Tag Archives: learning styles

Teaching Reading

I once read in The Well-Trained Mind by Jesse Wise and Susan Wise Bauer that “reading is easy.” Reading may be easy, but sometimes teaching a child to read can be difficult.

My oldest son was an early reader, starting off by reading simple words when he was just three years old. After a while, however, he reached a plateau; he could read three- and four-letter words, but he didn’t seem to be able to move on from there. We spent a few months practicing those words by reviewing them and playing games. Then, all of a sudden, he could read almost anything. I never taught him about the long vowel sounds or the silent “e”. He just read them on his own. I wondered, then, if that was how children learn to read.

I found out the answer with my second child. When I followed a similar course with her, the results weren’t the same. She didn’t pick up on it right away; instead, we worked through some phonics books, slow and steady, learning the rules as she learned to read. It took a little longer, but eventually, she got it. Today reading is one of her favorite subjects.

When it was time for my third child to start reading, I decided to try the same phonics workbooks, and for a while, they were helpful. But my third child is my most playful one and the one most resistant to learning. Despite the whining and complaining, we pressed on, though at an even slower pace than before. After trying several different reading programs, I put them all aside and decided to delve right into traditional books. Finally, she really was reading.

My youngest is entering the first grade this year, and he’s not yet a reader. While he’s good with numbers and understanding math concepts, he forgets letter sounds from one day to the next. So lately I’ve been gathering different reading programs together. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll try them out to see which is the best fit. Perhaps it will be an established curriculum, or perhaps, as with my oldest, we won’t use any curriculum at all.

While teaching reading isn’t always easy, homeschooling has helped us as it allows for the differences in learning styles — and in the children themselves.

Photo by Mary Vogt

Homeschool Curriculum Advisor

Red BooksOnce again, this year I’ve been searching for some different curricula for my children. What’s worked for one doesn’t always work for the next in line. During my search, I’ve come across a great website called Home-School-Curriculum-Advisor.com. Not only does the site give information about some of the various programs available, it provides practical help in finding which one is right for your family.

Included in the buttons on the left is one entitled “How to Choose.” Following the links provided, parents are given six key steps to take before they look into curriculum. Included in the steps are determining your goals, considering learning styles as well as your own limitations, and several more.

In the “Reviews” section, you’ll find advice regarding several homeschooling resources, including Sonlight, Switched on Schoolhouse, the Robinson Curriculum, and Tapestry of Grace. Here, the author not only tells the advantages of each program, but the disadvantages as well, giving you a complete assessment of how it worked for her family. If you are considering using one of these four types of curriculum, read through these reviews first.

And there’s more. There are links to the various publishers’ websites, including Bob Jones Publications and A Beka Homeschool Curriculum, as well as a number of options online. ¬†You’ll also find articles about unschooling, evaluating learning, and learning styles. An article about homeschooling problems even addresses struggles with developmental and character issues.

The school year has already started for most, but if you’re still struggling as you homeschool your child (which at times has lasted well into the school year for me), read through the information on this site. There are many thought-provoking questions provided that you can ask yourself — questions to help you and your child get back on track.