You Can Homeschool by Just Reading Books Out Loud! - Ihsaan Home Academy

Yep, you read that right. You can homeschool your children by just reading books to them out loud. I think we make the idea of homeschooling complicated when we think we have to follow certain rules, replicate the school system, or do exactly like everyone else.

You don't have to follow strict rules
Homeschooling should be your way and the way you believe is better for your children. This is one of the reasons why I believe it's important to start early to allow yourself and your child to experiment different methods. Not everyone wants to teach with activities and workbooks, and that's okay! Some children respond better whenbn they are read to, and others may hate it. How would you know if you don't try it?

Trying different methods
When I first started my blog to record my journey and to share homeschooling information, I was ready to try different ways of educating. I'm still experimenting and taking notes of what works best. I made a whole preschool curriculum that I used with my daughter, tried reading-only, tried hands-on activities-only, tried interactive notebooks, and even mixed it all up. I've never felt like I had to follow one way and stick to it! Even with the curriculum I made, there was a point when I felt like some parts of it were too much for my daughter at the time. And guess what? We took a break from it and intend to use some of it for Kindergarten, in shaa Allah.

That's to tell you that it's not about finishing whatever it is you're using, it's about finding out what works best at each step.

Getting books from the library
Now, how exactly can you homeschool with just reading books?
Simple; you just read books! Reading is a huge part of our schooling journey. We visit the library often and get as many interesting books as we can. My daughter is literally obsessed with books and I love that! But, I can't keep up with her most of the time, which is a reason why I've decided to start teaching her how to read. Sometimes I feel bad for delaying it when I see her pretending to read books or getting upset when I'm not reading one more book, even after reading ten!

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Learning through non-fiction books
As I've said before, a lot of our learning has been through books. We focus mainly on the non-fiction ones because that's where real learning happens. Fiction has its place, but if you want to use reading as a way of homeschooling, then non-fiction would have to be your main genre of selected books. At least that's what I believe.

Making the books come alive
What makes reading fun for us is the fact that I allow myself to go above and beyond to make it interactive, welcome her questions, give examples and make sure she understands as much as possible. If I have to get up and make funny movements to make her understand, well, that's exactly what I would do. When I want to make her visualize certain concepts, we go straight to youtube. She learned a lot about animals through videos while reading books. By reading, we also get ideas of hands-on activities that we are happy to try.

Discussing topics
Another way we've been using reading to make learning effective has been by having conversations about the topic at hand. We literally talk like two old women interested about a topic. I remember my daughter asking one day "how do vegetables grow if they don't have seeds, and plants are supposed to grow from seeds?" You want me to be honest with you? I hadn't thought of it before, so as you can imagine, I was stuck for a few seconds. First, I was surprised by her well-thought-of question when she was just 3 years old, and second, I didn't know the answer. So what did we do? Research! It's actually simplier than I thought. Now here's your homework; find the answer if you don't already know it.

I've found that reading makes learning long-term and increases critical thinking. Because of our conversations, she remembers the most detailed information that even I forget, and she's very curious, Allahumma baarik 'alayha (may Allah bless her). Remember, a child's brain is like a sponge. Take advantage of these moments.

Not limiting learning to age-level books
One thing I had realized from the beginning was that if I had only focused on age-level books, her learning would have been limited. I knew that it was up to me to take the reading to her level of understanding while still allowing growth.

Making books
Making our own books using papers and coloring markers/pencils was another fun way of reading. Not only did we write ourselves, we also drew and colored the books together.  We haven't done this in a while. We need to get back to it in shaa Allah.

Reading by theme
If it's easier for you to teach by focusing on a specific theme at a time, you can try that. Using the concept of unit studies here may help you. Make a list of the things your child wants to learn, get the appropriete books for those themes and start reading. It would help you stay more organized and know what's coming next.

I don't have a list of books to share with you now because our reading has been randomly choosing any and every book that we found interesting and educational. Since we're starting Kindergarten in shaa Allah, I will try to make it more organized and theme-based. I plan on sharing whatever I can on this blog and may even upload weekly lesson plans, in shaa Allah. So be on a look-out for that.

This method may work best with early learning. Now I haven't tried it with higher grade-levels, but it doesn't hurt to try if you fancy the idea. Listen, don't overwhelm yourself; try different methods. If you find that one doesn't work, try another. Reading may be fun for my daughter, but it may not be for your child. If it is, good; if not, move on. Just don't be afraid to focus on what works rather than what everyone else is doing.

Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.


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