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#1 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I see sooooo many post about other plp's children reading and writing at such a young age..say 4,5. Then I see some who's child is 6,7,8,9 who are not reading and writing. And i'm so confused as to what to do with my 5 year old. He turned 5 in November, so according to the school system he would start kindergarten in the fall. Yet if i decide to keep here at home...which i will probably do....i'm not sure how far to push him. At this moment he is not interested in doing anything with letter or numbers. He does say he wants to learn his letters so he can read game instructions online. So when we do something with letters he right out refuses. I've tried workbooks, glue and noddles, foil, all kind of crafty ways, toys, blocks. Nothing, he refuses. So i'm concerned that a traditional program just wouldnt work for us. So i've thought about unschooling, but i'm not sure he would ever get any where. I've been looking at Sonlight, it sparks my interests as it's more reading, or outl oud reading on my part. Maybe he owuld be more interested in that, as he likes for me to read to him. I'm so confused and looking for advice or direction.

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#2 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamato3wild ponnie View Post
I see sooooo many post about other plp's children reading and writing at such a young age..say 4,5. Then I see some who's child is 6,7,8,9 who are not reading and writing. And i'm so confused as to what to do with my 5 year old.
I think one of the greatest things about hsing is that you can do what fits for each child. The child who's ready to read at 5 can read and the child who isn't ready needn't be pushed.


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At this moment he is not interested in doing anything with letter or numbers. He does say he wants to learn his letters so he can read game instructions online. So when we do something with letters he right out refuses.
I think there is almost always a lag between wanting to do something and being able to. I mean, you have to be aware of it first, then want it for yourself and THEN work towards it, no? I wouldn't view your son's desire to read and his lack of interest in working on it as a problem, personally.

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I'm so confused and looking for advice or direction.
What DOES he like to do? I would start there. Provide the things he enjoys, the things he's interested in doing/trying. He'll let you know what he's ready for by his desire to do more.

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#3 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Well geez I read your post & was about to reply but I see that SagMom beat me. She said everything I was going to. So, I'm just gonna say ditto!

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#4 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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Well geez I read your post & was about to reply but I see that SagMom beat me. She said everything I was going to. So, I'm just gonna say ditto!


The reason you see so much variety in what the kids are doing is because the parents are free to follow the child as they develop.

Your worry about trusting that your child WILL learn without some serious intervention is clear in your post. Don't worry.

Mine just turned 6yo. He was motivated to learn for about 7 months last year and since then all he wants to do is play. Occasionally I wonder "How the heck long is this gonna last" and then I have to remind myself that if it lasts until he's 8yo, that's okay. And research now supports delaying the introduction of academics (FINALLY!).

I'm not a Waldorf-er, but I found this explanation of Steinert's view on childhood development on a website for Waldorf education (which allows children to develop naturally according to Steinert's theory of development). It may make you feel more at ease with trusting that your child will learn. I often refer to it when I worry about what to focus on at this age.

http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/02_W_...evelopment.asp

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#5 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 08:59 PM
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I don't think there is any reason to push it. That said, although I would stop with the crafts, workbooks, etc., I wouldn't completely stop. You said he likes to be read too. My kids love the book "chicka chicka boom boom". We read it in a funny voice and I point to the letters. Eventually (without prompt) they will point to the letters too. There are lots of FUN 'concept' books to share. That book has even been turned into a song.

In the car, the kids like to do letter hunts. We go in order through the alphabet. First person to spot an A. . .ok now, do we see a B, etc.

When a birthday comes, have him write his own name on the card. See if he wants to write the recipients name on the envelope. Grandma's are great for this because they NOTICE that the kid wrote it and they usually say something great about how smart they are getting. My kids soak this stuff up.

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#6 of 26 Old 02-18-2010, 09:06 PM
 
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My 7 and 5 yr olds both taught themselves to write when they became interested in it, around 4 1/2. My son (7) is just now interested in putting in the time to learn to read. DD (5) OTOH, is interested now, in part because DS is learning, but also, I believe because she is a girl more inclined to academics at a younger age. So I think it can depend on gender, personality, and birth order.

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#7 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 09:38 AM
 
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I think what you should do then is sit down next to him while he's playing one of his games and copy down the phrases and use that as a starting point.
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#8 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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I didn't do any formalized teaching when it comes to reading. When my son was young, he LOVED everything to do with the alphabet. He'd want to know the name of the letter. Then, I'd say what it sounds like (I'd include short and long sounds if called for.)

I didn't do this as a sit down lesson. I just mentioned it here and there.

We also read A LOT. Sometimes, when my son was sitting next me while I read the book, I would occasionally make it seem like I was sounding out a word (out loud.) Just as an example to him the process. I'd start with two letter words and then three letter words.

That is ALL I did for reading. It just so happens that letters/reading was something my son was VERY interested in. He started reading very early (hyperlexic) but I know it's not the norm.

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#9 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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For me,I have certain goals for my kids based on their age AND ability. I think knowing letters/sounds is age appropriate for a 5 yr old. So, for me I would look for a way to engage him in learning them. My kids liked this go fish letter game, letter bingo, letter treasure hunts, and starfall.com.
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#10 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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subbing

I am caught up in this too

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#11 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SagMom View Post
I think one of the greatest things about hsing is that you can do what fits for each child. The child who's ready to read at 5 can read and the child who isn't ready needn't be pushed.
agree strongly and wanted to add one idea: a smorgasbord. So many people focus on the single life skill of reading when there's just a whole world out there to share. - like a smorgasbord of possibility.

Visit sites, museums, play with all sorts of stuff - it's both art and science - and sample bits of history and culture. Reading will become just a natural part of it all, like a tool. Your child needs to see the value of a tool - any tool - before he decides to take up using it. When he really wants to learn more about something that interests him, he'll grab the books and learn to read.

He's five and he'll never be five again. Just play, explore the world a little, read together, and enjoy! Don't push anything hard.

Warm regards,

Lucie

still homeschooling holistically with my two boys, 14 & 10
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#12 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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agree strongly and wanted to add one idea: a smorgasbord. So many people focus on the single life skill of reading when there's just a whole world out there to share. - like a smorgasbord of possibility.

Visit sites, museums, play with all sorts of stuff - it's both art and science - and sample bits of history and culture. Reading will become just a natural part of it all, like a tool. Your child needs to see the value of a tool - any tool - before he decides to take up using it. When he really wants to learn more about something that interests him, he'll grab the books and learn to read.

He's five and he'll never be five again. Just play, explore the world a little, read together, and enjoy! Don't push anything hard.
I've been dragging my feet about adding a comment, but Lucie's hit the main points I would have ranted on about. Five is SO young - he's not much more than a baby, and he's still getting his orientation to this world. He'll be learning all he needs and more if you let him just follow his nose while you act as a tour guide to his immediate world - reading is not at all necessary for him yet. Reading has important and enjoyable purposes later, but he has lots of other important things to use his time on now, and plain ol' play is the most important one of all. It's not as if anyone would ever restrict a child that age from playing - but really appreciating the power of play in the big and longterm educational path of a child is all too often overlooked, while focusing on things that are not at all important yet is all too often overplayed. - Lillian
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#13 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamato3wild ponnie View Post
So i'm concerned that a traditional program just wouldnt work for us. So i've thought about unschooling, but i'm not sure he would ever get any where.
Because he's so young, there's really no good way to know at this point whether a traditional program would work for him or not - you'll only know when he's old enough to be able to fit with one. And the same thing is true of unschooling if you think of it in terms of a child that age being expected to get interested in things that he has no real use for yet. Even an older child might take a long time to get around to things a parent is thinking about because of knowing that they're ordinarily covered in the schools by certain ages - but that doesn't meant they're not getting anywhere, simpy that they're not on traditional school schedules. You might experiment with forgetting about the concept of "homeschooling" for a while, and just think in terms of filling these early years with lots of relaxed and enriching activities that will build curiosity and memories. Lillian
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#14 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 04:34 PM
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I don't think there's any rhyme or reason to it. My oldest son learned to read, with effort, at 6, and my second learned without much work at 2 and 3. If you keep giving them opportunities to learn, they will when they're ready.
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#15 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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My 7 and 5 yr olds both taught themselves to write when they became interested in it, around 4 1/2. My son (7) is just now interested in putting in the time to learn to read. DD (5) OTOH, is interested now, in part because DS is learning, but also, I believe because she is a girl more inclined to academics at a younger age. So I think it can depend on gender, personality, and birth order.
My oldest saw her name written at a little over 2, then I erased it and she promptly wrote out the first 3 letters (all she could fit on the small magnadoodle). From that point on she started teaching herself how to write all the letters in the alphabet. I bought her some wet erase books with the letters and numbers and she loved playing with those. By 3 she could write all the letters and digits, but I hadn't taught her a darn thing. She did it all on her own because she was really interested in learning it. She didn't form the letters correctly, necessarily, but one knew exactly what she was writing. My second child is now >2.5 and, although she picks up a pencil sometimes, seems to show no interest in this activity. She did ask me today to get her some workbooks. I will get her some, but I am not sure her interest is there. Now, my first child at 2.5 could count, but couldn't count things. No matter how big the group she always counted 10. But, today I asked my second child to give my oldest 4 manipulatives and she very adeptly counted out 4 and gave them to her sister. O haven't worked on this with her at all. They are different kids for sure.

I wouldn't worry about it at all. I would make sure opportunities exist for him to explore such things, but I wouldn't push it. We should not be comparing our children to the children of others. I say this to remind myself....I am very guilty of it at times. I have a friend who pushes her kids to read very early and starts schooling in general much earlier than I do. After talking to her I always have to decompress because I feel so inadequate like I am not doing enough for my children. But after I calm down I realize that I am doing what is right for my children and our family and that is what is the beauty of homeschooling

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#16 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Madame Pomfrey View Post

He's five and he'll never be five again.
This is so simple a statement and yet it can be so powerful an idea. Remembering that my 9y/o, my 15 y/o and my 18 y/o will never be exactly as they are right now brings a new appreciation to just BEING. All this learning, developing and growing is such a PROCESS and so individual. It's almost insulting to break it down to rules about needing to know ___ by ___ years old.

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#17 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SagMom View Post

Originally Posted by Madame Pomfrey:
"He's five and he'll never be five again."


This is so simple a statement and yet it can be so powerful an idea. Remembering that my 9y/o, my 15 y/o and my 18 y/o will never be exactly as they are right now brings a new appreciation to just BEING. All this learning, developing and growing is such a PROCESS and so individual. It's almost insulting to break it down to rules about needing to know ___ by ___ years old.
Lucie's simple statement struck me, too, as a very powerful one - as did yours about just BEING - and maybe one can only fully appreciate how profound those thoughts are once those precious years are gone and you can look back and see it clearly with 20/20 hindsight. If I were able to go back and to do only one thing differently, it would be to stay aware of all this and not worry over some of the little things I found to worry about along the way. I wouldn't go back and try to fill in more academic studies or things we might have "missed" - I'd focus more on the potential joy in each moment of being. I'm not saying I have any serious regrets - just that if I did want to redo something, that's what it would be rather than the other way around. Lillian
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#18 of 26 Old 02-19-2010, 07:32 PM
 
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I started pointing out letters in a really excited way and telling her what the letter sound was for the letter as we were reading together. When she mastered the vowels and some of the consonants I got magnets and put short vowel words up and she started reading those. We kind of naturally evolved to other sound patterns as she started reading more and more. It was just a fun thing that she had interest in. She had no interest in numbers though and still doesn't like them much. If you can find a way to make it seem natural and like fun rather than formal learning he may develop a lot of interest.

I don't think there is merit to pushing kids or holding them back. I think kids should be exposed to knowledge and have the opportunity to learn what they are ready to learn.
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#19 of 26 Old 02-20-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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I think you should do what fits your child and you. A lot of people want to imitate what they see people in their area doing. So if everyone sends their children to preschool, they like to "homeschool" their preschooler. It makes them feel comfortable. As long as your child does not mind, not a big deal.

My now 8 yr old was reading at 3. I never taught him though. My now 5 yr old is barely reading. My homeschooling has sort of morphed through the years from using a boxed curriculum the first year (with lots of add ins) to being relaxed and not even using curriculum for all subjects. I like it! All my children are college bound. I do not consider us non-academic at all. I just want my children to love learning and learn a lot. My personal feeling is you cannot do this by quickly rushing through curricula and being all about what worksheets or textbook pages you get done in a day.
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#20 of 26 Old 02-20-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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If you are going to homeschool, like others have said, I wouldn't push it at all. He'll read when he is ready and starting sooner won't do anything to make him a better reader when he is older. It may turn him off or make him feel unsuccessful at reading if it is harder than it needs to be, though, b/c he may not be ready.

I would only spend time working on this at all if you are seriously considering sending him to public school. If you go the ps route, it would probably be good if he goes into K recognizing most or all of the letters and being able to write both letters and his name. Beyond that, some basic phonics is good going into ps, but not necessary in most schools.

Either way, I'd wait a while before I worry much about it b/c you still have six months before next year's K starts even if he goes to ps.
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#21 of 26 Old 02-21-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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You could try the Letter Factory and Word Factory DVDs and see if he likes them.

Both of my daughters thought they were fun and it's how they learned their letters and sounds.

No, it's not worth stressing out about at such a young age. But, especially since he's expressed interest, there's nothing wrong with giving him a gentle nudge and seeing what happens.
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#22 of 26 Old 02-22-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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i for one just get caught up

I KNWO my son isn't ready --and i do NOT push him -- i just sit around anf fret about it.

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#23 of 26 Old 02-22-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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I've also noticed (amongst others as well as myself) that HSing parents sometimes are a bit more eager with their first child than with subsequent children. When my oldest child was small, I was SO excited about homeschooling and so ready for the world to open up for him to explore. I had so much energy and sitting around and playing and just being didn't seem like enough. So I bought curricula and workbooks and attempted to be consistent with integrating those things into our daily lives.

And honestly, it worked out okay for us. DS enjoyed most of the 'formal' learning that he did at that age. I didn't push him past his ability level or insist that he continue activities that he hated. But now that he's older and I have several younger children, I see that the formal learning wasn't at all necessary. It didn't hurt him, but I don't see significant differences between my children who started academics earlier and those who I didn't do workbooks at age 4. They're all happy and bright children.

In most cases, I think early academics have more to do with the parents than the children.

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#24 of 26 Old 02-22-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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I think every child is different and will learn when ready
If they dont seem interested try to do"fun" learning activatys..
I know my dd who is 8 only recently started reading and only after i switched her to a online program ~Time4Learning~ did she learn to read....if its not fun they wont be interested kwim
my son who is 3 is different at age 2 he knew his letters and now knows some site words..i havnt pushed him he just does the program too, and watches tv ect...
Just focuse on what they likes and try to add what you know they needs alil bit a a time..
a game i played with my dd was id talk to her but id be "Do you want more M-I-L-K...so she would have to try and figure out what i spelled to know what i said..
with my son i will play letter match .....cards with letters like memory game ..flipping them over...he LOVES that game

Keri
Non-Vax~No-Circ~T4L-Homeschooler~co-sleep~EBF~"Crunchy" SAHM to DD &DS
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#25 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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Here I am with a kindergardener in public school, and I KNOW he isn't ready to read and write, but they push. He gets homework and it is such a battle to get him to do it. Now I am thinking again about homeschooling. My child is having an experience where learning is not fun for him and I wonder how much of a problem that is going to create later down the road. Just my .02. I can appreciate your concern, OP.
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#26 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Here I am with a kindergardener in public school, and I KNOW he isn't ready to read and write, but they push. He gets homework and it is such a battle to get him to do it. Now I am thinking again about homeschooling. My child is having an experience where learning is not fun for him and I wonder how much of a problem that is going to create later down the road. Just my .02. I can appreciate your concern, OP.
Is kindergarten required in your state, or is he of an age where he's required to be in school there? Is there a possibility of just pulling him out and later considering whether to send him to 1st grade? - Lillian
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