This may be a silly thing to write a blog about, but I have discovered a hidden perk of homeschooling!!!! The perk is that it has re-awakened my love of books. 😊
As I begun planning my homeschooling journey, I read lots of blogs and watched lots of homeschooling YouTube videos. If you search for homeschooling styles, Charlotte Mason comes up fairly quickly. I still don’t know much about her, however I did learn that she loved something called “Living books”. Basically, books that draw you in and engage the reader and teach you about various topics.
I didn’t think much about books, instead I was more naturally drawn to curriculum and workbooks. I like my girls to complete workbooks, and it is an easy way to feel like I have done a good job in making sure they know enough. The catch is- it robs me (& possibly them) of joy.
That’s when I experienced my first win: Sonlight curriculum. Someone recommended “Sonlight” to me. It is mostly a book based Christian homeschool company. You purchase the pack that suits your children and receive a box of books for the year. Our family fell in love with the rich variety of books and novels they provide for each age group. (Our girls use the age 5-7 pack currently) The books teach us about other times and places, and cause my girls to think and ask questions.
The bonus is that my 4 year old is also listening to these books, and enjoying our read aloud times together. It is a time efficient means of learning aswell, as both my girls are learning and loving books at the same time.
The thing is, I had lost the desire to read to my girls. The books I was reading to them were boring children’s books. Some weren’t boring exactly, but maybe lacked any real depth. I would finish the books with the same “meh” feeling as I would after watching an average children’s cartoon episode. You know, Peppa Pig is lots of fun- but not mentally stimulating or heart warming.
The next part of my falling in love with reading GOOD books to my children happened while following a homeschool mother on her YouTube channel. The books she highlighted seemed fascinating! “How did she discover that book?”, I often wondered? The stories she recommended were so interesting and engaging that I couldn’t wait to buy them for our family! I wanted more book recommendations! I wanted to share these books with my girls and see how they cultivated empathy and compassion for others. I felt excited about them learning from books for the first time. I was hooked!
Having said all this, I was still telling myself that great quality curriculum was my emphasis. I have lots of good resources and materials, which continues to grow. My girls do daily maths and language arts and all those other parts that need to be fulfilled. We write letters and cook etc. Registered homeschooling families must be able to fulfil certain criteria, and evidence of our progress is important.
Back to my reading passion! Over this past weekend, I discovered another encouraging resource called “Read- Aloud Revival”. One of my friends called Katy introduced me to a homeschooling book called “Teaching from Rest” by Sarah Mackenzie. Read Aloud Revival is Sarah Mackenzie’s website or business I guess.
I took the leap of faith and subscribed to the monthly payment to be a member and have full access to their membership. It has encouraging videos and homeschooling tips. There are lots of podcasts and interviews with authors and illustrators of suggested books. The best bit for me is the recommendations they provide for books to read to your kids. You are asked a few questions and what style of books you like, and the age ranges you are targeting/catering for- and then about 3 suggestions come up each time. The community forum they have is great too, as it’s a page full of homeschooling parents who can share what books their family has loved.
Anyway, all of this may not be relevant to you. 😂 But I think the world should know: “There are some great books to read to your children!!!” Great books that make me feel happy. Books that I look forward to reading to them. In fact, reading aloud to my girls, and providing books that they can read themselves is the highlight and hidden perk of my homeschooling so far!
Even if we ever decide to stop homeschooling our children, reading interesting books to them will remain. I want my girls to say one day: “My childhood was filled with so many interesting books!” Or “I learnt to love reading because of the engaging books that we were read”.
Adults and children: There are so many hidden gems of books that have been written! Find them. Read them! Let books become the highlight of your day. 😉
Love always kelly xx