What if children are in high school homeschool when wanting to get off the conveyor belt and aren’t too interested in reading?
Where do you start and what should you require?
This question is in response to my comments on Start School Right webinar where I discuss hopping off the public school conveyor belt to teach your kids to think critically & Biblically.
First of all, find topics that your kids have an interest. Use those interests in reading and writing activities. Spend at least a semester or an entire year letting your kids read in their own interest. If there are subject areas that you are not covering (& you feel they should be covered), add those books a little at a time to your student’s reading list.
For example, your student is interested in horses. Find books that involve horses. These can be non-fiction books about horses or fiction books involving horses. I would suggest letting them choose the books, as long as they are not too far below their reading level. Obviously you don’t want your high schooler reading the Blaze books (2nd-3rd grade reading level).
Each day your student keeps a reading journal and writes about what he or she read. It can be a one-page entry each day. After a couple of weeks, I would have them do a writing assignment. This writing assignment can be a 5 paragraph paper about horses or a story involving horses. I recommend StoryQuest for help on writing stories and Elegant Essay for help on writing essays.
I would continue to allow your students to read in their interest & write about their interest. At the dinner table, I would discuss what your kids are reading. As they do so, they will develop communication skills. We often think that reading, writing & discussing must be centered on school subjects. However, these communication skills can be developed in all areas of interest.
Here are a few other topics you might use to encourage your kids to read.
Sports – Choose biographies and write about that person. Read about the science of sports & write an essay. Read about the history of a particular sport.
Quilting – Read about the history of quilting & write an essay. Make a quilt at the same time. Read about a particular quilt pattern and how it is used today. Read biographies of quilters.
Weapons – Read about specific weapons, wars that use those weapons, or men that used those weapons. Write an essay on how a particular weapon was used in warfare.
Painting – Read about artists or art history. Write about an artist. Read about art techniques. Paint a painting
Animals – Read about an animal of interest and write an essay. Or, write a story involving that animal.
Time Periods, such as Victorian or Medieval – Read a classic book set in that time period. Read a biography of someone living in that time period.
In summary, I would require my high school students to read books in their interest and write about them. The type of writing assignment depends on the book and what you as the homeschool teacher see as important.
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