The Miracle of the Magic Tree House [Homeschooling A Boy's Heart, Day 2]

Today is probably the most miraculous day in all of Emilio's reading life.


I call it "The Miracle of the Magic Tree House".

You see, my little boy loved books for how they looked. That and only that. He loved going to the bookstore and dragging me to school book fairs "just because". He was always asking me to buy this and that book but he never seems to get around reading it.

He looks at piles of books with such delight in the same way he watches cartoon characters make silly faces and crack ROTFL jokes.

But NEVER has he read one particular book with such gusto and interest as he did with this Magic Tree House Book #1 "Dinosaurs Before Dark".

As a mother who is elated with the mere scent of books, I've tried very hard to make him love books the way I do. I bought him LaMaze books made of cloth when he was a baby, a book made of plastic -- for reading in the tub or shower, comic books, kiddie magazines and Disney books but I've always felt like he just couldn't take on a love for reading.

So as much as I'm disappointed that we didn't get to finish our target lessons for the day, I am comforted by the fact that I have seen with my own eyes how this little boy has grown from a "book liker" to a "book reader".

All those little efforts (and brainwashing) and frequent trips to the bookstore paid off after all.

Today is also proof of the many blessings of homeschooling. When he picked up that book, we were about to discuss his Math lessons. He asked if he could read a few pages for a while and ended up being lost with Jack and Annie.

In regular school, diversions are shunned. You can't just drift away in a fantasy world while you're in school. You have to go with the flow, with the rest of the class. All imaginary pursuits must be shelved until you get home. But in a homeschool setting, the child leads the way. As teacher/mom, you follow their lead and discern when to divert them back to the pending desk work.

I was initially torn between asking him to stop reading (to finish his desk work first) and going with the flow of his interest at that moment.

But the love of reading breeds knowledge learned passively, I thought to myself. So I decided to let him read for as long as he wanted. And after a few minutes, he's done.

He approached me soon after, smiling proudly and announcing, "Look Mama, I've finished the book in one day!"

Yes he did. And in minutes, actually.

I am so happy and very proud of him. I had been working on improving his attention span and patience and I feel like this is a move closer in that direction.

We'll go back to "class mode" until early afternoon. I plan to take him on a bookstore trip later today and get him The Magic Tree Series, Book#2: The Knight At Dawn".

Challenging and exciting times ahead.

Happy homeschooling! :)


Many thanks to Tita Ninang Jasmin for giving Emilio his first Magic Tree Series book. :)

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