I was one who was concerned about my son's "late" reading; I read well at 4, and he was read to, surrounded by books, had a huge vocabulary, etc., from birth! And yet, by 1st grade(which he spent in public school) he was the only kid in his class who wasn't reading yet! That alone, imo, really put the pressure on him and made him feel "lacking"/made reading seem like it was "hard"(his word).
When we started HS, I really pressured him, and he didn't respond well at all. Eventually, I backed off/gave up. Decided it wasn't working and took time off to regroup
We bought him a Pokemon handbook one night just because he really wanted it. And you know what? He taught himself to read with that book over the next few mths. Had it with him constantly, looked at it for about 8 hrs total per day, asked us to read it(which we did, but not a lot as we found it so insipid!
, asked us what was this word, that word, etc. Soon, he had memorized many pages, and was sounding out the rest.
Almost overnight, he was reading!
The only other "instruction" we did was reading with him at night(and I would ask him to read a chapter of Beverly Cleary and then I would read the next one or two). Now, he reads at a very high level, and what is more important, he doesn't consider it "work" but fun.
Now, it is writing he is "late" with; but I plan to allow him to grow into it/encourage his interests in things which involve writing(like emailing his friend as he did today, writing a story for the anthology I contribute to annually and which he has been invited to submit to/be in, etc). I would rather he be a teenager before he writes well (or does cursive, FTM, which is, imo, penmanship, not "writing") than to have him write on demand and grow to hate it!
So, yes; my son "taught himself to read", as I did, as my dd will. It is tragic and ridiculous that we spend millions on "literacy"/"every child reading by 7" when it is such a natural, spontaneous process if not buggered up by faulty "teaching" methods! And of course, if there are printed materials in the home. Maybe it would be more cost effective to provide those families without such materials free subscriptions to National Geo. or Book of the Mth! LOL! JMO, Kimberly, mom to Forest, 9 and Lily, 2