So although I’m taking a relaxed approach to home education, I still find myself worrying whether or not I’m doing enough. However, I also worry about over structuring things, resulting in my children being (possibly) put off from learning. Either way, I do feel it’s important to have goals, it doesn’t matter how you achieve them as long as it’s resulted in you reaching those goals.
So, at the moment my goal is to teach my eldest to read, and by this I don’t mean I expect her to read Shakespeare by the end of the month, I just mean I am giving her the tools so she can eventually work out how to read in the future. She’s only three and a half, so I’m not pushing anything.
I have found a great way of adding our current educational goal into our lives. Ok, so we do the whole reading stories together but I wanted to add more where I could, so she can become familiar with words on an everyday basis, rather than just at story times.
I have been labelling absolutely everything and anything in sight! I don’t mention it to her, I let her spot them for herself. I find she is then the one to instigate learning by asking what it says or making it a game and trying to guess what it says. Either way, I got the desired effect – she shows interest and is eager to learn. Also with the labels being up constantly, she may lose the curiosity at some point but they will become part of daily life, so the idea is that she ends up recognising the words eventually.
Now, I don’t advocate that children watch television 24/7 but I’m sure there are times when we all let our little ones indulge in their favourite cartoons for whatever reason. Well, to make this educational just stick the subtitles on. It’s great seeing little ones spot words they’ve learned, my daughter has done this on a few occasions. Even if they don’t actively pay attention to the words and they are simply engrossed in their favourite programme, that’s ok, because they’re still being surrounded by letters and words and (hopefully) they are taking it all in subconsciously.