Repeat after me, “School is fun, school is fun, school is fun.” It is time for the mid-year slump. Dreary weather and endless days can make this time of year one of the hardest times for homeschoolers. You know what, sometimes our routines are boring. I’m a workbook gal, but my kids are not, so each year I try to find a middle ground using workbooks and a hands-on approach for my children.
Regardless of what type of approach you use there might be an area where your child struggles. For my eight year old it is reading. He struggles with reading because he struggles to stay in his seat for more than 3 seconds. As he sounds out his words he flips, flops, wiggles, fidgets, dances, and bounces. It must be hard to read a word if your eyes are looking at 20 different things in 15 seconds.
I had to figure out a way to motivate this child to sit still long enough to read the words dog, or pig, or hot. Yesterday as we were going through the wiggle routine I had an idea. After he read a word he was able to move to the rug and act out his word. There were a few words he couldn’t act out (like Ann), but for the most part he was able to act most of the words. The only rule was he could only use his body, no outside props.
He flew through his reading words, excitedly sounding them out so he could then act it out. It took him less time to read his 30 words using my new technique than using the old technique of; “sit still, sit on your bum, look at the word, where am I pointing, sit down, stop jumping, okay next word.”
Sometimes, in our school day, we get so focused on doing the next thing, we forget about making school a little more fun for our kids. What small changes can you make to help your child learn better? Sure, we could throw out the book and try another one (I’ve been there, done that), but perhaps a different approach would work just as well.
Sometimes a little change can make a big difference.