Mar 10, 2008

Homeschool and reading

Homeschooling and reading, reading and homeschooling~ how those words make my heart flutter. You see I am a teacher, one who has been blessed to teach her students to read- and lucky blessed me, they are all of MY children!

I love reading, I love to teach reading-you see reading makes sense to me, it makes your heart do flips, it opens the world of knowledge to you, it makes me want to kiss Benjamin Frankin (he gave us the Public Library).

I believe in phonics- thus I teach phonics. As soon as my kids are old enough to sing that 'alphabet song,' ~well, I hook them up with learning the sound each letter makes. My first student learned to read by her fourth birthday. She was immediately into chapter books. My second learned to read at 3...though she took longer to string her ability to read words into sentences. She came around fast and by four was a 'reading machine.' My third daughter also learned by 4, though she is not a lover of reading, which to me is so sad. We are still encouraging her, to spend more time with a books and though she will read endless stories to her younger siblings (like 20 at a shot), she still hesitates to pick up a chapter book. When she does, she is all excited and wants to tell me detail by detail of what she is reading-baffling, I know.

I am working on reading now with my newest children. My 5 and 6 year old hadn't been read to when they came last year(through foster care), they had no attention span-but we fixed that! Now I take them to the library and they say in the most earnest of voices, "Thank YOU Mama." (like I just gave them a 5 pound chocolate bar and told them to enjoy themselves.)

King Meemer (5) is into the reading thing, Princess Sunshine (6) has some speech problems, so sounding out has become a little bit of trouble for her- though she IS reading. King Bonkie (4) who thinks he is the oldest and should lead his 5 older siblings, has decided to not get left in the 'reading dust,' and is determined that he too will read.

To teach my first, 13 years ago, I made my own simple books. I illustrated them with funny little characters and my daughter was hooked. We made many books together and so loved it. As God gave me more children, I did less book writing, by the time our third came and we were up to our eye balls in the foster care system that she was a part of, well somehow there just wasn't the time or energy. My sister in law had begun homeschooling and had showed me their 'Bob Books.' They were so like my silly wee books, but you could just plunk down a few bucks and have a little box of simple readers to get you going. If you are teaching reading, I highly recommend them. My kids love them and hey, if you can love a book-that is groovy to me. Well, so long as it is honoring to God.

I am so privileged to live in a country where homeschooling is legal, I am blessed to have the opportunity to allow my children to read wonderful books. As soon as we get the reading I will hand them a children's Bible and tell them to 'have at it.' I will teach them to bow their heads and hearts each time and ask the Holy Spirit to come to teach them His Word. After all, there is no other book that will help you more, no other book that offers you eternal life, that has the solution to your every problem-a book that points to a Savior who loved you enough to die for you!

Yes Lord, those who honor You, You will honor. Holy Spirit, teach my children to love your Word (the Bible).


javamamma said...

Oh, I love the Bob books!

Cahleen 何凱琳 said...

My parents instilled a love of reading in me at a young age, and for that I'll always be grateful. I imagine that your kids will be grateful too, although some of them may not realize it. You're a great mom!

Penless Thoughts said...

What a wonderful post. As you know I am a loving it reader and have been all my life. Your children are sooooo blessed to have you for their mother.

Speaking of homeschooling. Did you see where California just passed a law where you can't homeschool without their teaching credentials. I hope and trust that the entire homeschool community will get up, become vocal and fight this. You know if they get away with it in California it will soon go to other states. A parent should make the decisions about their children not the state!!!

Amrita said...

You are wroking so well with your children. God bless

Shawnda said...

Sounds like you have done an incredible job!!!! Love hearing about it! I've heard those Bob books are really good! Thanks for sharing about them! I just might have to get some. Our oldest is 4, and though he knows all his letters and sounds, he's having a hard time putting them together. We just started hooked on phonics. If you have any suggestions, I'd LOVE to hear them! ; )

Kostas said...

Hi Kimmie
I thank for the visit and the comment.
The children educate the parents at the duration that these grow. The reading is a sweet trouble! When they grow him they remember all them and their heart it changes rythm, from nostalgia and love for their parents!

Kimmie said...

Hi Shawnda;

Just keep at it, reading takes time. (oh, and patience!)

Start with short sounding letter Cat can run. Cat can hop. Dog can hop. Tom ran. Pam ran. Pam ran and can hop!
(do up a wee book, do simple illustrations they can color if they like to color). Then you can have them read the book to you, to anyone who will be kind enough to sit and hear them read the book (over and over ;-)

Praise, praise ,praise and then whip off another simple book. After several short sounding books, introduce a word like the or a word with double oo (make binoculars out of your hands and tell them this is what oo's say....Ooooow (like you see something great through your hand 'o' binoculars!) (look, book, cook, hook, took...whip up an oo book!)

Try using a tape recorder to read simple short word cards. Or even the letters with their sounds. My kids love this. They love reading their books and listening to them.

Keep reading sessions short enough that frustration doesn't occur.
Hope this helps!


Foxy5 said...

I was struggling something fierce getting my 5 year old to understand the letter sounds. Along came Leap Frog and the rest is history. Now my 5yr old AND my 3yr old know all of the letter sounds! I'll have to look into these books that you mentioned. It was my goal for pre-k to have 5yr old reading... only a few more months to go before this school year is over. I better get a teachin'! ;)

Stepping Out of the Boat said...

You gotta love when your kids beg you to take them to the library, and then can't thank you enough as you are leaving!!!!!! Now if only we didn't get overdue fees!

Rachel said...

May God bless you in your teaching. Prayers...

the mother of this lot said...

This is a really good website for teaching reading:

Michelle said...

I have a (nearly) six year old I would like to send to you for a few weeks. She just can't remember letter sounds and I am getting stressed. I am thankful for all your comments here. Now I have some more ideas. (I love the Bob books too.)

Anonymous said...

I love to see children with a love of reading. What a blessing!


Anonymous said...

I so love to read and work very hard to impart that love to my own three. (I've had limited success -- two love it and one, well, she likes to march to her own beat!) You have more kids than I, so you may be interested in the differentiated approach and how to meet the individual needs. Take a look at Differentiating Reading Instruction which can give you all kinds of great tips on teaching reading in a really clear, easy-to-follow way. There are lessons plans, assessments, tips on materials you can get (if you want, of course) to help you reach every one of your little learners.

Good luck -- and keep going to the library!

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