Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

What Reading Should Be Like vs. What Reading Is

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In my house right now, at least for Sander, reading is tears.  Writing is tears.  He’s having the hardest time with both.  I feel for him, really, but since he’s still in school we have to power through.  I’m looking forward to the final date I withdraw him from school because of it.  He’s clearly not succeeding there.

Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to let him learn at his own rate.  If left to my own devices I wouldn’t push reading on him until he’s ready, but state standards and all.  We’re going to have to keep up and comply.  I could try not including samples of writing in the portfolio, but I’m thinking that’s not going to get a pass, so writing we will include, and through it, we’ll start to work on reading.

I’ve got to be honest, I’m not sure what that part of our homeschooling is going to look like right now.  Right now I’m thinking it’ll probably look like spelling words, figuring that as he learns to write the words, he’ll learn to read the words.  I don’t want to do any tests or anything.  Again, this is where unschooling meets the edge of state requirements.

However, in spite of the tears, the frustration, and the hatred of reading, I’m finding that Corde and Beekee still have moments like this:


Beekee is reading a book called The Monster Ring by Bruce Coville.  He was stuck on a word, so Corde poked her head over and helped him out.  She was sitting there in the middle of looking up fan art for Naruto on her phone.  She was listening to him read to help him with his reading skills.  That’s what reading should look like in my house.  No tears, just the older sibling helping the younger one.

This is why I want to homeschool, because learning to read and write shouldn’t be full of tears.  It should be fun and enjoyable.  Doing school work shouldn’t inspire an hour of crying because Sander doesn’t know how to spell the words he needs in order to complete his homework.  He’s expected to write one sentence for each of his “snap” words every week, but he doesn’t have the vocabulary to do it on his own, so he gets so caught up thinking about not knowing how to write the words that he can’t think of a sentence.  He’s so tired he can’t focus.  That’s not how it should be.

The countdown is on.  Once payday hits we’ll be getting the boys hooked up on Time 4 Learning, and then they’re coming home.  Hopefully that will make learning fun again, and it should satisfy the state requirements because I can get weekly progress reports from the program.  Those in the portfolio with writing samples (for the writing share of language arts) and photos of whatever science projects we do should suffice.  That should be much more enjoyable.

Of course, being the unschooler at heart, I’ll get the kids hooked up with the curriculum, but I’m not going to really make it a thing unless they’re having fun with it.  Luca is having a blast with it and actually asks to do “computer school” on a daily basis, so it might not be so bad after all.  Keep your fingers crossed!


Author: Fox

With four kids, who has time for much? We spend a lot of time together, which translates to a lot of knitting time for me when we hang out. We've been trying to get back to our unschooling roots. We watch a lot of videos, play a lot of games, and pay attention to the things we notice in our everyday life. It's been quite the big adventure!

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