By Kathy Kuhl
Reading is one of my favorite things to do. But when I homeschooled, finding time to read was a big problem.
Learning about AD/HD and dyslexia and planning our homeschool took time. Teaching my bright, creative, and highly distractible son took most of my attention. Plus, I drove us to all our outside activities: karate, swimming, group classes, and more. There wasn’t much time to read.
And that before Facebook and smartphone were around. How much harder it is to find time to read now. So how’s a busy mom feed her mind while homeschooling a challenging child? Here are four tips.
Get off the Internet to make time to read.
(I’m talking to myself here. Confession: I spent an hour reading articles I found on Facebook today. They were good articles, but I let FB direct my reading instead of me. Not good.)
But I’m still fighting. I took the Facebook app off my phone and tablet. If I need to see what you’ve posted on my page, I can use a browser and enter the password. It’s good to be slowed down a little on my way to Facebook.
Also, I’ve started putting my phone on vibrate or “Do not disturb” most of the day. That’s helping me cut down on the distractions. I “put my phone to bed” (on a charger in a different room) an hour or two before I go to bed.
Keep a book in the car or in your bag.
That’s easy, and more fun than grading papers.
Most of the time in the car I listened to my kids’ music and books, but sometimes they hear mine. They listened along with me to Mars Hill Audio Journal, which has let to some great discussions, and nonfiction, like Delivered From Distraction, by Dr. Ned Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey. (My son was so pleased with the book, he insisted I copy out one passage for him to show people, so he could teach them about AD/HD.)
Library books on CD are great. Now my library also has Overdrive, an app for smartphone or tablet, which lets me download ebooks and audio books. So I don’t have to run to the library as often. A vision-impaired friend recommended Librevox for free audios of books in the public domain. Another friend shares an Audible account with her son, who has learning disabilities.
Set realistic reading goals
Don’t set goals so high you can’t reach them. When you’ve got a new baby, your reading goal might be one headline and today’s Baby Blues comic strip.
Make plans to help you reach your reading goals. Nearly thirty years ago, I joined a book club for young moms. Getting together to talk about a book was a lovely mental mental break, and no one worried if some of us hadn’t finished reading. When I moved to Virginia, I started a similar book club. Our policy was that you didn’t need to finish the book to come. In fact, if you had read the blurb on the back or had thought about getting the book, you were welcome. And so was your nursing babe.
What helps you find time to read? Please share your ideas below.