Do you know what to do when your child hates to read? You’re going to best benefit from this online homeschool tip that we’re going share with you. Let this serve as your guide whenever you come across this problem.
It certainly doesn’t fit the homeschool stereotype, but not every child who is educated at home enjoys reading. Some children struggle with reading because of processing disorders or learning disabilities. But even students who have no difficulty reading can still dislike reading as a pastime and as a way to learn.
Don’t despair. Your child has her own unique gifts and passions outside of the realm of reading. And you can successfully homeschool your child even if he doesn’t enjoy reading. I have a child like this, and here is what I have learned after nine years of educating her at home.
Online Homeschool Tip #1: Read Aloud
Many children who don’t like to read actually enjoy books. They like to be read to and can absorb very challenging vocabulary when it is read out loud. Some children can listen better when their hands and eyes are busy on another task such as drawing, assembling a puzzle, or sewing. Staring at a book is hard for them.
If you love books, it may be hard for you to relate to this way of absorbing books via the ears, but ask your child. Does he enjoy being read to? Does he grasp things better when they are read aloud? Test his comprehension after an episode of your reading out loud compared to that of his reading silently. Is there a significant difference?
Since you homeschool, you have the option to teach your child in the way he needs to receive information. Take advantage of that! Read aloud to your child who dislikes reading even through the high school years. Follow this first online homeschool tip and see how far you’ll go with your child.
Online Homeschool Tip #2: Use Audio
Despite what your local library’s summer reading program may stipulate, audio books do count. Granted, the brain works differently to read silently than it does to listen orally. But who is to say that one way of absorbing information is superior to the other?
Think of it this way. There is a wealth of great literature out there that your child will never pick up and read on his own. Would you keep those great books from your child while you hope that he picks up the reading habit? Why not expose him to those classics, in their full, unabridged form, via audio books? The vocabulary and sentence structure are the same. The literary elements are still there. The method of delivery is the only thing that is different.
Integrate audio components into your curriculum as much as possible. Is there an audio version of the science textbook? Are there storytelling CDs that go along with the history book? Spend the extra money to give your child access to the information in a format that is accessible to him.
Online Homeschool Tip #3: Implement Computer Based Curriculum
If your child dislikes reading, you need to find alternate ways of delivering instruction. Handing over a stack of textbooks or even living books will not work. But many modern, computer based curriculums have a heavy audio-visual component that makes them palatable for children who struggle with or dislike reading.
Get outside of the box and investigate online or CD based curriculum choices that will reduce the amount of silent reading your student has to do to complete his homeschool lessons. Two excellent examples are Teaching Textbooks for math and Rosetta Stone for languages.
Online Homeschool Tip #3: Use Live Online Classes
Children who don’t like to learn from books often do well in a lecture or class setting where they can listen to a presentation and interact with peers. The oral dialogue helps them to learn. Obviously you can seek out co-ops and tutors in your local area, but online classes are a very cost effective option for allowing your child the interaction of a class while maintaining the quality and security of a home education (not to mention that you can stay in your pajamas and skip the drive across town).
Sometimes it is hard to find a good fit as far as subject matter or teaching style when it comes to local tutoring centers. The Internet opens up endless options, though. Most classes even offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied after the first session. Try it! It might be exactly what your child needs. Check CurrClick for their latest offerings.
Online Homeschool Tip #4: Teach to Strengths
Okay, so your child dislikes reading. Maybe he’s not so good at it either. But what are his strengths?
- visual spatial talents
- foreign language skills
- interpersonal skills
- mechanical abilities
Instead of focusing on the weakness, emphasize the strengths. Spend more time on what your child excels in and do the bare minimum of the lesser loved areas.
Think about the areas you disliked when you were your child’s age. Do you use those in your daily life now? Did you choose to study those in higher education? Did you select a career in that area? Probably not. You filtered out those disliked subjects and veered towards the areas where you shine. It’s okay to not like reading as long as you have other passions and strengths. Don’t focus so much on bringing up a weakness in reading that you drag your child’s areas of giftedness down to mediocrity.
Invest in the strengths and boost your child’s confidence. Reject the lie that there is one kind of good student — the one who loves to read. There are many types of intelligence. Find out where your child’s passion and talent lie and build there.
Online Homeschool Tip #4: Don’t Give Up
My final suggestion is to never give up on your hope that your child might one day love to read. Accept your non-reader the way she is without judgment or shame, but continue to encourage a love of books. Create a book-rich environment and invest in periodicals and e-readers. Set an example by reading in front of your children and sharing interesting excerpts with them. Make trips to the library and the bookstore even if your children spend their time in the movie and toy sections. One day your child may develop a love of reading. In the meantime, you know that you have done all you can to expose your child to great literature, advanced vocabulary, and the wonder of being lost in a good story.
You are not a failure as a homeschool mom if your child doesn’t like to read. You may have to be more creative with lessons than the mom of the child whose nose is always in a book, but fortunately, you are homeschooling! You have the option of customizing your child’s learning experiences to fit his own learning style. In public school, she might be labeled dumb, slow, or an irresponsible daydreamer. But you can tailor her education to build her strengths and give her the confidence to shine in her areas of giftedness. Aren’t you glad you have the blessing of homeschooling your child who doesn’t like to read? These online homeschool tips are definitely going to help.