Reading comes naturally to some individuals. Some parents struggle with getting their kids to go to sleep because their children are too busy reading books late into the night. Other children might struggle with learning but eventually grow to enjoy it. And don't forget those children who don't seem to like reading no matter what the subject material.
Our three children represent the spectrum of readers. Our younger son loves to read and was reading the letters and words printed on our clothing at early age while our (even younger) daughter took a while to learn to read but now quite happily sits down with a book. Our oldest was a fan of books when he was much younger but really does not enjoy to read as much as my husband and I do.
So how can you help your children become better readers? How do you help them master different language arts skills? There are so many options from online sites that provide fun games like Reading Eggs to offline unit studies that focus on one specific author like William Shakespeare. And don't forget to provide your children with good literature like the Boxcar Children series, Britfield & The Lost Crown, The Chronicles of Narnia, and J.R.R. Tolkien's works.
Reading Curriculum and Language Arts Courses
One of the resources we were able to review was StoryTime Treasures and More StoryTime Treasures from Memoria Press. Memoria Press follows a classical approach to education. The children's books used with StoryTime Treasures are children's classics. While reading the stories, children will use workbooks that provide vocabulary exercises and an introduction to grammar and punctuation and will also practice critically thinking about stories. We were able to read a number of fun and interesting children's storybooks while teaching key concepts in the language arts.
Another fantastic source that we have used with our teen son is the wide selection of language arts courses at SchoolhouseTeachers.com. He has taken American Literature in Historical Context and Christian Values in J.R.R. Tolkien. In the first course, he read a variety of work written by Americans and studied it in relation to events in American history. For example, he read:
- Poems by Anne Bradstreet
- Writings from George Whitefield
- The Scarlet Letter
- Little Women
- And more!
While studying J.R.R. Tolkien, he read through The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings series, and The Silmarillion. In addition to answering questions that required him to reflect upon the stories, he also wrote several papers for the course.
Unit Studies and More
If you prefer to use unit studies in your homeschool, there are also many great options. You can find several unit studies at SchoolhouseTeachers.com that allow you to read entire works, read selections that include poetry, or focus upon reading comprehension and writing skills.
Another great resource for language arts unit studies is Progeny Press. They offer unit studies on a numerous selection of books that could suit the needs of kindergarten through twelfth grade. In the past, we have reviewed several of the study guides including:
- Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
- The Long Way to a New Land by Joan Sandin
- A New Coat of Anna by Harriet Ziefert
All of the study guides from Progeny Press incorporate vocabulary activities, critical thinking, and additional activities where children can be creative. For example, one could bake a cake, create a bookmark, or draw a scene from the book. One other aspect of these language arts studies guides that I like is that they ask children to reflect upon various Bible quotes and relate them to the book they are reading.
Reading Good Books
As someone who loves to read, I can't finish this post without mentioning some of the books that our children have enjoyed reading while homeschooling. If you have been reading A Mom's Quest to Teach for any length of time, you have probably seen at least a few book reviews that I have shared so you might know what types of books I enjoy. But what about our children?
Even our teen, who is not a huge reader, really enjoyed Britfield & The Lost Crown. In fact, just a few weeks ago he picked up the book so he could see when the next one in the series is supposed to be released. This is a tremendous compliment from him.
Both our younger children enjoy the Who Was Series of books which we were first introduced to on a trip to the library. They also have a huge collection of Minecraft themed books and Joke books that they seem to read on a daily basis. This is in addition to the large collection of children's picture books that we often read together. Personally, I love books by Leo Lionni and Jan Brett.
What are your favorite books for children or teens?