My 4y2m old doesn't know how to read. We've taken an unschool approach to academics, and haven't "taught" her anything. She has learned everything from the world around her. I recently bought myself and the kids some books at the thrift store.. some really neat ones too. I got an older pictorial dictionary set for the girls for when they're older.. it's a couple of decades old. My grandma had something like it and I remember being a kid just paging through it and learning about everything.. I would spend hours reading the dictionary and encyclopedias!
As with all of our books, they are kept within reach so the girls have easy access to page through them. DD fell in love with them and their illustrations. She asked me what the letters next to the pictures said, and I told her that the words represent what the picture was. She was really intrigued.. and has asked me to help her learn to read books on her own. I explained to her that it could take some time to learn all of the sounds and how they work but we could certainly take some time out of each day to do so.
She already knows all of her letters.. she had a period when she was around 18 months where she wanted to know what EVERYTHING was.. so she memorized what they all were.
Today we worked on A, B, and C. and the sounds that they made. I gathered a few toys of hers (toy apple , toy ball, toy car, for example) and showed her the sounds that they made. We then talked about other words that started with sounds like that. At first she didn't have the foggiest idea as to what I meant by the sound the word began with.. but she caught on and was very interested.
She wants to learn more tomorrow... do I just go over the letters we already did? Do I introduce the sounds of different letters? How slow or fast do we take this?
She's just giddy right now. She ran out of the bathroom and said, "Mama, guess what?! B-b-butterfly! Butterfly is a buh sound B word!" and she's now looking through her current favorite book (Corduroy) and picking out the words that start with A, B, and C. I'm happy to see her in a good mood...
I don't want to make it too hard for her. She's the persistent type, and even if she gets stuck she'll keep at it, even if frustrated. The key to unschooling is to go at their pace and listen to them.. but I'm kinda worried she could take it too far and be too hard on herself. The same thing happened recently with pedaling a bike. She has sensory issues, possible Aspergers (though i'm not so sure about that anymore), and motor planning delays. With the motor planning delays, pedaling a bike was incredibly hard for her to grasp- there was crying and fits of rage, but her determination was just in your face! She eventually got it because of her drive to learn.
She rarely says "I can't" (usually only at clean up time ) so how do I follow her lead? Advice? Anyone have a child similar or a similar (or just general) experience? Tips? Thanks!
Funny.. I'm so concerned about doing this "right" but there really is no "right" way, just "her way", which is the "right" way