Active Reading at Home
As you know by now, I strongly support personalized education. Afterall, we all learn differently, which is why I care so much about homeschool families. Homeschoolers have taken that leap from a one size fits all approach to education to a DIY approach.
But you are not alone. I am here to help. As a (near) doctor of eLearning and an Instructional Designer with over 20 years experience in education, I consult homeschool families on developing the best curriculum for their children, for free.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about reading.
I love reading. Believe it or not, your children do too. You may think they are just on the phone watching videos and playing games, which they are, but I will show you how you can make that phone work in your favor.
Before we get into phone reading, I want to tell you about active reading in general.
What is active reading?
Active reading is not only being engaged in what you are reading but being involved, literally.
We already know that children are more apt to read stories based on their personal interest, but did you know children respond better to stories that involve them? It’s true.
Raise your hand if you ever told a bedtime story that was about a child just like your child…I do it all the time. In fact, I use their names, I involve their pets, I use their family members.
My children are 11 and 12 and still love what we call ‘night night’ stories because they are involved in them. I plan to publish one about my son. He wants to do the illustration.
So no matter if you are making up your own stories or reading from a book, try replacing the names of characters with your child’s name, use the names of family members, friends, ect…
And watch their faces light up. Watch their interests peak. Be ready for more requests.
As an Instructional designer, I take active reading a step further by developing reading activities that speak to your child culturally, that include key words that trigger his/her learning style, that include aspects of the surrounding community.
This approach can be developed for math word problems as well.
Actively involve your child in the story. Involve your morals and values, involve your cultural views, involve your environment. Use reading to shape and develop the person you want your child to become. Incorporate the life lessons you want your child to hear.
Afterall, story books have been doing this all along. With books we can choose ones that mirror our values. But what is happening with videos?
Videos are also actively involving your child, which is one of the reasons children are so in tuned to them. Ah ha!💡
But do videos mirror your own values?
There are things happening in videos that make us all uncomfortable.
Just like you are present for story time, be present at video time as well. I used to sit and watch my two play Minecraft.
They were always excited to show off what they built. Then a light bulb went off for me. At anytime when my son was a struggling reader (according to public school standards) I used Minecraft to help him read, spell and write. He began to text friends he made in the game and read everything necessary to play.
There are video games that are more appropriate for active reading/learning. I support http://www.mightier.com because they design videos that help calm anxiety. Their videos really help children thrive.
I do not promote companies and you will rarely find a list of random resources in my blogs. I will share the few, top notch resources that I come across.
Use reading time to immerse your child in a story that adds culture, values, self confidence, community and your child to the content.
You won’t find this type of personalized education in public school or with a standard curriculum. The names of characters are often names your child does not relate to and the interest is lost right there.
But you are a homeschooler. You have an opportunity to go beyond standard and provide a learning experience designed especially for your child.
Comment and subscribe for biweekly advice.
Due to personal reasons I have had to slow down from weekly posts for now.
This is one of my son’s comics. The characters he created are him, his sister and their friend.