As a homeschooling mom I usually get asked many questions by other parents. A few days back I was asked this specific one “What is the difference between homeschooling and unschooling?” I was happy to be asked this question because many people confused one thing with the other. Homeschooling is educating your children at home. In homeschooling you can either choose to do your own curriculum or to buy a boxed curriculum (ex. Abeka). Another thing is that you also have a schedule for the school day in homeschooling. In the other hand unschooling is like a branch of homeschooling. It’s also educating your child at home, but in this case the children choose what they want to learn and when. There is no specific curriculum or schedule in unschooling.
In my case, I prefer homeschooling because I know what my kids are learning and what they need to improved on. We follow a curriculum, have a school schedule from 8:00 to 12:00 with breaks, a school room, we covered all the subjects (English, History, Science, Math and in my case Spanish). Eventually when the kids go off to college they have to follow a schedule. I think maybe unschooling kids will find it a little harder to adjust to a schedule and work deadlines in college, but, that’s just my opinion.
Remember homeschooling is a lifestyle. Each family and child is different and every child learns differently. For example, some kids learn best in the mornings when others learn best in the night. As a parent you should choose a curriculum and a schedule that fits your child.
Being able to read is essential for your child’s life. Why? Because it helps him gain self-confidence, it opens his mind to learning and discovering new things, and it even helps him succeed in life.
Your child can start talking at a very early age, but this does not mean he/she will be a good reader. But it is definitely an advantage. It is up to you as a parent to develop the love for reading. Don’t wait until you child goes to pre-school to start. Remember you are your child’s first teacher, this is why it is very important to read to him. The best time to start teaching your child to read is at an early age.
Many children learn to read when it is mixed with fun activities like games. Read stories to your child and ask him what he thinks about the story. Also many children show an interest for books at an early age. I have a 2 year old that likes to sit and stared at the pages in the books. If this is your situation, that’s great because there is no better time to start that when the child is already interested.
There are a lot of things you can use like sight words flashcards, word games, etc.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I have an 8 year old that does NOT like reading and I have to be honest, is mainly my fault. When he was a baby I had two jobs and my husband was deployed, when I usually got home he was already asleep. I was out from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, so I did not
have make that special time for reading. When I decided to stay home he already was in kindergarten and now is not the easiest task to get him to read. He does read quite well, but he still needs to improve. For my 2nd and 3rd babies I had a new attitude and decided to start early and it has been a blessing. That is why it is important to start early because children are like sponges at that age they absorb everything.
One of my favorite programs for learning to read is Hooked on Phonics. As I said before, I homeschool and The Hooked on Phonics has helped my youngest kids to get a jump-start on early reading.
To help my kids learn to read I have also used LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing System, School Zone Flashcards, World Word videos, and games.