Making Learning Fun VI – Just Read! – Reading to Learn

29 Sep

Ok, see a common theme here in my posts?  “Textbooks are NOT the only way to learn.”

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE textbooks. But they truly are not the only means of learning as I think many of us had come to believe.

Simply reading a book, article, etc or being read to, offer great learning opportunities without dragging down a weary learner or really any student.

Case in point:

My 15  year old does not like conventional textbook learning. Getting him to do a simple assignment can be like pulling teeth. But, masha Allah, he is an EXCELLENT reader and loves to read. 

He’s read Raheequl Makhtum (biography of Muhammad (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) about five times by himself (without my urging) and can spit out facts about battles and the like with no effort, alhamdulillah.

Each time he read the book on his own, no worksheets, quizzes, tests. But he can use vocabulary from the books he reads in context.  The other day he said he was “conveying a message….” he smirked as we said, “I used it correctly in context.”  And he does that a lot, insha Allah. No vocabulary tests or worksheets.

Reading Aloud

Even at his age, my oldest enjoys me reading to him from time to time. Many homeschoolers read aloud each day as part of their schedule.  You don’t have to bog them down with “schooly” type comprehension questions.  Stop every now and then and make sure they understand vocabulary or what’s being said.

After the reading, (but not necessarily right aftward) ask them to tell you what the story/article was about.  Did they like it? Name something they learned (written or oral).

Also do this kind of activity with material student has read on his/her own.


So if you ahave a child that loves to read, but hates more traditional textbook learning, take advantage of it and use that as your primary method of learning as much as you are able to.  (Though textbooks may just be necessary or easier for some topics). 

Also, if you child does like to read, try just letting him read his textbook at HIS OWN PACE.  (I admit its hard to not step in and break out with some worksheets). But, since we don’t have many books to read at home, I sometimes find my older son reading his textbooks.  I guess the learning is more natural and interesting when you don’t always have some worksheet, asssignment crammed down your throat. 

So I’m not saying I hate textbooks (they can be such lifesavers, alhamdulillah) but sometimes its good to take a step out of the box and see what can be learned.

Related: You might try some of the activities listed here in this post to have student demonstrate what has been learned.


Happy Reading!

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Posted by on September 29, 2008 in Making Learning Fun


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