After such a tough year, I finally gave up and turned it all over to the Lord. I had prayed throughout the year when days were hard and tempers were flying, but I still held on to my idea of how we should homeschool. But eventually it was too much. I couldn’t do it anymore. The fit throwing, the screaming and stomping off was disrupting what little structure we still had left.
The last 9 months have been rough. And I mean, some of the roughest we’ve been through in our marriage and that’s saying something.
A while ago my 6 year old came to me (after he was supposed to be in bed) and told me he wanted to learn to read. He said, “I want to learn to read, so I can read my Bible.” This is the child I have struggled with to do school work all year and fought him nearly every day to do even one paper. I mean…it was tough.
Talk about tears flowing!
My mommy heart couldn’t have been more proud.
And my spiritual heart was overflowing with gratitude that the Lord heard my cries and answered my prayers.
So we have started a new journey. A few months back we switched our reading/phonics curriculum to Explode the Code. It was quite possibly the best change I’ve ever made in our homeschool – other than Teaching Textbooks, because that program is just genius. We were using a wonderful curriculum for phonics and reading, but it wasn’t getting us where we needed to be and quite frankly, we were stalled. And getting more frustrated by the minute.
Since switching to Explode the Code, I have seen the most amazing difference in my Middles. Mister Mouse (6) has picked up the letter sounds quickly and easily, while Miss Priss (5) is taking a little longer, but getting there. We flew through the consonants quite easily and just started on short vowels a couple weeks ago, which proved to be a little more difficult to grasp. However, they are doing quite well.
Each age brings with it, its own set of struggles and challenges. At this young age, it is reading. I dread teaching my kids to read. Not because it’s particularly difficult, which it totally can be, but because they need to read. Reading is the foundation of their learning and if they can’t read…well, there’s a long list of things I don’t want to think about. However, despite my feeling that I have failed as a homeschool mom because my children aren’t reading at the age of three, I do see drastic improvement. And this past week…Mister Mouse read an entire sentence by himself! I don’t care that it was made up of 3 letter words – HE READ!!
Once we have reading down again, we will return to our favorite Bible & handwriting curriculum, Write Through the Bible. It not only incorporates Bible memorization, but also helps them improve their handwriting, vocabulary and knowledge of God’s Word.
Even though its been a few months since he asked to learn to read so he could read his Bible, he still talks about it – often. We are getting closer. I can’t wait for the day when he can read his Bible on his own. I warms my heart that our oldest does his daily Bible study with me and I can’t wait for the others to join us.
God’s Word is our lifeline and the center of who we are as Christians. It is important to me that my children learn to read, but more importantly that they learn to read and appreciate God’s Word. If they read no other book in their lifetime, I want them to read the Bible. Once they learn to read on their own, we give them a new Bible with their name on it. It’s a gift they all look forward to receiving and they carry it proudly. This helps instill in them not only a love of God’s Word, but also a a sense of pride and ownership in something they can call their very own.
If your child is struggling with reading, don’t give up. Talk to other homeschool moms, teachers, gather ideas from friends, Pinterest – anywhere you can find them. Finding what works for their learning style and seeing it “click” will make it all worth it in the end. Don’t give up and press on toward the finish line.