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A Parent Who Dislikes to Read

Homeschooling Expert Advice from Isabel Shaw

Q: I have a desire to homeschool my daughter, who is now four. However, I am concerned that I will deprive her of learning because of my lack of interest in reading and studying up on homeschooling. It has always has been frustrating for me to read. I wonder if I suffer from a learning disability. I'm not sure that I will have what it takes to teach her when she is older. But I am the type of person who, if given a program to follow step-by-step and a goal to reach, will do it (as long as it doesn't involve a lot of reading). Is there something that could assist me?

A: I don't want to discourage you, but to be a successful homeschooling parent, you will have to do some reading, and encourage your child to read also. How about your husband? Can he assist you in the reading department? Will he be willing to devote some time to work with your daughter? You can certainly purchase a full curriculum package and each step of the way will be outlined for you. However, many children resist this structured style of teaching, and if that is the case with your daughter, you will have to come up with more creative ways to learn.

I have spoken with adults who said they hated reading as a child because they were forced to read so many books and other materials when they were in school. Years later they picked up a book and discovered reading wasn't quite as painful as they remembered it to be. Perhaps if you are reading about an interesting topic, you will find that reading can be fun. If you spend some time each week at the library with your daughter and pick out beautiful picture books to share, you just might be able to relearn what a wonderful source of information and pleasure books can be.

There are many homeschooling books that are easy to read -- The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson comes to mind. The book has a question and answer format, so you can read small bits of information when you have some free time.

I'd like to mention that there is one mom in my homeschool group who also hates to read. She has a Master's degree and was a kindergarten teacher before her children were born. She freely admits that she reads as little as possible, but she does supply her children with interesting reading materials from the library. And both of her children love to read! So yes, it's possible to homeschool, but you will have to put forth a little extra effort for success.

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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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