Instilling a Love of Reading – A Mentor‘s Task

Feb 08, 2024 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

As National Mentoring Month ends and February, the month of love, begins, I wonder if one of your favorite books holds special significance because a mentor in your life recommended it. While some of us feel we were born with a love of reading, it still needed to be nurtured and watered in order to grow. Perhaps your mother or one of your grandparents shared their enchantment with the written word as you sat on their laps, and you still have Pat the Bunny, Goodnight Moon, or The Little Prince on your bookshelf. Others eschewed this activity unless forced to pick up a book to complete an assignment. Yet, when an older sibling shared The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, something ignited within them, and they have been reading ever since!

For many of you, Andrew Pudewa is already a mentor, and you regularly tune in to the Arts of Language podcasts and faithfully read IEW’s blog posts. We are so thankful to be able to encourage you in this way. In our Ask Andrew Anything podcast series, our founder has frequently come alongside our customers and answered some of their concerns about students who do not love reading. In Episode 140 (timestamp 1:36), Episode 320 (timestamp 18:20), and Episode 360 (timestamp 10:20), Andrew offers advice on how to motivate reluctant readers in this day and age. Episode 150 (timestamp 9:24) offers co-op teachers tips on how to incorporate literature in the classroom. Parents of students dealing with learning differences will appreciate Andrew’s advice in Episode 259 (timestamp 9:09) as he counsels parents on choosing age-appropriate reading materials for a student with dyslexia who is reading below age level. Lastly, for those desiring to find ways they can become more dedicated in reading to their children, Episode 360 (timestamp 27:31) offers encouragement.

Here at IEW, we hope to get you started and help you to foster a love of reading. Additionally, we hope to inspire those whose Kindle or Audible account is already full. Our IEW Book Recommendations will give you a robust list of quality, classic literature, organized by reading/grade level. Let your students pick from the list so that they can begin the year with a novel centered around a topic, time period, or genre of interest. In order to further challenge parents to incorporate literature, we offer Adam Andrews’s Teaching the Classics (TTC) seminar. This brief course for parents will motivate you to read and discuss works of literature—from children's books to classic novels—and equip your students with literary analysis tools that bring literature to life. We love to share our Timeline of Classics, where a fellow homeschool mom Gail Ledbetter comes alongside each of us and shares her years of preparation as she dedicated herself to reading with her students. This chronological index of classic world literature reveals a panoramic view of world history and will be a great resource for each family. We also regularly partner with additional mentors, such as Sarah Mackenzie, founder of Read Aloud Revival, in order to help you gather as many resources as possible to reach the goal of fostering a love of reading.

Reading is an essential language art, and we place a priority on being thoughtful mentors in this area for each of our customers. We also desire to motivate you to seek out additional mentors who can form a book club with you, recommend additional titles you may enjoy as much as they did, or share from their own experiences as they sought to incorporate a love of reading into their homeschool journeys. Whether the mentoring month of January, the February month of love, or one of the titles from your childhood drew you into this post, know that IEW is excited to continue providing advice and resources for you as you pursue a love of reading. Mr. Pudewa has shared that “often, that’s the trick of it—just get started.” This month our desire is to equip you to do so. You may even start with Mr. Pudewa’s favorite book of 2023!


by Katie Eades

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