Ever since my daughter has learned to read she has professed to not be a fan of language arts. She claims she doesn’t like it, it isn’t for her, and she wants only to get it over and done with so she can move on to another subject. As an English major, this sort of cut close to the heart for me. How can my daughter not like language arts? That was my favorite subject in school. Then again, this isn’t about me or my loves – it’s about her.
I spent a few years, I think, pushing her in language arts in ways that I knew worked for me when I was in school. It is actually amazing how long that went on before I realized this wasn’t going to work for her. I have to let my children be individuals, and that includes in their homeschooling and learning styles. I’ve learned, with my daughter, the ways she likes to learn and the ways she responds.
This year, in 5th grade, Teresa is learning much more in language arts than before. I can see her writing blossoming, and her reading skills have improved. Where once she complained about different grammar exercises, I now have the rush of pride when she corrects her little brother’s grammar. Although she could probably be a little nicer about it … but at least she’s sharpening up on her skills!
It didn’t hurt that we found something she loves to read. In the past year Teresa stumbled upon mystery books – Nancy Drew, etc – and she LOVES them. She will tear through a mystery novel in a day, where the books I was making her read for our homeschool curriculum – Little House – would sit on the same page for weeks. I always thought it was because she didn’t like to read, as she always claimed. Apparently, it was just that those books bored her to tears, and we just needed to find what she loved.
I look forward to Teresa’s continuing development in language arts next year when she enters middle school, because I suspect she’s starting to enjoy it more than she claims.