My Child is Three and He Cannot Read - Mothering Forums

My Child is Three and He Cannot Read

dalia's Avatar dalia (TS)
04:56 PM Liked: 28939
#1 of 46
02-21-2013 | Posts: 1,969
Joined: Sep 2007
Now that my son is three, a few of his peers can read or are beginning to learn. I would just like to take this opportunity to brag about how my kid can't read. That's right, he can't read. Why? BECAUSE HE'S THREE.

He doesn't know his alphabet. He doesn't know how to add and subtract. He knows how to play. That's about it.

I know I sound sarcastic but I know if I rant about this on Facebook I will hurt the feelings of many of my friends who are boasting about their kid's reading skills. It's cool if your kid can read.

But I am proud that my child can't read! He has plenty of time. :-)
appalachiamama's Avatar appalachiamama
05:25 PM Liked: 60
#2 of 46
02-21-2013 | Posts: 264
Joined: Dec 2010

My child is four and is just learning to draw circles and lines.  She doesn't draw anything that looks like anything, unless it's a happy accident, and that's fine with me. ROTFLMAO.gif


Fortune Teller's Avatar Fortune Teller
06:20 PM Liked: 56
#3 of 46
02-21-2013 | Posts: 303
Joined: Jan 2013

Love this thread!  My son is 6 and he is just now starting to show interest in reading

 

My other son is 5 and thinks 'A' is a number.  Shows absolutely no interest in any academics, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

 

It's hard to keep my mouth closed when I hear friends or others stressing about reading and academics so early... I love it here where I am not the minority!


earthmama4's Avatar earthmama4
10:41 PM Liked: 367
#4 of 46
02-21-2013 | Posts: 607
Joined: Oct 2008

Ok, I have to join now. This is fun!

 

My son is 4 years old and doesn't even know the ABC song! He only counts to 7 and scribbles when he colors. He doesn't know a single letter. But he "reads" all the time, because he has memorized some of our favorite books. 

 

Add one more reason to my list of why I stay off FB!

 

However, please know that what many parents call "reading" is a bit of a stretch. *Putting on former Pre-K teacher hat now* A child can only truly understand in print that which he can understand in speech. The most important way to prepare a child for literacy (truly understanding and using the written word) is through orality - talk to them, sing to them, tell them stories and rhymes, and read to them. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the alphabet and letter sounds. I have worked with older children who can "read" an entire story, but cannot answer the simplest questions about it once they are finished. That isn't reading. Ok, rant over!

 

Warmest Blessings! 


Viola's Avatar Viola
01:20 AM Liked: 10054
#5 of 46
02-22-2013 | Posts: 22,576
Joined: Feb 2002

I was all set to come in and assure you that this is actually a GOOD thing, so I'm relieved that your thread is what it is.

 

But if I were to participate, it would be kind of sad.  My daughter is 13 and can't ride a bike.  My other daughter is 9 and can't tie her shoes.  Yeah, sad.  


expat-mama's Avatar expat-mama
04:00 AM Liked: 30
#6 of 46
02-22-2013 | Posts: 1,476
Joined: May 2008

The longer I am a mother the more I see how DIFFERENT the path of development is for all kids and how amazing that is. They are individuals and shouldn't constantly be measured against each other or some kind of manufactured standard! 

I especially find it fascinating and wonderful how kids pick and choose what they want to focus on developmentally. 

 

More parents need to know that it's perfectly OK if their kid doesn't know the alphabet but can climb that play structure like nobody's business, or if their kid can count backwards from 100 but hasn't the slightest idea how to use a ride-on toy!

 

My son tends to fall in the latter category, he's far more interested in and excels at traditionally academic pursuits and isn't so good at physical things but he's a great kid and the most important thing is that he is doing what he wants and what he likes and that he is one freaking happy kid! I wish mamas weren't so quick to jump to comparing- I love pointing out the amazing strengths and different abilities of my son and the kids he hangs out with, they are all just following their own paths and it's wonderful to see happy kids. 

 

Thanks for this thread.


appalachiamama's Avatar appalachiamama
04:55 AM Liked: 60
#7 of 46
02-22-2013 | Posts: 264
Joined: Dec 2010

Yes!  My son could do some things much sooner than my daughter could, with greater confidence, but he seems littler in many other ways.  They are all so different and fun.
 


nenegoose's Avatar nenegoose
05:27 AM Liked: 14
#8 of 46
02-22-2013 | Posts: 44
Joined: Feb 2013

I did everything "right" to give my DD a Waldorf-inspired childhood, including sending her to a Waldorf school toddler program. Her playroom is a mini-Waldorf classroom. I was very much a model Waldorf child and learned to read at 7. Until then, I don't think I even noticed that I was supposed to read out the letters I see. I spent the first seven years of my life completely free from academic pressure and that's what I wanted for my own child. 

 

So, I don't know where we went wrong. Maybe it's all SO's fault ;) but I have a toddler who is a math whiz and is determined to read independently. We had a play date today and his mother noticed how "ahead" she seems to be but I pointed out that DD is too cautious to ride her balance bike so she hasn't made any progress whereas her son rides his strider like a pro. In my book, that is not any less impressive than DD being able to tell time. 

 

At the end of the day, all that matters is that they go to sleep knowing that they are loved, respected, cared for, and appreciated for who they are. :)


WednesdayO's Avatar WednesdayO
01:06 PM Liked: 17
#9 of 46
02-22-2013 | Posts: 363
Joined: May 2010

OP, your rant gave me a giggle! You sound so much like I did when my daughter was 3. She gained an interest in reading more from storytelling and being read to and seeing us read. Then she slowly starting picking it up on her own and asking questions about words in the environment. She was in 2nd grade and well on her way to 8 before she really sat down and read by herself. And you know what.... it was like magic!


heyitskalista's Avatar heyitskalista
05:59 PM Liked: 328
#10 of 46
02-24-2013 | Posts: 737
Joined: Feb 2012

My 5 year old doesn't read either...and you'd seriously think she couldn't hold up her own head, the way people react.  So silly.  She is so creative and kind and compassionate and yes, even though she doesn't read, she is SMART! 

 

I'm so glad to come here and read things from like-minded mamas!  Some days I feel exhausted from swimming upstream!!
 


greenemami's Avatar greenemami
07:29 PM Liked: 23400
#11 of 46
02-24-2013 | Posts: 1,878
Joined: Nov 2007

we are not waldorf, but I was so glad to read this thread :) My daughter is nearly 6 and still not reading and it only stresses me out when I let myself start comparing and worrying.  My son is almost 3 and definitely, absolutely, is not reading! They are both amazingly smart and wonderful :)


Jacquelin's Avatar Jacquelin
11:25 AM Liked: 22
#12 of 46
02-25-2013 | Posts: 89
Joined: Apr 2012
This thread is so awesome! Kids read when they are ready to. Most are not ready to read at 3. (Or, 4-5-6 and even 7 for that matter.) They want to play and figure things out in their own time. We attend a Waldorf school but Maria Montessori said it best: follow the child. We need a lot more of that in our society and a lot less of us foisting our own political and economic insecurities on our children. They know what they need and our job as adults and parents is to truly listen. Yay for the mamas who have the courage to believe that it's ok for children to take their time if they need to.
tittipeitto's Avatar tittipeitto
11:28 PM Liked: 172
#13 of 46
02-28-2013 | Posts: 61
Joined: Jan 2011

Oh what a feel happy thread!! 

My four year old doesn't know the alphabet song. Instead of watching sesame street (that's where his older brother learned it at age 2) he is digging outside. Besides aren't there a million better songs?

When his doctor asked if he can write his own name he answered yes, and he really thinks so, because I never told him the up and down triangular stuff he makes is not really writing.

When his grandmother asked my kids if the little one is learning to read at his preschool (playbased) my older one burst out:"are you kidding me, he barely knows how to draw. You have to learn the important things first" I was so glad he answered for me, my reaction was the same. What lunatic would force his little hands make those abstract shapes, when (and the grandma has seen it) he is drawing four circles to represent his family.

I love the freedom Waldorf has given me to beam in pride because my kid is a wizard at making any stick into a person and any log into a ship or what ever. How he doesn't need me to help him play, his mind is an adventure all his own. It's a different kind of pride than the one I had for my older son when he was 3 and could write. it's a more pure and silent pride, a feel good pride, like, that I accept my child as his pure self, not for his spot in the competition.

There was a certain worry that I had, looking at a kid who can write at 3, that what if I pick the wrong school for him and he doesn't become a genius. Now that I'm proud of their imagination and play, I know I can't undo any of that for them. 


sandy'smama's Avatar sandy'smama
06:44 AM Liked: 11
#14 of 46
03-16-2013 | Posts: 250
Joined: Oct 2005

lol!

my ds is 8 and he now can read and write MUCH better than his peers that started at three but they still cannot play! My dd is 6 and can't read she's sooooooo excited to go to class 1 next year joy.gif


appalachiamama's Avatar appalachiamama
09:53 AM Liked: 60
#15 of 46
03-16-2013 | Posts: 264
Joined: Dec 2010

My four year old can count to twelve and then starts counting by twos after that, since she always hears me count my knitting stitches.knit.gif


maptome's Avatar maptome
04:04 PM Liked: 37
#16 of 46
05-01-2013 | Posts: 476
Joined: Feb 2010

My DD is almost 4 and she can't go down the slide.  When other kids tell her to, she says "No, that one is a little bit too fast for me." I am so so proud of her. =)


michelleepotter's Avatar michelleepotter
07:46 PM Liked: 2667
#17 of 46
05-01-2013 | Posts: 978
Joined: Apr 2013
I have a friend who worries about her three and four year old kids not being able to read. Admittedly, she, her DH, and her kids are all rather intelligent, but she keeps telling me how she feels guilty, because the only reason they aren't reading yet is she hasn't worked with them enough. Sigh. My youngest is a couple months older than her oldest, and he just realized that numbers mean something. Letters are totally meaningless to him.

My oldest didn't read until she was 8. She had a hard time with it, but now wants to be a writer. My smartest child - an incredibly intelligent 11yo who taught himself to read, multiply, and write computer programs - still didn't read until he was 5.
tooraloora's Avatar tooraloora
08:58 PM Liked: 67
#18 of 46
05-01-2013 | Posts: 309
Joined: Oct 2010

I pushed my DD (8 now) to learn from the beginning. By the time she was my DS' age (2 nearly 3), she knew the entire alphabet in order, her colors, and could count (up to 15, if I remember correctly). I was very proud of her. I still am. However, though I won't go so far as to say I killed her imagination, I will say that it is on life support, and I feel I did her a huge disservice. We've taken a break from schooling to rehabilitate her imagination. Thankfully, she is making great strides, and I have faith that her imagination will make a full recovery.

 

I have never pushed my DS to learn anything remotely academic, and have stirred up more than a couple stinks with people who have attempted to step in where they feel I've failed him. He is nearly 3 and does not know the alphabet, can only count to three, and is only beginning to be sure about colors, and I'm darned proud of the both of us for that (lack of) accomplishment. He is funny, sweet, clever, and imaginative. He can point out and name every plant we grow, and all of his favorite weeds. He knows that acorn caps make great hats for stick people and leaves make wonderful puddle boats after a rain. DS doesn't know how to spell his own name, but he knows how to appreciate the world around him and how to amuse himself for hours with nothing more than his own mind and what he can find outside. I can't imagine a better way for him to spend his early years.


SoapMama12's Avatar SoapMama12
07:24 PM Liked: 28
#19 of 46
05-05-2013 | Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2013

This thread is refreshing. My daughter isn't even 11 months old yet and family/friends are already trying to turn everything into a teachable moment. "See the bunny. The bunny is BROWN. How many bunnies are there? ONE, TWOOO, THREEEEE. Turn the page. Goood Job!" I have to remind them every time to just let her enjoy the story/play/climb/crawl etc. I am thankful for supportive forums like this, most people I know IRL have never heard of Waldorf education.


EllasMommy10's Avatar EllasMommy10
12:41 PM Liked: 14
#20 of 46
05-07-2013 | Posts: 79
Joined: Jul 2010
I was at the park yesterday with a friend whose son turned two in December. She is bragging about how he knows all of the letters of the alphabet and how she is now teaching him to read. The kid can hardly talk. Anyways, their whole day seems to be spent around her teaching him, and she brags like it makes her a better mom. My daughter turned 3 a month ago and knows over half her letters and I haven't and don't plan on teaching any to her for a few years. If she learns them, great, but we focus on rhythm and play and being outside and letting her be little. And I am the one who gets the strange looks.
dalia's Avatar dalia (TS)
02:03 PM Liked: 28939
#21 of 46
05-07-2013 | Posts: 1,969
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllasMommy10 View Post

I was at the park yesterday with a friend whose son turned two in December. She is bragging about how he knows all of the letters of the alphabet and how she is now teaching him to read. The kid can hardly talk. Anyways, their whole day seems to be spent around her teaching him, and she brags like it makes her a better mom. My daughter turned 3 a month ago and knows over half her letters and I haven't and don't plan on teaching any to her for a few years. If she learns them, great, but we focus on rhythm and play and being outside and letting her be little. And I am the one who gets the strange looks.

Hahaha. I think it's crazy when you see BABY toys and all of them have letters and numbers. WTH???
thtm2007's Avatar thtm2007
04:28 PM Liked: 63
#22 of 46
05-13-2013 | Posts: 9
Joined: May 2013
This is awesome. So true. Thank you. :-)
newmamalizzy's Avatar newmamalizzy
05:01 PM Liked: 543
#23 of 46
05-13-2013 | Posts: 1,708
Joined: Jul 2010
I have one of those "into the academics" types. She knew letters, mumbers, shapes, colors, etc. by age 2, and I swear I did not (shudder) work with her. But, oh my, the things she can't do....bikes, balls, anything requiring major physical effort, drawing, not getting food all over herself when she eats... Having been on this forum for a while, sometimes I get the reverse - embarrassed that she CAN do letters and that she has comparatively poorer play skills.
operasinger95's Avatar operasinger95
08:21 AM Liked: 0
#24 of 46
06-24-2013 | Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2013
My son, almost 3, "signed" all of his thank you cards for his birthday party, by coloring pictures on them. I have gotten so many compliments on them from friends. It's so amazing to be supported by your friends.
DHinJersey's Avatar DHinJersey
10:38 AM Liked: 122
#25 of 46
06-24-2013 | Posts: 127
Joined: Jan 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquelin View Post

This thread is so awesome! Kids read when they are ready to. Most are not ready to read at 3. (Or, 4-5-6 and even 7 for that matter.) They want to play and figure things out in their own time. We attend a Waldorf school but Maria Montessori said it best: follow the child. We need a lot more of that in our society and a lot less of us foisting our own political and economic insecurities on our children. They know what they need and our job as adults and parents is to truly listen. Yay for the mamas who have the courage to believe that it's ok for children to take their time if they need to.

 

 

I'm with you on 3-4-5....but 6 and 7? You're saying first and second graders shouldn't be able to read? That sounds odd to me. I mean, it's probably not the biggest deal in the world, but definitely not an ideal to strive toward. 

 

I'm truly not being argumentative, just expressing surprise. I think I read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was 7, and I'm no genius. 


dalia's Avatar dalia (TS)
11:17 AM Liked: 28939
#26 of 46
06-24-2013 | Posts: 1,969
Joined: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHinJersey View Post


I'm with you on 3-4-5....but 6 and 7? You're saying first and second graders shouldn't be able to read? That sounds odd to me. I mean, it's probably not the biggest deal in the world, but definitely not an ideal to strive toward. 

I'm truly not being argumentative, just expressing surprise. I think I read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was 7, and I'm no genius. 

This is the Waldorf area of the forum and in Waldorf education reading comes later than what most people are used to. Emphasis is on play based education which builds social skills during the time when it is much needed. In our society we push push push to read/do math/learn science pretty early. But in Waldorf education social skills are paramount early on with that stuff coming later. Most Waldorf educated kids go on to be very successful in life.
contactmaya's Avatar contactmaya
01:57 PM Liked: 2471
#27 of 46
06-24-2013 | Posts: 2,177
Joined: Feb 2006

Is this a joke? Most  kids cant read at 3


dalia's Avatar dalia (TS)
02:23 PM Liked: 28939
#28 of 46
06-24-2013 | Posts: 1,969
Joined: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

Is this a joke? Most  kids cant read at 3

Yes. It's sarcastic. Read the whole thread and you will get it! :-)
1momoftheyear's Avatar 1momoftheyear
07:07 PM Liked: 24
#29 of 46
06-25-2013 | Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2013

Great post.

Good for you that's insane that people are pushing their children to accomplish paper tasks. Children learn best through the art of play.  Creative minds create change. We need to guide our children to be critical thinkers not task workers. They learn life thinking skills through play. I think there is a lot of us that agree with you and it's exciting to see who our children will be and what they will do when they are our age. 


erigeron
07:29 PM Liked: 5729
#30 of 46
06-25-2013 | Posts: 2,342
Joined: Oct 2010

I find this sort of funny. Can I comment even though we're not a Waldorf family? At 18 months we got our daughter a set of alphabet blocks not really intending to teach her the alphabet but more intending to have blocks for her to build with, but she was very interested in the letters and wanted to know what they were and knew them all within a month. Numbers up to 10 followed soon after. The part I find entertaining is that my husband learned to read at 3 1/2 and I did not learn until 5. He has this paranoia that our daughter won't learn to read as early as he did, and I'm like, yeah, she might not learn until she's 5, and she might not be reading 300-page books until she's 6 (like I did), man, that would be so horrible and she would never get ahead in life. 


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