Harnessing the wind and asking it to hold still is easier done than capturing the attention of my wiggly kid. He has more energy and words and excitement than any one human actually needs, which makes learning to read a little tricky. And since I don’t own a moving billboard and can’t run as fast as he can, I have to come up with some new ways of grasping his attention for short bursts.
Adding a drum to your school moments can prove to be just as migraine-inducing as a loud kid, but it seems to work for us right now. I have my child sit on our little box drum and he is allowed to show me his little rhythm after he has read 5 words. He seems to be able to continue to drumming-reading-drumming-reading pattern for quite a while and usually, I am the one to call it quits first. Replace the drum with any fun instrument or short-burst type toy and see where it goes.
You can label absolutely anything. We had an unusually large sheet of cardboard laying around the house recently and decided it would be fun to trace my child’s body. Not only did this reinforce a lesson in body parts, but it provided us a chance to glue on labels identifying easy to read body parts. After we covered as many of these as I could think of, we labeled basic clothing or accessories that were also easy to read. This big-sized, high-interest activity provided loads of movement and kept his attention for much longer than any book or table activity would. In fact, I did not have to redirect or remind him even once. When thinking about how to implement this idea, don’t limit yourself to the human body or clothing. Draw a rudimentary picture of anything, your kids will be impressed even if it looks lousy to you, then make those labels!
We all are usually prepped for chalking sidewalks, driveways, walls, or chalkboards. But how much fun is it to swipe away a word after it is read aloud? Prep your area with loads of words at the appropriate level (both height and reading level) and hand your reader an eraser, a wet paintbrush or whatever they can use to erase a word. You can point to words or the child can pick, read it, and swipe it away. This task is usually fun because the child can see what is left to do and excitement builds as the words disappear.
Asking a moving body to sit still and work hard at a task that might seem uninteresting is tough. Consider unpacking the task into parts- the skill of reading and the enjoyment of reading a book. Text is everywhere and we read all day, so we aren’t limited to reading only in books, why would we limit or force our kids to read-only from a book. Enjoy learning to read and once that task is accomplished, placing a book in their hands will come naturally.
Have you found ways to entice the wind to slow down long enough to learn to read or practice math facts?
Global Student Network is a leading provider of online homeschool curriculum to fit any learning style. Learn more at www.GlobalStudentNetwork.com.
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.GlobalStudentNetwork.com.