Literacy as a lifestyle

Our "school year" is officially over.  This means we hit the 180 days that the state of PA requires.  But, we firmly aspire to the Charlotte Mason principle that "education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life."  


So, how do we keep our focus on literacy this summer? Our homeschool has 3 primary ways.


1) Read aloud

We still meet in the morning to read the Bible, picture books of choice, and our History read alouds.  People are never too old for picture books!  Just this week I learned about the first Victory Garden at the White House from a glorious picture book "Diana's Garden".  


On most days, we gather for our "Lit lunch" where we light candles and listen to an audio book while we eat.  Often times my boys have been out playing and my daughter has been doing "tween" things so this is our time to reengage, and reconnect over new books.  



2) Focus on underlying skills

The left right pattern of visual scanning carries directly over to reading.  But, it isn't only done with reading.  Here, my son is watching a tutorial on creating a cute little loom band mushroom on the left and then scanning to the right to build his own.  Some of our other favorite ways to encourage scanning are hidden picture books, and paint by sticker books.  


3. Nature Journaling

This could and should be a blog post in itself.  Nature journaling brings attention, observation, and focus to any outdoor time.  It allows me to be inspired by my children and also to model the combination of motor, process, and social skills that are required in completing a journal.  Our process is 1) spend time outside 2) take a specified 5 minutes to find something unique 3) sit with our clipboards that are equipped with paper and art supplies to draw 4) finish there or come home to research our observations 5) add to our family nature journal aka 3 ring binder. 



  • American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). Occupational therapy practice framework (4th ed.). American Occupational Therapy.
  • College of Optometrists in Visual Development. (2021). Vital Visual Skills.



Sarah Collins

Sarah is an OT and home school mama whose zone of genius is bridging the gap between OT's and homeschool parents with resources to help them both thrive.

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