Learning to read/unschooling/natural learning - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 01-14-2005, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure what to title this

A year ago my dd was still begging me to teach her to read. I dutifully tried. It just wasn't working. Her brain wasn't ready. I had read lots about how a child just has to "click" but try explaining that to a five year old. She thought she wasn't reading because her mom wasn't teaching her

I *did* explain to her about her brain not being ready but then, since she was asking, I tried to teach her. It was frustrating and it didn't work. She'd get frustrated and bored and want to stop so we did. Then a few weeks or months would go by and she'd again complain I wasn't teaching her and so we'd start again. And get frustrated and bored again, and stop again.

I used various methods. Phonics, whole word, games, making stories up with the words she did know, easy reader books, etc. It just didn't work because her brain wasn't ready yet. We did this on and off for a long time (I think she was 4 when she first asked).

Then she turned 6 and the rest is history Her brain just clicked. It really seemed to happen overnight. We hadn't been doing any "teaching" in awhile either. Just one day, out of the blue, POOF! She's reading. Just like that. Wow.

This morning I'm making breakfast and from the other room I hear ' "Ungrateful dumpling!" scolded the woman, as she knelt and reached for it.'. I started thinking of just six months ago when I was printing out such exciting books as "The cat sat on the hat. Oh! The hat is flat!" and painfully walking her through sounding them out :LOL

Having said all that, I'd do the same again. Yeah, it was frustrating and basically useless to try and teach her before she was ready *but* (and it's a big but!) she was asking for it. I think it would have been even more frustrating for her to ask to be taught and have mom say no, I won't, you're not ready.

Of course, my mom, who totally doesn't understand my "style" congratulated me on doing such a great job of teaching Bridget to read :LOL I told her (in front of Bridget) oh no, it wasn't me teaching, she did it all herself
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#2 of 17 Old 01-14-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing. Beautiful story!

Inspiring as I have a six year old who is not reading--he has pieces but hasn't put it togther yet. I've been thinking that all of a sudden when he reads, he's going to be able to read everything. Nice to have some possible confirmation.
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#3 of 17 Old 01-14-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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Thank you so much for giving your dd the credit for learning to read.

When my ds was four he wanted to learn to read with all his soul. He did learn at age four but it was hard for him and very frustrating at times. He learned because he wanted to. The only thing that I did was provide materials, model reading, read to him. I was there for him if he wanted any help or input. He is 8.5 and a VERY advanced reader today because that what he chose.

On the other hand I had absolutly no interest in reading at age 4,5,6,7,or 8. I was always in the lowest reading class and hated reading. I spent my reading time at school day dreaming and drawing pictures. As a result I missed a lot of recess.

When I turned nine that all changed. I had a sudden intrest in wanting to read and made it a real priority. By the time I was in the sixth grade I was one of the best readers in the school. I was also tested that year and scored at college level reading.

My point is that kids will get reading but only on their own terms. It is truly the child that makes it happen. The educator can ONLY take credit for creating an enviorment for learning to take place.
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#4 of 17 Old 01-14-2005, 03:30 PM
 
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Congratulations, Bridget!! (And a pat on the back to her mama, too. )

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#5 of 17 Old 01-14-2005, 04:31 PM
 
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Thanks, Shannon. I really needed that encouragement!
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#6 of 17 Old 01-14-2005, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been talking to my dh about it. I'm hoping he's "getting" the whole idea of letting the kids lead. I'm probably boring him with it actually since I tend to talk too much, :LOL

I had a long talk today with Bridget about the brain "clicking" (and how cool it is that she's reading, how some people click earlier or later, how what age you learn to read means nothing as to how smart you are, etc.). She asked me why it happens and I told her that people who study this their whole lives don't even know :LOL Hey, if we knew everything, that would be too boring, right?
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#7 of 17 Old 01-14-2005, 11:28 PM
 
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That's a great story, Shannon! Did you know it would turn out to be so inspirational to some of us with little, nagging doubts? LOL! I love the fact that you pointed out that she did it, wtg Mama! And WTG Bridget!!

My six yr old is not "reading" reading, she's busy learning all the stuff she's interested in. However, I start to panic just a bit here and there, because I know how much more my brilliant little kid will get out of her interests once she can read. Then, I take a deep breath and back off

Thanks Again!
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#8 of 17 Old 01-16-2005, 07:15 PM
 
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Has anyone here read Mem Fox's "Reading Magic"? It is a great book about the fun of reading with children and how they will learn when they are ready. . .especially when they have loving and caring parents like yourselves!! Just keep reading to them.
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#9 of 17 Old 01-16-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Thank you so much for giving your dd the credit for learning to read.
No DOUBT! Thanks for sharing that story! I love what she read aloud--ungrateful dumpling, indeed! :LOL
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#10 of 17 Old 01-16-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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Wow thank your for sharing that story. I am going to have my hubby read it. It scares me that my almost 6 year old is not reading. She doesn't even know all of her letters. My hubby is not too excited about home school. He said that this year was a trial run. For some reason he bases how well homeschool is going by how well our children read. If she is reading well than I must be doing a godd job of homeschooling. It she struggles then I must not being a good job. It makes me want to scream. I in turn stress about her learning.
She loves books, she loves to be read to. She loves to look at books. She hates reading! She hates learning her letters.
Anyway...your story is inspiring.
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#11 of 17 Old 01-17-2005, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, happy to be an inspiration :LOL

You know what is SO weird? She's not as excited about it as I would have thought. For a kid who's been wanting to read for years now, she's so ho hum about it. Like "yeah yeah, I can read, whatever" :LOL

Quote:
ungrateful dumpling, indeed!
:LOL

I hadn't heard of Reading Magic, but I like the Mem Fox children's books we have

Candice, wow, that's a lot of pressure on you! Will your dh read anything about it? There are books and articles out there that talk about how wide the "normal" range is for learning to read. I just read a parenting book Your Six Year Old which had nothing to do with homeschooling (even had a whole chapter on school and your child). I was surprised to read that they don't advocate formal reading instruction until 7, stating that most children, left on their own and read to a lot, will at least begin to read by 6 without any pushing. But I've read that children can read much later and still be in the realm of "normal". And boys tend to be later overall though of course everone knows of a boy who read at 3 and a girl who read at 8, so statistics aren't everything Maybe start a thread asking for stuff for your dh to read. It might ease his mind if he got an idea of how different children learn and how wonderful it is when you have the ability to allow your children to go at their own pace instead of hurrying them in one place and holding them back in another.
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#12 of 17 Old 01-17-2005, 02:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgraine
Has anyone here read Mem Fox's "Reading Magic"? It is a great book about the fun of reading with children and how they will learn when they are ready. . .especially when they have loving and caring parents like yourselves!! Just keep reading to them.

I really enjoyed the book. It is an easy read and quite inspiring. It is mostly a hands off approach, except by making reading fun and interesting in a sincere sort of way.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#13 of 17 Old 01-17-2005, 08:30 AM
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way to go Bridget !

I'm going to have to look into that book - sounds great
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#14 of 17 Old 01-25-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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Quote:
There are books and articles out there that talk about how wide the "normal" range is for learning to read. (...) I've read that children can read much later and still be in the realm of "normal". And boys tend to be later overall though of course everone knows of a boy who read at 3 and a girl who read at 8, so statistics aren't everything
hi shannon!
could you tell me more about that? i'm looking for info/articles/books, any resources about "naturally 'late' readers" ;-)

an unschooling-momma friend of mine (in france) is having HUGE trouble because the "education inspector" found that her daughter (age 8) was not reading well yet ...
i want to give her all the support i can and i want to send her articles and stuff, so that she has some back-up. i remember steiner writing about age 9 or even later... i know i've read somewhere that some kids learn to read when they are 9, 10 sometimes 12 y o.... but i can't remember where and when and who wrote that

any input very welcome
thanks a lot
natha (moving back to france in 4 weks... )
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#15 of 17 Old 01-25-2005, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, I know you from the unschooling list, :LOL!

I don’t have a lot bookmarked because it's not a (current :LOL) concern of mine, but I have a few things for you.

http://familyeducation.com/article/0...-21703,00.html
A homeschool article that talks about reading. Includes some references for books and authors you can track down at the library (or your friend can).

This is one woman’s story (5 kids) but it’s great. Very inspirational. I keep meaning to subscribe to this magazine but since I don’t have the extra money right now, I just keep reading random articles on the site http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/0304/MarApr03.pdf Scroll down to Reading When You’re Ready.

There’s also a homeschooling book called Better Late than Early by the Moores. I’ve never read it, but I’ve seen it referenced a lot whenever this comes up.

Also get Your Six Year Old from your library (inter-library loan if your library does that). There’s a chapter on school where they state that they believe formal reading instruction shouldn’t begin til at least 7. It’s not a homeschooling book either, in case some people might not believe homeschooling sources. Unfortunately you probably won’t find many school references on this because most schools seem to think that all kids are magically ready to learn to read in first grade or else they have a problem.

The thing that reassures me the most about child-rearing and homeschooling is that if you ask 10 “experts” you’ll get 10 different expert opinions :LOL But that can also be annoying. For every article stating that kids should be taught to read later, you’ll find an article stating that kids should be taught to read earlier. There are even websites, books and videos out there on how to teach your infant to read. So that’s something to keep in mind.

Really, every kid is different and it makes no sense to me that there is one age that all kids should/can be taught. That’s why I love homeschooling
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#16 of 17 Old 01-25-2005, 04:52 PM
 
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thank you so much, shannon !
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#17 of 17 Old 01-28-2005, 02:51 PM
 
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I've got two self-taught readers at my house Hannah began at almost exactly 6.5 and Hayden has just begun at freshly 6. I was more than happy to continue reading to them indefinately, out of that freedom (not to read) came the freedom to play with reading, evenually becoming functional reading.
It took a lot of deep breaths and many leaps of faith on my part (oh the deschooling process!!), but I'm now convinced that what I've given them is FAR more important to who they Are as Human Beings than any kind of "learn to read our way" program could have provided them. They read because it's imortant to them and because it's important to them, they love to read!
Sandra Dodd has a whole page of reading essays by unschoolers: Reading (the idea of *late reader* is addressed here, too)
When Hannah would get frustrated about reading, I would remind her to take her body's cues about maturity -- at least one expert has said one's brain isn't ready to read until one's body begins purging baby teeth -- Hannah was calmed by that opinion and she took the pressure off herself until she felt the first wiggle She then picked up a book and READ it!! Luckily, it really did all click at the same time.
I'm thinking they're reading me out of a job... maybe I can use that extra time to do some Yoga! :LOL
~diana

~diana google me: hahamommy. Unschooling Supermama to Hayden :Super Cool Girlfriend to Scotty . Former wife to Mitch & former mama to Hannahbear
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