This post is sponsored by BookShark.
As this school year comes to an end, it’s time to start preparing for the next one! Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be as daunting or neverending of a task as it sounds. Finding the right style of curriculum and then choosing a quality program to use can make planning easier than ever!
For our family, choosing a literature based curriculum just made the most sense. Reading is an essential part to all learning, so having that as the base of our lessons has been helpful in building my kids’ vocabulary, reading skills, and love of learning.
We chose BookShark for our literature based curriculum and have been so happy with it. From a parent/educator standpoint, the open-and-go style programs make the day so easy. Whether you are new to homeschooling or have been doing it for years, that convenience is not something to take lightly!
After using BookShark for some time now and reading up on the benefits of literature based education, I’ve come up with 7 key reasons that kids learn best through reading. If you’re considering this method of teaching for your homeschool, read on!
Works on multiple areas at once
This was a huge factor for me. With younger kiddos that need attention, spending hours on lessons is tough. When you add in the set up, planning, and execution of various types of activities for each individual subject– yeah, it’s a lot to juggle!
With literature based learning, your kids can develop skills in multiple areas at once. Of course they are always working on their reading and vocabulary skills. But they’re also learning about the specific subject at hand, such as science or history, and learning how to comprehend and think critically. Plus there are often many opportunities in books to work on earlier math skills such as counting or grouping!
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They connect and relate to the stories
Reading from living books versus textbooks allows kids to truly connect with the literature. A list of facts can be memorized, but hearing about Laura Ingalls experience living in the late 19th century will create an emotional bond between your child and the times they are learning about. BookShark introduces your kids to all sorts of inspiring people and times throughout their history packages!
(As a funny sidenote, I am pregnant with my fourth baby and second daughter. My five-year-old daughter is dead set on this baby’s name being Carrie just like the baby from the Little House series. You could definitely say she made an emotional connection to the story!)
Helps them remember details
This ties into point #2, but the natural result of having an emotional connection to a story is that it is easier to remember. It is so much easier for kids to recall a great story they read than to memorize facts. Memorization has its place, but we want to cultivate an environment where our kids love to learn and have the best chance at remembering information long-term. Reading about history through stories is a much more effective way to do that than to write down bullet point pieces of information.
Easier to focus on topics that truly interest them
This is huge for creating lifetime learners. We want kids to learn how to learn, and LOVE to learn. When you spend your school day reading engaging stories, it will be easier to keep them interested in general. But you’ll also begin to notice the books that really catch their interest.
For example, my son has been obsessed with trucks since before he could even articulate it. So finding books that involve a vehicle in some way are sure to grab his attention more. Thankfully, BookShark has an incredible mixture of classic books. So you are sure to find topics that stand out more than others for your children and gain some insight into their natural interests earlier on!
Helps their ability to concentrate
Reading allows kids to develop their abilities to focus and concentrate. You just can’t gain much from a story if you’re only half listening and full of distractions. Focus, like so much else in growing up, is a skill that requires practice. Books happen to be an amazing way to encourage that!
Rather than working on boring worksheets all day or listening to a lecture on a topic, your kids will WANT to stay engaged in the stories they’re being told. Not only will this help them learn more, but the simple act of being focused for longer periods of time will help them do so in other areas. You may start to notice your kids playing a particular pretend-play game for longer, or focus on one toy for a while!
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Allows for stress-free learning environment
This goes for both you AND your kids! You don’t have to do so much fussing with prep for the day, and your kids can learn through a natural process of reading amazing books. There’s no rushing around which allows them the freedom to really enjoy what they’re reading. Kids love being read to, so the simple act of listening to you read to them will create a stress-free or low-stress environment to learn in.
Grows their imagination and ability to THINK
This one is my favorite, of course. How amazing will your kids’ imaginations be after hearing all these incredible stories? Rather than spending their play time acting out what they saw on a TV show, you may find your kids reenacting their interpretation of a story you read together.
That’s the beauty of reading, it causes you to think for yourself as you hear the words. You have to put in the mental work to visualize what is being said. That is such an incredible ability to give your kids! Not only are they able to work on lessons needed specifically for school, but it will improve other areas of their lives as they develop an awareness and ability to think things through.
We have been loving our time with BookShark so far, and look forward to using them for many years to come! My daughter is thriving in our homeschool and we both look forward to this part of our day everyday. If you want your kids to learn in the best way for them, use BookShark for all your reading needs!