Unschooling & Reading - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-07-2005, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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if you are unschooling, how did your child learn to read? and at what age?

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#2 of 8 Old 06-07-2005, 03:57 PM
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My kids were a little different from each other in reading. I would say around the age of 6 or so. They started getting into it earlier but I would say they were "readers" around 6.

My son had a more casual interest and a mellow pace about reading in general, and he liked to be read to. My Dd was 4 or so when she got interested and she had a more intense interest than Ds did. My Ds likes to read to himself now, and my daughter really enjoys being read to or reading outloud. It's funny how things change. My Dd is more into childrens/teen stuff and my son much prefers adult/Young adult materials.

Edited to add: We weren't "unschooling" when the kids started to read. At least not technically. My son was in Kindergarten, and Dd attended a head start kind of thing at the time.

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#3 of 8 Old 06-07-2005, 04:25 PM
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DD learned her letters by sight and the sounds they make around age three. She picked them up through various games we played, puzzles, etc. Now she's five and can read beginner books, but mostly pretends she can't because she'd rather be read to. Periodically she'll slip and sight read words like "freezer" and "meeting" in front of us, so I'm pretty sure she could handle most beginner books if she wanted to. She learned the basics of sounding out words from DH and me and shows like "Between the Lions". And we're a house of readers and books; she's been read to pretty much every day of her life and sees books everywhere she looks, so she's picked up a lot of the basics of reading on her own.
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#4 of 8 Old 06-07-2005, 06:12 PM
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My girls (11 and 8 now) learned to read short books around age 3 1/2 - 4. I always kept the house stocked with letter magnets, letter blocks, games, paper, crayons, books, a few electronic things, and even little $.99 workbooks. They were free to choose whatever they wished and I would play with them - because it really was all playing to them. I never needed a teaching kit or set learning hours of the day. They recognized outside signs like STOP and EXIT and WALK. I answered tons of questions and got down on the floor with them. All of a sudden they were reading and writing. Then they went to preschool at 4 and knew almost everything already! LOL

My ds is 4 now and following the same path. He loves the letter games, the computer, and MS Word to "do words" with me. He started preschool at 3 and after a few weeks the teacher told me he was the smartest boy in the class. I feel I can't take credit for that really. It's all about keeping fun and interesting stuff at home and being a facilitator. It still is that way with our unschooled 8y/o!

DD(23) Hair Colorist/Stylist, DD(20) Dancer/Dance Teacher, DS(16) Unschooler
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#5 of 8 Old 06-07-2005, 06:50 PM
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I realized DD could read when she was 3.75. Before that I thought she was just memorizing books.

She was reading well right after 4.

DS is 3.75 and not reading yet but recognizes his letters and is really into rhyming and alliteration/



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#6 of 8 Old 06-07-2005, 07:54 PM
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My DD's are turning 6 and 8 this summer. My 7yo can pretty much read anything she wants to and my 5yo is sounding out longer words and reading cvc words w/o trouble. I guess at 4yo, they both knew all the sounds the letters made and long and short vowel sounds. I like the Hooked on Phonics books because they have books that early readers can read every word to. I think that builds their confidence.

I guess we are unschoolers although I do keep mental objectives in mind as to what we need to steer towards in any given time frame. But most of the time, they decide the "theme", and I figure out how to sneak my objectives in.
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#7 of 8 Old 06-07-2005, 09:13 PM
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My oldest, age 6.5, reads at at least 6th grade level (he read Harry Potter when he ws 5.5 and is currently reading C.S. Lewis and Laura Ingalls Wilder books). He became interested in writing and drawing at a very young age and could write his name at age 2. He constantly asked how to spell things and was into writing letters to people, even at 2 and 3 years old. He was reading 1st -2nd grade level by age 4. We read to him constantly and he's always been very into books. He's more into reading that writing.

Our almost-5 year old CAN read, but doesn't really like to. He surprises us when he reads big words because if you ask him to read his response is, "I can't." Argh! It's frustrating, but at least we know he *can* read. We read to him a lot also, and tought him little by little as he asked. He also learns a lot from his big brother. He's more into writing than reading, and does a great job spelling out words, even if they aren't perfect.

Our almost-3 year old can now write all the letters in her name, just not in order! Since she started drawing recognizable people just about the time she turned 2, she's been signing her artwork with an "H" for Haley (her people have circle heads, H shaped bodies, eyes, mouths, sometimes teeth, etc). The other day she asked how to spell and write her name, so I wrote it down for her and she copied it almost perfectly. Every day since she asks to learn more letters and has started writing notes to people as well. Too cute!

Basically they learned through being read to, having an interest in learning to write and read, and through play.

Mama to A (12), Z (11), H (9), C (5), A (3) and 4 angels. 

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#8 of 8 Old 06-07-2005, 11:15 PM
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I myself learned to read at home before kindergarten, in an unschooling manner. So, that would be early 5?
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