We are raising all boys. I’m a firm believer that all children find their love for reading at different stages and seasons. And it seems to me, just simply from my experience, it can take longer with boys. Add to that, each child’s gift and strengths are different.
Take my ten year old twins as an example. I taught them how to read our first year of homeschooling. Now, we waited a year to start school, they were 6 when we began the journey, but I did in fact teach them to read. For one of our twins, reading is his strong suite. He loves it. He will read chapter books any day of the week. His twin brother is very different. He does not hate reading- he just has not found his love for reading yet. What does he excel at? Math. Building things. Engineering. In time he will find his love for reading and I will not push it, but in the meantime, we keep reading as a family.
Look at our 15 year old. He struggled and struggled. He was in public school until 5th grade, when we brought him home to learn. In second grade he was diagnosed with dyslexia. He repeated second grade and received intense training for reading. There were many modifications and accommodations made. By third grade there was excellent progress. As a matter of fact by the end of third grade he was helping his fellow classmates (who were NOT dyslexia) decode words and budding up to help them. Soon he found his love for reading and now reading is something he does with ease and without being asked to read.
Our seven year old, God Bless him, refuses to learn to read. Oh, he wants to read- he just refuses to learn. Being the baby of the family for years he just jumps right in where everyone else is at. He thinks he will do the same thing with schooling and reading. I always remind myself that Abraham Lincoln was in 5th grade before he learned to read. He was self taught. Our children will learn to read. I really, really encourage parents to be patient as your child finds their love for reading. It will come. If you ever want to chat about it or need encouragement, please reach out to me. I promise, you’re not the only parent has faced these struggles.
As for myself? I was a young adult before I found my love for reading. Yes, I could read in kindergarten or first grade, but I did not love it. I remember in middle school being in Language Arts class and dreading the times our teacher would have each student read a paragraph. I was not a strong reader on the spot. I would count the seats ahead of me, count the paragraphs in the read aloud and practice my paragraph nervously. I will let you guess how many times I “practiced” the wrong paragraph.
Ways to Encourage a Love for Reading
In my 17 years of parenting, here are my tips for helping your child find a love for reading.
- Reach for some good audio books. We love them for endless reasons. They are flexible and versatile. Traveling? Listen in the car. A day in? Listen at home during story time or at bedtime. We love when the audio books have fast action and multi-dimensional sound. This is key for keeping kids engaged and you will see their imaginations run wild! Today we listened to With Lee in Virginia which is a story about a 15 year old who joins the Confederate generals, one of which is Robert E. Lee. My boys were acting everything out as they listened and for hours after. I love, love, love seeing my boys use their imagination. And play after reading is a great way to see what your children comprehended without hounding them with questions, which may cause them to shut down.
- Be the example. Show your children that stories and books are the lifeline of learning. How can we encourage our kids to read (and to love reading at that) if we never ever show them?
- Maybe you homeschool, maybe you don’t. Either way, family story time is valuable! Let imaginations run wild as you foster literature together, snuggled on the sofa or gathered around the kitchen table.
- Have an appreciation for fiction and non-fiction and expose your children to both. Truths can be found in both, believe it or not. Maybe your child enjoys adventure, maybe he enjoys facts, but share both with him.
- Consider that children retain information differently. Hearing a story read aloud, like listening on audio, is an excellent multi-sensory option for children. Additionally, hearing stories lends itself to robust vocabulary in children, which I love!
Mama’s, I want to remind you to not be discouraged if your child has not found his or her love for reading yet. The ease and love will come, in time. Be patient. Don’t focus on feeling like they are behind, as they are not. Suppress the thoughts that you’re failing to teach them well. Every child is unique and different, you know this. I really think you will love incorporating audio books into your routine and family life.
We are especially loving Beric the Briton and all of the juicy history lessons within it’s story. Think Braveheart and Gladiator colliding into a plot that will keep your children engaged and listening. I love that these stories all encourage children to apply their faith in real world situations.
This year we are adding Heirloom Audio Products to our homeschooling curriculum including the titles we’ve shown you above as well as In Freedom’s Cause, The Dragon and the Raven and Under Drake’s Flag. You can learn more about each of these at over on Heirloom’s site!
If you’re a homeschooling family, or looking to supplement at home, you will love the downloadable study guides which include spectacular vocabulary words and questions to encourage further learning. Heirloom offers bonus items when you purchase a cd package. These bonuses include a study guide, printable verses, the music soundtracks for each book, an ebook of the story you can download on your Kindle, behind the scenes documentary and more! You can check all of this out here.
Reading Encourages Imagination Play
Here is how my boys used their imagination after listening… we reenacted Beric the Briton!
Win Beric The Briton CD Set
I am giving one reader Beric the Briton on CD. This set sells for $29.99. My kids have LOVED it and they enjoyed every minute of reenacting and pretending to be a part of the story.
Use the widget below to enter to win.
Tell me, have you given audio books a try and what have you loved most about it?