We all know that it’s important to teach our kids to love reading. There’s no denying the research that shows they myriad benefits of encouraging our littles to be readers. But I don’t just want you to encourage them to read on their own; I want you to use literature as a major part of your homeschool day.
Because it helps cement the Love of Story in your littles. And it can be a lifesaver when homeschooling becomes complicated.
Oh, let me count the ways.
We all have those weird, off days. A sick little (or several sick littles). A family crisis. An overwhelming moment of doubt. Kiddos that just aren’t feeling it. A necessary trip in the middle of the school year.
Yeah. Those days. All we really want to do is take the day off. But, oh, the mom guilt. How can we take the day off and still consider ourselves serious homeschoolers?
Homeschooling with literature can save every one of those days.
And assuage your guilt. You know, so you can still feel good about things.
If you’ve already established reading together as one of your subjects, make the decision to just do that one lesson together. If you haven’t, choose a book and read together. If you’re on the road, have someone read aloud or throw on an audiobook.
But you don’t just have to read. Discuss what you’ve read, see if you can relate the story to another subject—science, geography, history–and talk with your littles about how they tie in. Follow whatever rabbit trail the story leads you down. You’d be surprised what they can learn.
If time and circumstances allow, do a craft or make a recipe that relates. Play a game.
Maybe you have a unit study or a novel study to go with the book. Pick an activity from it and do it with your kids.
All of a sudden, instead of a wasted day, you’ve learned plenty. It might be a little less structured than you’re used to, but it counts as school.
Homeschooling with literature every day provides relief.
If you don’t already read together every day, I can’t recommend it enough. We generally read our chapter in the middle of our homeschool day. It gives my littles a bit of time to reboot and relax before moving on to something more strenuous.
We haven’t always done it that way. Some years we read first thing in the morning to give them time to wake up fully. Some years we end our day with reading to give their brains a chance to shift from school to the rest of the day.
It doesn’t matter how or when you do it. For all the reasons listed above, reading together and making a lesson of it is a fun addition to the day.
It’s not just fun, though. Reading quality books during homeschool is a fantastic way to cement other lessons in your littles’ heads. Think the Little House series for history, the Percy Jackson series for mythology, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate or The Summer of the Mourning Cloak for science. We often read books set in certain countries for geography. For instance, we read Garden of the Purple Dragon when we were learning about China.
Fun and educational with a lesson tie-in to boot? How can you not make literature part of your homeschool day?
So let literature save your homeschool day. I promise, you’ll gain a whole new appreciation.