Finding My Daughter's Passion for Reading.

Before we decided to start homeschooling, my youngest daughter (7 at the time) was already starting to find reading a chore. At school they did the reading levels books and because the teacher often didn't get chance to assess all the children that needed it straight away, they would be asked to just go through the same level of books again. Sometimes Izzy would end up reading the same level three times before she was assessed and inevitably jumped several levels before the cycle started again.

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Photo courtesy of @izzydawn

When we started homeschooling the first year was a bit of feeling our way forward for the best approaches. The library did the levels readers, so I thought that would be a great way for her to now progress through them at her own pace and I would also know that she'd be progressing in a similar way to her school peers. It seemed to start out okay, but soon became apparent that she'd developed a real aversion to reading. Encouragement to keep going just made her become more stubborn.

Obviously a change of direction was needed, so as she was expressing a particular distaste for the levels readers I said we'd drop them and instead she could see what other books they had at the library that appealed to her. When we were next there I went through the children's book section with her and read out the blurbs on the back to her. She wasn’t having a bar of it! So I said I'd make a deal with her. She had to pick out any three books that looked like they might possibly be of interest and read at least a couple of pages. If she still really didn't like the story, then she didn't have to carry on reading. I think she went through a couple of books doing that, then found a series, called Puppy in a Puddle, that she liked.

For a while she would only read books from that series, but she was reading and she was enjoying it, so that was fine. Eventually she ran out of Puppy in a Puddle books though, so we needed to look at other books again. While she was wary, she was a bit more open this time. I'd read the blurb and she initially said no to everything, but I think that seeing me accept that ‘no' and putting the book back made her realise that I wasn't about to force the issue and we finally found some more books for her to try. If she didn't like the book after the first few pages, she'd put it aside and moved on to the next.

Pretty soon visits to the library were something to be looked forward to and when she'd exhausted the younger section we moved onto the older section and then the teens. She'd have books piled up on her latest interests, pets, rocks, crafts, art, you name it!

I've always read to my daughters and they've never stopped enjoying that, but for them to not enjoy reading themselves felt like they would miss out on so much. When learning becomes a chore, then learning stops. Even if you force a certain amount of knowledge in by repetition, once they no longer have to do it they will abandon it and the chances are high that they will forever avoid doing it. I didn't want that for my daughters, especially when it came to reading.

~○♤○~


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teach a kid to read, keyboard, and use the internet.(some parental discretion advised)
then get out of the way.
they'll learn like a house a fire.

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When Henry was about 3, he had a book with colours and vehicles.
I sat him at the computer, showed him how to use google image search, (safesearch on) and he copied each word, letter by letter, then hit ENTER.
He loved seeing the same vehicle pictured on the page pop up on the computer.
By about 4 he'd mastered copying a colour, then a vehicle.
He'd deliberately search for RED TRUCK or GREEN PLANE without even being able to read.

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yup.
when my grandkids were little I bought them computers.
lookit them GO.
my grand daughter(homeschooled) graduated from TexasA&M with a double major on a full ride scholarship a while back.
reading help her I think.

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Isn't that the truth! Teach them how to learn.
Let them figure out how to problem solve and think for themselves. I think I learnt most things myself once the basics were in place.

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It takes twelve years for 'public education' to beat the joy of learning out of most kids.
it doesn't have to be that way.

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It took less than one year of school to take the joy of learning away from my son. Now 10 years later we are about to try home schooling. I'm really hoping he will discover how much fun learning really is. Wish we tried home schooling years ago.

I think good reading and good math skills are all anyone needs to navigate the world and master anything they set out to learn.

But reading can take you anywhere you want to go, in the real world and in the imagination. I have no formal education, but I have read my way through mist every problem I've ever encountered, taught myself sciences, politics, arts, history. I learned to change the breaks and oil on my car, fixed my stove, fixed my drier.

Reading for me is a life long addiction that sparked a thirst for knowledge that can't be quenched. I'm so happy to hear that your girl is developing a love for reading!

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It seems that once we leave school we actually start learning what we need to learn!

It's certainly a challenge. However, I think that this allows for a more focused teaching because you can address any disinterest in reading or problems with say, maths, as they arise.

There is a wealth of information in books, and some great entertainment too. I hope that it goes well.

My Henry always loved reading. A month ago he told me he wasn't enjoying reading time any more.
Apparently the kids all took a comprehension quiz on the books they'd previously read, and their level was based on their results.
He'd done really well, so could only read from books his level, despite loving a series on the level below.
He'd already decided to cheat on the next quiz.
Clever kid :)

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😂 They are clever! Sadly too late for those books. I wonder if he could sneak the odd one behind his level ones to read at home.

Angel was always one of the first in her class to pass the times tables tests, and her "friend" started to get nasty with her because she was always one of the first to do that before she arrived at the school. So Angel started to make sure she failed them until a few more had passed. Unfortunately, it was too late by this point and the bullying just got worse.

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That's a lesson too, though.
Aiming low to please others won't work.
You can compromise until you have nothing left and they'll still line up to take more.

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Yes, very much a life lesson and she took it on pretty quickly. I didn't hear about her tactic until some time later.

Getting kids hooked on reading is the best give you can possibly give them.

Very intelligent way of getting your daughters to learn. You're right, learning shouldn't be a chore, we're meant to have fun/passion for learning. The kids are lucky to have you

When I read stories like this am reminded of how much the world has changed over a few years. When I was growing up I was forced to read, but given incentives to finish a book. Reading wasn't fun but I did it anyway.

It sounds strange but am grateful to my parents for instilling that reading culture in me... albeit by force 😂

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Thank you. The basics were already there and she had a wonderful teacher for that. She just needed to expand on it.

I can't really remember learning to read, but now you've got me thinking about it, when I could read my school just let us choose the books we wanted from what was available and just listened to us read now and again. So pretty similar to the approach I took with Izzy.

I'm glad to hear that your push to read didn't put you off in the end. Maybe it was the reward at the end giving you a positive.

PS: Thanks for the resteem.