It can be tricky to know what to include when it comes time to planning your homeschool schedule. You may be left chucking some things out for lessons you consider more important. To some extent, this is the joy of teaching your kids yourself. You’re able to pick the lessons which you think are going to prove most fruitful. By cherry picking in this way, you also make sure you aren’t overloading them with unnecessary information.
Sadly, reading is one of those lessons which many homeschool moms discard in this way. In many ways, you could argue that this is a dated past time in our modern age. When you have online access to information and mental stimulation everywhere, it’s easy to assume that reading doesn’t matter. You’ll want to teach your kids the basic, of course, but you may not actively promote a reading habit in lessons.
Believe it or not, though, that could end up being a mistake. Dated or not, fostering a love of reading in kiddies can help them and their learning in all manner of ways. If you’re thinking about scrapping that reading hour, keep reading to find out why you should think again.
All about education
Your homeschool is all about giving your children the best education you can manage. With that fact in mind, failing to make room for reading would be a fatal mistake. That’s because reading books can help with your child’s education in all manner of ways. And, that applies whether they’re reading non-fiction or fiction picks. At the very least, reading can help kids come on leaps and bounds with language use. Reading aloud, for example, can help to expand a child’s vocabulary. The process of silent reading can also work wonders for attention spans and concentration. Both of which are skills your child could benefit from. Even better, allowing them to pick their books ensures that they’re reading about things which interest them. That, in turn, could see them learning about all manner of topics which they may not come across otherwise. In that respect, you could argue that reading time can be a double lesson of sorts. That allows you to fit more into each day without piling anymore work on those little shoulders. And, that’s a goal which any homeschool mom should jump at.
Not forgetting neurology
As we touched on above, reading can help with concentration and attention span. These are both neurological functions which can make a huge difference later in life. Being able to concentrate for extended times can be a massive help in work environments, for example. The practice of reading also acts as a kind of workout for those young minds. Reading exercises part of the brain which may die off if it doesn’t receive regular use. While that probably wouldn’t impact them anytime soon, it could lead to issues like Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia in later life. Not to mention that it could leave your children unable to tackle specific problems or concentrate. That could make it difficult for them to hold jobs when it matters most. All because you scrapped that small reading session from your schedule. Don’t make that mistake. Instead, keep reading sessions like these in place. By making this a fun activity, you may even find that you can harness habits here which keep serving your children for years to come. All because you put in a little effort while they were young.
The power of free thought
Book lovers across history have always cherished their reading texts. Book burnings are treated with scorn, and every effort to censor books has been pushed back. This is because reading is a fantastic way to free thought. While it is true that your kids can read things online, there is some degree of censorship involved there. Someone is vetting the internet at all times, especially in this age of ‘fake news’. By comparison, books are uncensored one way or another. They don’t tend to bias to any agenda. As such, they’re a fantastic way to promote free thinking. Reading a book is near enough the only time that your child isn’t coaxed into thinking a certain way. And, that can help them to develop their own opinions. Again, this fact is relevant to both non-fiction and fiction texts. Each will raise questions about morality and life without offering any real solution. Instead, they leave it up to the reader to decide. While these decisions are fairly basic in books for kids, they’re still there to some extent. And, facing these dilemmas can be a fantastic way for your child to develop their first strong opinions about specific issues. Who knows; reading hour could even turn them into the critical minds of their generation.
An independent act
At the very least, reading is one of the only independent acts that we promote in a classroom setting. More often than not, learning is a social affair. And, that’s a fantastic thing. Getting used to working with others can be invaluable when children enter the working world. But, independent work also has enormous benefits, and reading could encourage that. This is, after all, an activity which we can only do alone. Aside from reading aloud sometimes, it’s something we can only experience solo. This independent pursuit can help a huge deal with self-confidence and independence. That’s because it’s an achievement which is personal to them. Private experiences which they get from the page can also help them build on a more confident sense of self. And, that can again take them far in the world.
These are just some of the reasons why reading is a valuable lesson for any child. Of course, not every kid is going to enjoy this past time. Some may find reading sessions boring, for example. If that’s the case, you may see there are better ways to teach them these lessons. Whatever you do, though, it’s worth making room for reading during any school day.