Do you ever feel like school work is pointless? I do, and as a homeschooling mom, this is completely unacceptable. I have no one to blame but myself.
I’m not suggesting I should feel guilty that I’m bored with school work. To the contrary, if the school work isn’t interesting me, then it’s not good enough. ‘Cause I’m amazing and demand the best! Humph.
Even though we are reserved in our use of workbooks (and school-ish requirements in general), each child still has one or two that they work through. Most of them are useful, teaching valuable skills. But lately I’ve noticed that Yo-Yo’s workbooks are feeling more like busy work—suffixes, prefixes, vocabulary words, plurals, syllables, etc., over and over and over.
Children learn best by reading. I’ve always known that. But just last week I came across this quote: The number one predictor of good writing skills is reading aloud to children in huge quantity at a high level. ~ Andrew Pudewa
The proverbial light bulb flicked on. Why not scrap the workbooks and just read?
Seriously, why not?
Here’s my idea: I choose a book and Yo-Yo chooses a book. Every day he reads for an hour from each. We talk about them. And … that’s it. After a month, we reevaluate and make adjustments. He would probably still have piano and math, and he might write a story every other day or so; but the bulk of his studies would be reading for fun. Doesn’t that sound like a blast?
I realize my pretty plan ignores one of the key words in the quote: “aloud.” However, I already read aloud to my children—science, history, Bible, novels, etc.—so for our purposes I’m broadening the number one predictor to include reading in general. I’m the teacher so I can do that.
I’m not ready to jump into this new plan just yet. We’re finishing up a few things (er, workbooks [old school marm-y ways die hard]), and we might not even get around to implementing this plan till the fall. And then, when the new school year rolls around, I might decide the whole idea is irrelevant any way. But for now, I think it sounds pretty fun.
Weigh in on the matter, please. Have any of you done this before, in some form or another? Will my children shrivel up and die without their grammar workbooks? What reading material do you recommend? (Yo-Yo loves action-packed drama, though as he matures and his reading ability advances, he’s developing patience and perseverance.) Maybe two hours of quiet reading time (and it wouldn’t include reading that he does in the regular afternoon quiet time) isn’t sufficient. Maybe I should make him read till his eyes fall out.
Maybe I shouldn’t wait till the fall. Maybe we should shelve all the workbooks tonight and start tomorrow fresh. It’s tempting, that’s for sure.
About one year ago: Chocolate-covered peanut butter eggs.