One word: Don’t.

At the risk of sounding snarky, I’m going to say: it really is that simple and easy.  Don’t create a reading curriculum for your homeschooled child.  Treat your child and his time spent reading the same way you’d want someone else to treat you and the time you spend reading.

Would you want someone else selecting your books and telling you those books are what you’ll be reading this year?

Would you want someone else choosing a list of titles and handing it to you, saying that you get to pick which books from their pre-selected list you can read?

Would you want someone else telling you which chapters to read and when to read them?

Would you want someone else to take a book that you might actually enjoy reading and turn it into drudgery by demanding that you write a book report about it or fill in a bunch of dittos that are designed so that you can demonstrate that you understood the book or the vocabulary to someone else’s satisfaction?

My answer to every single one of those questions is that I would not want someone else doing any of that to me, so I don’t do it to my children.  None of that is even necessary.  So, what do I do instead?

I give my children the freedom to read, or to not read, as they see fit.  I’ve noticed that my teenagers both go through periods of time where they spend a lot of time reading and periods of time where they don’t read anything that they haven’t determined that they must read.  Guess what?  So do I!

My children choose their own books.  When they have the genuine freedom to choose what they will read and the genuine freedom to stop reading a book they aren’t enjoying, they are more willing to read and they enjoy it more when they do.  My kids are all open to my suggestions for titles I think they might enjoy – because they know my suggestions are just suggestions.  The only thing I get out of making a suggestion is the satisfaction I feel when they take it, read the book, and love it.

My children talk to me, to each other, and to their friends about the books they’re reading.  I don’t need book reports and busy-work dittos to tell me whether or not they’re understanding what they’ve read.  My kids have grown up in an environment where reading frequently ends up being somewhat social.  My son is a word nerd just like I am. I enjoy sharing excerpts of what I’m reading with them, and they do the same as they desire. Sometimes I’ll ask them about what they’re reading, but not to quiz them.  I ask because I am interested in what interests them enough to keep them turning the pages.

I have one child who is a voracious reader.  He will, literally, read anything he can get his hands on.  He’s not picky. I’m very good at making suggestions of books for him to read because we seem to enjoy the same genres.  I have one child who is dyslexic, but still enjoys reading books of her choosing.  She’s not the voracious reader that her brother is, and that’s okay.  I have one more child who is still learning how to read. My approach to a “reading curriculum” is the same for all three of them, and has worked equally well for all three.



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