
She has taken to it much easier this time! Catching on quicker and remembering the phonetics better. She still gets frustrated at times, but we work through it together and stop if she needs a break. All of this was a lesson for me. Sometimes they just aren’t ready yet. Their brains are developing so quickly, sometimes they just need a little time to be ABLE to learn something new. It’s much easier, for them and you, to wait until they are ready and capable of learning something than trying to force it before it is time. When they are ready, it just happens. (And make sure they aren’t on a supplement that their body can’t process!)
And sometimes as the parent or teacher we just need a boost. A jumpstart. An idea or plan. I recently discovered the Beginning Readers Bootcamp. I am using it along with our reading curriculum and really enjoying it so far!
It is a five week program, but totally self-paced, so you can go as fast or slow as you need to. It’s great for parents of a beginning or struggling reader, a homeschool parent, or for teachers to use in their classroom.
This is NOT a curriculum, but a wonderful supplement that is full of great information. It provides access to an online support community that includes reading specialists. It also gives you resources that include freebies, product recommendations, and printables to use alongside your curriculum.
For more information on the Beginning Readers Bootcamp go to this website.
In part two of this series I will share with you the curriculum we are currently using, which I am loving so far! Do you have a beginning or struggling reader in your life? What have been your challenges so far?
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