As a member of the Essentials in Writing curriculum team, my hope is that students learn to enjoy reading and writing as a lifetime pursuit—not only when they are working on course assignments but also during the summer months. Truly, when a student learns to fall in love with reading, they have made a friend for life. As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, our Essentials in Literature curriculum provides homeschool students the opportunity to engage many famous authors whose writing has shaped culture through their unique voices. When homeschool students can engage this reading, they undoubtedly learn how to become better writers—simply by modeling what they become familiar with.
As Danielle referenced in last week’s blog, summertime can be an opportunity for homeschool students to engage learning while having all the summer fun, too. So, what are some ways to help your homeschool student develop a love for reading during the summertime and thus learn to cultivate their writing skills? Here’s a few ideas I’ve picked up along the way.
1. Encourage your homeschool student to participate in a summer reading program.
These programs can be found at many community libraries, and oftentimes, librarians offer students incentives for reading a certain number of books. These might be a trip to the local zoo, a free book, or even a snazzy new bookmark! Not only do students get incentives for reading, but they can also meet and get to know other students in the program. Perhaps even a sweet book-loving friendship might emerge from a summer reading program.
2. Challenge your homeschool student to memorize one or two classic poems.
Perhaps you could compile some poems (fun, classic, or summer-themed) for your homeschool student to choose from. Memorizing a poem can be both challenging and rewarding—especially because lines of a poem can remain in one’s mind for years to come. A couple of my favorites to memorize as a student were “The Village Blacksmith” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and “Busy” by A.A. Milne.
3. Read a novel with your homeschool student and watch the movie version of the story together.
Not only can it be a fun bonding experience to read a novel with your homeschool student, but you can help your student learn how to compare and contrast through watching the movie version of the book. You can discuss questions such as “How did the director interpret this book differently than you did?” and “What effect did the differences in the movie have in shaping the plot?” From Charlotte’s Web to The Chronicles of Narnia to Little Women, several movie adaptations exist of beautiful literature for all ages. By participating in this activity together, you can engage your imagination with your homeschool student, making memories that can bond you for years to come.
I hope this upcoming summer is memorable and meaningful for both you and your homeschool student as you soak up memories together.