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6 yr old and not reading

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Please post here and let me know if you also have a 6 yr old that does not independently read or write.

My DS is 6 and a half and does not read. He does not write words let alone sentences.

The co-op we are a part of just sent out the fall classes. I'm very disappointed. Of all the classes there are only 2 which do not require reading/writing as a prereq. Art and chess. All the classes that are labeled as age 6 and up the child must know how to read and write. I know the women who set up the schedule and yes, their children at age 5 or 6 do read/write. Yet, is it so unusual for a 6 yr old to not read/write? It's like they have not even considered that a 6 yr old may not know how to read yet.

I'm trying to not let it upset me. I'm trying to not picture my child as being "behind." I want him to learn to read/write at his own pace. He does not like to read himself. He wants to be read to. He resists reading lessons to the point of crying and throwing fits. I'm trying to wait for him to be ready. At the same time I want him to be able to take fun classes at co-op and be with other kids in his age range. Besides art and chess the only classes reading is not required are the preschool classes. I don't want him in a class with 2 to 4 yr olds. He would be bored. He wants to be with his age group.

Why does it seem like everyone thinks a 6 yr old *has* to be reading?
post #2 of 63
My 6 1/2 year old does not read independently yet. He will write using invented spelling. I'm not worried. That said, the class thing would frustrate me too.
post #3 of 63
My 7yo doesn't read.

I learned to read at age 6.

My mom didn't learn to read till she was 8 and now shes a voracious reader.

I am having a hard time trying to protect dd from people who think she should be reading. Fortunately I have talk to a bunch of homeschooling friends who all said it wasn't unusual and once their child did learn to read they took off, couldn't keep enough books around for the kid.
post #4 of 63
I have an 8yo who isn't reading. I feel your pain! EVERYONE assumes he is reading, heck they assume he is reading well.

Luckily our librarian knows and is sensitive to it (lets us use read aloud books at higher levels for the reading program for example) and our homeschool group is as well. Our co-op isn't organised enought to have requirements for classes (beyond being able to participate without being disruptive LOL!).
post #5 of 63
My 7yo isnt reading either. My family is on my case non stop about it, and some have been downright offensive. He knows some phonics, and wants to read, he will look through books for hours, has a 7th grade comprehension, and loves to be read to.

What also gets me, aside from classes like you said...are the other children. DS is supposed to spend a week with my sister and his cousins, and go to daycamp with his 7yo cousin. Im concerned that the counselors and other kdis might find it to be odd. I dont want him to get a complex and feel behind.

It is one of many reasons why this year we are using a structured curriculum. DS is upset that he cant read, and wants to be at grade level...he decided that on his own.
post #6 of 63
My oldest son, now 9, didn't read until 7. I really wouldn't worry...MANY 6 YO's aren't reading.
post #7 of 63
I find that strange, since the majority of 6 year olds we know are not reading more than cvc words. In school, most children don't start first grade until age 6, which in many cases is nearly 7. And they don't really learn to "read" in kindergarten, beyond cvc and a bunch of sight words.
post #8 of 63
DS2 is 6 1/2 and does not read. He can sound out a few words but can not read instructions or books yet. He does not write at all.
post #9 of 63
Here's an article that was in the Harvard Crimson in 1989 - about the homeschoolers of the Colfax family (Homeschooling for Excellence, and Hard Times in Paradise), one of who was still there at the time. Grant, the eldest did not read till he was nine, and he went on to graduate from Harvard's medical school on the Dean's List.
Homeschoolers Are at Home at Harvard, by Nara K. Nahm

I think it's really unfortunate and insensitive - and ignorant - that interesting classes for such young homeschoolers are dependent on reading and writing. My son was taking summer classes for kids at a college when he was 10-12 years old, and even those weren't dependent on reading or writing but on stimulating lectures and slide shows and demonstrations, plays, crafts, and lots of fun stuff.

Not that reading and writing precludes fun, but that it should be obvious to people planning classes for young children that lots of them won't be reading or writing proficiently yet, and certainly not easily enough to be fun. The planning for the program sounds pretty unimaginative - and really, there's no reason why it should even matter that he can't take their classes.

You and friends could probably put together some more appropriate learning activities that are fun and informative and interesting. You're not alone - your son is not alone. In fact, I remember once when I had to drop my 8 or 9 year old at a cub scout meeting where they were going to be doing some project that day that involved a lot of writing - I was really nervous that the other moms, whose boys all attended school, would be horrified at my son's writing skills - or more to the point, his lack of them! When I arrived to pick him up, I mentioned something about it and they all laughed. They pointed out their own sons' writing and said there wasn't any difference! The more I think about it, I don't see why in the world your co-op would put together classes that were dependent on reading and writing at all - that could really put a damper on it for a number of children. It sounds pretty schooly. Boy, I didn't start this expecting to go into a rant... - Lillian
post #10 of 63
My almost 7 year old is not reading independantly yet - always making moves towards it so I'm not too worried, I know it will happen with time. But definitely lots of pressures around!!!!!
post #11 of 63
My younger DS didn't read until he was 7. He's almost 12 now, and his writing still stinks. We've decided to work on that.

We've participated in co-ops in the past. IME, homeschoolers who set up co-ops are somewhat schoolish in the way they think. I've yet to see a co-op where kids aren't expected to read or write something.
post #12 of 63
My son will be six years old next week and he does not read. We have honestly not even attempted to teach him

He can write his name and some of the letters but I purposely have held off even approaching reading lessons yet. I don't believe in hurrying children and I don't believe that every child is "ready" to learn to read at age four or five.

It frustrates me because I thought that one of the reasons that many families homeschool was to escape these sorts of artificial expectations set up by the school systems.

I think it is ridiculous that the classes require reading and writing. As it is a coop, is there any way you could offer to teach a class at that age level?
post #13 of 63
I am finding this thread very reassuring

Thank you all!!!
post #14 of 63
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
IME, homeschoolers who set up co-ops are somewhat schoolish in the way they think. I've yet to see a co-op where kids aren't expected to read or write something.
Oh! I hadn't thought of that, but that's generally true. We had a couple of activity days in our support group in which a few families got together to have fun enrichment, drama (went in together and hired a local drama teacher with some extra times on her hands), art, play, music, Spanish study (with a mom who spoke to them in Spanish while cooking and doing crafts with them), etc. - but we didn't even think of it as co-ops so much as just "get together" days. One of the newer, bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed, moms wanted to use the opportunity to sneak in schoolish activities, but we stood firm. Lillian
post #15 of 63
my dd turned 6 in April. she doesn't read. she loves books and being read to. I must admit that my awareness of her not reading is just beginning to heat up, my m-i-l asked about it recently, etc. I'm trying to just be calm and let it happen. when I step back, I have no question that my girl will learn to read. when she's 6 or 8 or 10? that seems like such a big deal right now, but I know it will happen in her childhood. thanks for the thread and reassurance.
post #16 of 63
My dd could only read the easiest readers at 7, now she is 8-1/2 and can (and does) read everything and anything she can get her hands on. She also is very suddenly and somewhat miraculously moved from invented spellings from analyzing how to spell all kinds of words. She always leeps ahead by some huge stride just as I am starting to freak
post #17 of 63
My 8 y.o. didn't read independently until @age 7.5. She could read CVC words and a few others, but it was labored and she didn't enjoy it. Then sometime, somehow she had a lightswitch moment and now she avidly reads chapter books (American Girl Doll novels are favs.)

My 5.5 year old isn't anywhere close to writing. She can barely write her first initial.

Both are brilliant children - and no I'm not biased! lol
post #18 of 63
From what I have read, this is totally normal, especially for boys who often don't read until ten or even later. Don't push it, he'll get it in time!
post #19 of 63
Both of my boys learned when they were six (but weren't reading at 6). My oldest learned to read at 6 and then jumped about a grade level per month until he was reading at college level when he was 7. That really took the pressure off for me regarding the other two boys
My youngest just turned six in June. He can read some basic words but that is it
post #20 of 63
Find other things for your child -- at that age my kids like scouts, pottery class, dance class etc. There are tons of fun things for kids to do not require any academics.

My oldest started reading a little bit at 6 1/2, but only basic things. Reading didn't really click for her until she was 7 1/2, but then she could suddenly read anything (even Time magazine). She didn't really learn to write until much later. She didn't write in sentences until she was 9, and it is still hard for her at 10.

My younger DD read only basic things like CVC words at 6, and reading didn't really click for her until she was 8. For her, reading and writting went hand in hand.
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