Education, Homeschool

Teaching the reluctant learner

One of the reasons I love homeschooling is because every child learns differently and when you have a small number of students you are teaching it’s fairly easy to accommodate their different learning needs whereas in a public school setting they would likely fail to thrive.

But what do you do when a child is simply not interested? I found a secret weapon that works for us, maybe it will work for you too…

Joshua is my boy who’s calm, reserved, would rather be inside in jammies all day building or drawing than doing anything else and is stubborn as a mule. He does not like to be told what to do or when to do it (I have no idea where he gets this from, neither I nor my husband have this trait 😉 and this stubbornness has started to carry over into school.

Lately I’ve had challenges with him wanting to read. He is great at sounding out words and we are using the Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading which I really love and is so great at building on concepts they already know. It only takes about 5 minutes to learn 15 new words. However this little boy moans and groans whenever I ask him to read anything out loud, even though he knows all the words and loves the book.   
After some trial and error I finally found something that really works! He has a favorite friend called Lammie, (a little lamb puppet we got at IKEA last year). One morning when he was being particularly cantankerous, I saw lammie lying on the floor nearby so I picked her up and she started begging in a silly voice for Joshua to read a story to her. It was like MAGIC. He read every word to her and afterwards got out the math blocks and taught her to add!

Lammie is my secret weapon. Whenever I would feel his defenses coming up, I’d ask him to go get lammie and it seriously works every time! Grant is mesmerized by it too and they just soak it up. Lammie is now a regular part of our school and Joshua teaches her new words every day. He even taught her how to spell a few words this morning!

Please don’t ask me what I’m going to do when he outgrows Lammie, because I hope he never will!


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