School is Fun

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.

Toni (9 Posts)

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  1. says

    Great suggestion! We use Christ-Centered Curriculum for phonics and math in the early years, and it is great about having a lot of different things to keep young kids moving. Very helpful for me not to have to be creative. :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I love hearing about the things that you guys are doing. :)

  2. Mellisa says

    Thank you so much for this! I have a 7 year old that struggles to stay in his seat and read too. We are so going to try your method Monday morning!!! :)

  3. Elizabeth says

    This sounds like a wonderful idea. I remember my parents helping my sister learn the alphabet by having her lie on the floor and make the shape of each letter. She would enlist me to help for more complicated letters, like to be the horizontal line of an “A.” So much fun, and it engaged her as a kinesthetic learner. I was always much more willing to sit still and do workbooks as a homeschooled child, but I admire my parents’ ability to engage my more wiggly siblings.

  4. says

    Yes, this is definitely the mid-year slump for us, too! And my son’s 5-yr-old attention span grows shorter by the day. I love this idea of him acting out the words he reading~I think I’ll just try it tomorrow!:) I have definitely been trying to mix things up lately just to keep our routine not so routine, you know? There’s nothing like a good craft or art project or science experiment to break the monotony!

  5. Lindsey says

    I have found that when I read to my son, if he’s sitting there contently listening very often a lot of it goes in one ear and out the other…but if he’s jumping around the room like a crazy wild child, he could narrate the story verbatim. So many times I will give him ‘exercises’ (sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks, etc) to do while I read and it crosses off reading and P.E….two birds with one stone) :)

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