We often think of using reading apps in the context of schools and classrooms, and their usefulness for teachers. However, Whooo’s Reading can be used in a homeschool setting as well.
While homeschooling has some distinct advantages and disadvantages, students are still students, and families are made up of readers and nonreaders alike. These seven tips are ways to encourage reading in homeschool students specifically, but most apply to inspiring any student to read more.
Set Up A Reading Area
Often one of the problems with homeschooling students is that there is a little too much home and too little school. Most homeschoolers set up a place for their students to do schoolwork, whether it is a room or the corner of a room.
Set Up a Reading Time
While a simple piece of advice, it comes with a caveat: one of the advantages of homeschooling is that schedules can be flexible. So while setting a reading time is important, it is also important to tailor it to each of your student’s needs.
There is some debate about whether reading instruction should happen in the morning or in the afternoon, and the ideal time may vary based on your student’s’ brain rhythms. Either way, set up a specific reading schedule including how long readers are required to read and stick to it.
Set Reading Goals
Setting reading goals is easy to do. Be sure you set appropriate goals that your student agrees to and understands. Include things like time spent reading, word count, and the grade level of reading materials.
Once your student has reached a goal, set the next one. Continually provide them targets that encourage progress.
Set Up a Reward System
Some students like chocolate, some like money, and some like the reward of an activity or some combination of the above. Punishing a child for not doing well in reading rarely accomplishes anything, but setting up a reward system does.
Setting up the system that works best for your student is essential, but so is setting up a rewards program that grows as they do. The more goals a student accomplishes and the better they get, the bigger or more significant rewards should be.
Test to Determine Comprehension
How do you know if your child is doing well? You need to test them on what they have learned. Using various types of tests will enable to determine which one works best with your students.
There are various reading level tests, quizzes about the content of books, and even websites you can use to make your own online tests to draw from. If you have trouble, your local librarian can probably direct you to some relevant resources.
Visually Track Progress
There are reading apps that let you both set goals and track reading progress, but it is often a good idea to place a visual representation of academic progress, especially reading, in whatever place in your home that is designated for reading.
This can be anything from a chart that goes to a certain goal to creative solutions like racing reading rabbits or another representation of reaching a goal that your student can relate to.
It is easy to start a reading program for your student. It is also easy to become complacent and not check progress every day, especially if they have been doing well for a while. The key is follow through.
Don’t let up, even if your student is showing improvement. Reward them, continue to set new goals, and continue to follow through with the plan you started.
Not all students are drawn to reading, and not all students proceed at the same pace, and homeschooling offers some unique advantages and challenges to deal with this reality. These seven tips will help you encourage even the most reluctant reader to reach their goals and develop a love of reading.
Also published on Medium.