Natural Reading Strategies for Families

I started budgeting and planning for this year’s curriculum many months ago—spending hours asking fellow homeschool moms and browsing Amazon and book sales for the lowest priced books. My child has been reading and rereading his current books (which is good as he retains more information after every rereading but bad because his thirst for new things to read needs to be satiated very soon!). So I finally made the purchases, and we are just waiting for the wonderful box of books to arrive!

What new book to read next?? I am sure this is a fantastic “problem” any homeschool parent would like to have. My mother-in-law said she did not expect my child to like books (maybe because he was always watching the television when they are together?). But I always knew he would grow to be a reader because he has always enjoyed being read to as a baby and toddler. It is part of our routine (reading before his afternoon nap and reading together in the afternoons when he was no longer taking afternoon naps), and I made sure he sees me reading books as well. 

Reading Strategy That Nurtures a Love for Books

Growing up, our home had a dedicated library. Dad and Mom were very frugal. We did not always shop for new clothes, but education was a non-compromise. Yes, my school books were always hand-me-downs from my older sister; however, we could have the occasional treat of a new book at the bookstore. They even splurged on an encyclopedia set (which my sister and brother made a pastime of reading from A to Z) and a volume of children’s fiction and non-fiction books—all of which they eventually gifted to my boy. Dad subscribed to a monthly magazine. He said it was for the sweepstakes opportunity offered by the publication, but really, we all knew it was his loving gift to us because he knew his children loved to read. 

My parents are typical Chinese parents—very hardworking and strict. However, they are not the tiger Asian parents. I guess all of us siblings (big sister, baby brother, and me) loved books because of the natural reading environment at home. Dad and Mom’s reading diet consists of the daily newspaper (both Chinese and English-language ones). They may not be fond of the pocketbooks my sister and I were crazy for, but they know that a lot of learning takes place when we read. Although there were also “bad habits” we got because of our reading appetite. My maternal grandmother would scold my mom when my sister would bring a book during get-togethers, choosing to read rather than mingle with the cousins. And what about me? I imitated my sister of course!!

"Growing up, our house had a dedicated library"

Habits of Daily Reading

Back to the present, my little boy wakes up very early each morning. Another great “problem” to have is that he wants to hide in the closet and just read (while waiting for everyone else to wake up). I say it is a “problem” because sometimes I just need those extra minutes of shuteye, hehe! But I am actually happy with this because at the same time, we are creating new routines and memories together. And also, we are able to cover more homeschool read-alouds.

How I wished when he was still a baby I could have “demanded” a book gift registry when friends were eager to give, LOL. Children need only a few toys and clothes (do not listen to the marketers!!). But an overflow of quality books will always be appreciated especially since the public library is not very accessible to us. 

I am not really a shopping gal, but admittedly, my heart raced looking at the shipping updates on the books. Every night, my child and I would read his children’s Bible (We are nearly finished with it!), and both of us are really excited about starting a new Bible. So he is also sharing my giddiness over the new book arrivals. 

I guess a personal perk I have been enjoying (as the homeschool parent) is that I am able to read good books alongside my boy. Before having my child, I would lounge with my iPad binging on chick lit. Now, I am going back to the good ol’ days when I was in elementary school (with the library card as my prized possession), and I would declare in slumbooks that my favourite book in the world is White Fang by Jack London. 

Keep reading, Mom/Dad! And the little one will follow.

Do you want to encourage reading comprehension with your children? We have a guest post that lists reading comprenhension questions that you adapt to almost any book! Reading Comprehension for Any Book – Questions to ask your Child for any Book by Yvie looks at the author, mood, theme, and more!

Natural Reading Strategies for Families Author

Aside from God, her family, homeschooling (and books!), Katherine Tanyu’s love lies in stationeries. She and her husband manage growing stationery brands Forestmill®, Prevailed® and Boss StationeryTM in the Philippines.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

A Division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine