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has anyone just let their child teach self to read? - Page 2

post #21 of 30
>"I just can't believe that most people don't read until they're 5 or 6. How sad!"<
Well, I read fairly early, by 4 or so, but as has been said again and again here, every child is different.
My son, who was read to from a few mths of age, watched hardly any tv for his first sev. yrs, and would sit and "read" books to himself from the time he could sit up, didn't read until 8. It wasn't particularly sad (other than my early expectations and consequent pressures I placed on him! He was engaging the world in so many other, concrete ways, the fact that he didn't feel much need for a more abstract way of learning/engaging was of no concern(to him, at any rate
And because I finally wised up and let go of my arbitrary expectations, he was able to grow into that skill in his own time, and is now one who will enjoy reading for life.
I recently read an article on education reform, and Rod Paige, our national education head, was quoted as saying, re' the need for more and earlier literacy programs, "Reading is the basis of ALL learning." It really struck me that THAT idea is one of the biggest problems with the current system/approach. What? Reading the basis/sourse of all learning? Hogwash! We learn constantly in a myriad of ways, and most of do so best through hands-on and/or first-hand experience (esp. true of children!) But in our schools, it is too often the case that reading the written word (and re-gurgitating it on command) monopolizes the process, when it is but one way of learning(and not even the best suited to children.)
But we persist in pushing for younger and younger readers, assuming they will grow into "well educated" minds. In my opinion, the very fact that we feel the need to spend billions of dollars "teaching"/forcing kids to read says a lot; it says they are not yet ready, and that the methods employed do more to inhibit the inborne curiosity and drive to emulate adults than they do to encourage those traits. I have never known a child who didn't WANT to learn to read, when they were dev. ready, who wasn't pushed to do so too soon and developed blocks to it as a result. JMO.
post #22 of 30
Amen to that!!
post #23 of 30
double amen!
post #24 of 30


When I said it was sad that kids didn't learn to read until 5 or 6, I didn't mean like it was a bad thing or that something is wrong with them or their parents...

I guess I'm just happy that I was able to spend those years reading and I would like other children to know that happiness...but I'm sure everyone can be happy and have fun reading no matter what age they learn.
post #25 of 30
There are exerts that believe that young children can be damaged by reading before they are 7, 11, or 13 depending on the expert. There is no reason to be concerned if a home learner doesn't read until they are around 11 or some. Someone, I think it is John Holt, said to not encourage learning to read at all. It is so much better for kids to teach themselves to read because they want to function better in and understand the world more.

My two youngest children did not read until they were 11. One day they just could read at an adult level. I had asthma by the time the youngest was born and I couldn't read outloud to him (that is when you know you have BAD asthma) so I was a little concerned about him. Everything turned out OK and he is a great reader like his brothers.
post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 
I am so glad to hear all these stories!!! it really helps me to relax and just let things happen. and i can see that they are happening -- but what is even more important is that i can focus on all the NON-reading things that are happening! i loved the point made above that reading is not the basis of all learning. being a great reader myself it was easy for me to buy into that myth, and think that dd needed to read early and quickly. but then i look at my dh, who is a very slow reader (about half my speed) but who has mastered 11 languages and continues to pick up more on his lunch breaks...
post #27 of 30
Check out John Holt's books, particularly "Learning All The Time." I just started reading his work and am fascinated and just loving this man's compassion and love for children.
post #28 of 30


My son knew letters before pre-shool We simply taught the letters to him with the bath tub letter set. He learned to read before he entered K. IT was rather painless, he really did it himslef with little help from us. I read some post here and I honestely can not imagine depriving ym child of the plesuare of readign till the age of 11-13. I did what my mother did with me (In Russian) but it seems to work in Enlgish as well (for us anyway). MY son is very curiuos so he kept asking us about stree , store sign etc. We read them out loud and then spelled them to him He did it constantly and we kep doignt it to. Sometime he ashek how come th is not t-h but the other sound, so we just told him this is way it is, these 2 letter make this sound. One day he read to me in the car BANK, TOY STORE etc. I do not really think that most of 4 year old would agree to formal reading lesson. We plan to do the smae thing with my younger son. Fomr sing he moved to books
post #29 of 30
I wasn't suggesting that anyone "deprive" a child the pleasure of reading, Alenushka, I meant that I would not drill or push a child to read. I'm convinced that children will learn to read without phonics worksheets or curriculum as long as they are surrounded by the printed word and are read to. I wouldn't refuse to explain the sounds of letters if a child asked, but I also wouldn't drill flash cards or worry if a child wasn't reading at 5 or 6 or 8 or whatever. Some children are perfectly happy to learn to read at 10/11 and I think it's important to honor that individual pace.
post #30 of 30
I think there's a lot of room between formally teaching a child to read and doing nothing that would facilitate reading. Maybe that's the key - facilitating reading, not teaching it. Reading to a child facilitates reading. Talking to a child about words, even in everyday conversation ("Oh, look, there's a sign for the zoo, we must be going the right way!") facilitates reading. Responding to a child who asks, "What does that say?" facilitates reading. A child in a house without interesting books who doesn't have opportunities to interact with the written word won't read.

I just think it's important to note that allowing a child to learn to read at his or her own speed doesn't mean doing nothing. I have heard of people (although it's all second-hand) who didn't want to interfere with the child's natural learning process, so when the child asked, "What's this word?" they wouldn't tell him. I think that's wrong.

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