Last week there was a significant focus on literacy in our weekly newsletter, and we will revisit the topic a bit more today as we excitedly launch our Superstar Readers program. We are a community of educators as homeschool parents and our entire staff at Cottonwood. As teachers, we devote much of our time and energy to reading. We know that it is the foundation for all learning, and there is a huge emphasis on doing it well. In the beginning, it is about phonics and learning to read, which evolves into comprehension and writing skills. Each step of the path is essential. Moreover, I know we all hope that our children will come to love reading. There are many ways to develop a strong reader, and one of these is reading aloud.

In my homeschool, we always have at least one read-aloud going at a time. Even my eldest, just short of a teen, occupies herself in the background as I read our latest chapter book. We engage in so many rich and meaningful conversations about our read-alouds. These conversations help me to note what interests each of them and how to custom tailor each of their educations to keep them engaged, but did not come naturally at first. I had to learn to key in and listen, as did they. We cultivated the reading environment, and homeschooling offers a beautiful opportunity for this to happen. It takes time and effort, mixed with frustration and fatigue at times. Trust me, the love of reading is developed and learned. It is worth investing time and endurance for all parties involved.

How do you spark a love for reading in your home? We would love to hear your ideas on our Community Facebook page.

Kara Parkins,
Parent Support Advisor