6 yr old and not reading - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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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.
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#3 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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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.
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#4 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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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!).
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#5 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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My oldest son, now 9, didn't read until 7. I really wouldn't worry...MANY 6 YO's aren't reading.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#7 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 02:38 PM
 
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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.
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#8 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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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
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#10 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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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!!!!!

Living life as fully as we can, with our three fellow adventure-seekers ~ K (2000), T (2003) and R (2007).  
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#11 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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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.
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#12 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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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?

Stephany
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#13 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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I am finding this thread very reassuring

Thank you all!!!
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#14 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
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
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#15 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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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.
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#16 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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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
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#17 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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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
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#18 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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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!
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#19 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 06:34 PM
 
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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
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#20 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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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.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#21 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 08:52 PM
 
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My dd will be 6 in November and has only just now got most of the alphabet and can write her name. I tried blending cvc words with her but she doesn't get it at all. There is no way she will be reading or writing independantly for some time.
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#22 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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OK, I'm just not figuring it out and Googling was no help . . . what are CVC words?
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#23 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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My 6y/o ds isn't reading very independently either. He can read CVC words knows most letter blends (from "th" to "ight"), and gets the whole "silent E" thing, but refuses to read anything on his own. It's weird for me as my 2 girls read very well at 3 and 4y/o, respectively.

One thing he likes is his blog, where he can write a sentence or 2 (invented spelling) about a photo he puts on there. He also likes workbooks and puzzle books. These are the only times he asks me to sit with him and help him out with reading/writing.

I don't worry about it often, but this thread was definitely reassuring for me.

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#24 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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ack! answering my own question (I originally Googled the wrong acronym) . . . CVC = Consonant-Vowel-Consonant words (eg cat, hat).
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#25 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 09:52 PM
 
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what does cvc mean?
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#26 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 09:52 PM
 
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Ha! I hadn't read to page 2! Nevermind, and I am glad I wasn't the only one who was baffled!
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#27 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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Add me to the list - I have a non-reading seven year old son. He is bright and there is no indication of any learning difference but his frustration tolerance is very very low. My two older sons could read pretty much "at grade level" by age 6 but neither is a very strong reader. I was an early voracious reader so it is disappointing to me but I am discovering lots of hs'ed boys read "late."

I do hide it somewhat and try to avoid situations where he will be put on the spot about it. The only co-op class he will agree to is at a nature center (all hands-on) so the reading hasn't been a problem so far.

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#28 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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My 6 1/2 yo is reading and has been for several years. However, my sister didn't read until she was 7 or 8. Her teachers had my mom all paranoid about what was "wrong" with her. When it finally clicked with her, though, it clicked fast and hard - withing six months of reading her first word, she was reading at a HS level.
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#29 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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My 6 year old son does not independently read. He does write on occasion, using invented spelling. He loves being read to (really really loves it) but like yours, he absolutely does *not* want to read on his own. It's not a problem to me. I don't want to push it and risk turning him off. He can read many words, but in the very rare occasion when he sits to read a page of something, it's still very labor intensive for him and he does not enjoy it. As he told me, "I'd just rather mostly play." He'll read when he's ready to.

He would not enjoy a program where he had to read and it would make him feel badly about himself. I think it is an unrealistic expectation for 6 year olds, particularly homeschooled 6 year olds. However, I've noticed with our local co-ops that they are comprised of highly structured homeschoolers so it seems fitting for them. They're the kind of homeschoolers who have been formally working on it since their children were younger than school-aged. I would be very surprised if reading were a requirement for 6 year olds in a general homeschool outing in my area. But based on what I learned about our local co-ops and the people who operate them, it would not surprise me if they required it. I do disagree with it, however. We homeschool so my kids can learn at their own pace on their own initiative.
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#30 of 63 Old 07-28-2007, 11:02 PM
 
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However, I've noticed with our local co-ops that they are comprised of highly structured homeschoolers so it seems fitting for them. They're the kind of homeschoolers who have been formally working on it since their children were younger than school-aged. I would be very surprised if reading were a requirement for 6 year olds in a general homeschool outing in my area. But based on what I learned about our local co-ops and the people who operate them, it would not surprise me if they required it. I do disagree with it, however. We homeschool so my kids can learn at their own pace on their own initiative.
Yes! I so agree. The "what are you doing to unschool your two year old" people. I know I felt that stress when I pulled my eldest out of school after first grade, and even tested my second son every few years "just in case I get hit by a bus and they have to go to school." At this point, I try very hard not to think about where other people think my kids should be. If they aren't learning in their own way, at their own pace, there is no point for me in keeping them home. I know for others this is truly "schooling at home" but I can't relate to that for my kids.

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