Let them read!

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

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Did you know the best way to help your kids become better readers is to let them read what they want? Research supports it, my reading professors echoed it, and in fact, The Illinois Reading Council Journal published two articles on the topic this quarter.

The secret to this simple teaching method is intrinsic motivation. If students want to read the material, they spend more time and try harder, figuring out ways to understand. As a result, they invent comprehension strategies that are personally meaningful and the information is more likely to stick with them.
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How to help your child learn to read

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

My little guy was six years old and we had been casually talking about letters and their corresponding sounds. I put a phonics page on my refrigerator and used it as a guide to talk about letters and sounds over a box of cereal every morning.

A month or two later, we were at the library and he noticed a banner on the wall that said “Reading is magic!” It must have been Halloween time. He turned to me and said, “Yes, reading is magic,” and continued playing with the toy train.

What? Did you just read that?

Not every child learns to read as easily as Peter. My daughter was 10 before it started to make sense to her, but all children go through that first stage of learning their letters and sounds.

5 Simple Tips for Teaching Reading

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Uncomfortable unfoldings (0n patiently waiting for milestones)

Written by Hillary Boucher of infinitely learning

When you look back on your life it is easy to pick out milestone moments. It’s different for everyone, but learning to ride your bike or learning to drive are probably easy memories to recall.

Milestones are peak experiences that define a journey. You have to go deeper to remember the hours and days leading up to milestones and the frustrations and grumps that sometimes come along with them.

You may notice this in younger children and toddlers: right before they hit a major milestone, like sitting up or walking, they become restless, difficult to soothe and generally uncomfortable.

I notice this in myself, even as an adult: when life is asking me to change, to grow and stretch beyond my comfort zone, there is a certain discomfort that precedes my impending growth.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin
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Piecing Together a First Grade Education (2012 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Hillary Boucher of infinite learners

Ages of my children: 7, 4, & 1
Educational philosophies I pull from: Unschooling, Literature-based, Enki, Montessori

We are a young homeschooling family and have only recently started to explore formal curriculum. In the early years we find that focusing on a healthy and enriching home environment along with the patience to let little ones explore at their own pace is more than optimal.

However, a few things changed this past fall:

  • my son turned seven and was actively seeking out more stimulation,
  • New York State Laws require that we begin turning in our plans and reporting on progress, and
  • I started a new job working from home.

The combination of of these changes led us to seek out curriculum tools to help us cover the basics. We started out simple: math and reading.
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Curriculum Choices: 5 Phonics/Early Reading Options

(Disclosure: This post contains five popular reading resources. I haven’t used them myself, unless I share otherwise. This is not a paid review, and Simple Homeschool has not accepted any funds in exchange for this post.)

I don’t know about you, but the idea of teaching my children to read struck me as both thrilling and terrifying.

A process that sounded exciting and natural seemed more complicated as I walked the aisles of a homeschooling convention or browsed resources online.

There are so many choices, but how do you know what you really need to help your child?

I can’t pretend to have figured out all the answers, but here are five popular options that will hopefully make the selection process easier for those of you starting down the phonics and literacy road soon.
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