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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I've heard the book "Better Late than Early" suggested, but it's not cheap on Amazon. Is there anywhere else I can buy it for cheaper? My library does not carry it.

I know my dd is only just turning six next month, but I guess I'm having a really hard time with the fact that she's not yet reading and doesn't have much number recognition. I really wish I had not started any school at all this year. If I mentioned it to my mom, she would make me feel bad, like I was holding dd back. My birthday is a June birthday and my mom put me in school on time and continually reminded me of the fact that I did just fine. But I didn't. K was different back then than it is now. It was all fun and games. And in 1st, I wasn't keeping up well and had to have a special class/ tutor I went with a few times a week. It didn't bother me, nobody ever made me feel bad. But I distinctly remember this. By 2nd grade I blossomed and took off and loved school from there on out, always straight A's.

DD was a late talker, always been very physically inclined. And now she's not picking up reading or numbers or anything that's "supposed" to be mastered in K. I have to admit (please don't take offense if you are one of these people) the threads about preschoolers reading and doing 1st grade math and racing through the books just drive me NUTS! I know it's not a race mentally, but school, life, everything, it has always been about competition, it's so engrained into me. It's really hard for me to let my own agenda go and just be where dd needs me to be for her. She's obviously not ready to work on place value in the MUS primer (which by the way is very early on in the book, suppose to be easy enough for a 4-5 year old). We still have to get down number recognition. Today, we played Go Fish. I feel like she just doesn't care and randomly guesses numbers. Like she isn't trying. That's probably not true. But I am getting frustrated and I NEED to let it go.

I decided to give Reading Eggs a try. She has her letter phonics sounds down very well and just hasn't made the leap. We've taken a few months off and she randomly figures out how to spell words or read them here or there. But not consistently. I think I need to get out of the picture a bit, and she very much loved, but wasn't quite ready for, the trial of Reading Eggs last fall. I think she may take off with it now.

Besides reading books and playing in the garden, what else can I do with her until she's ready for more. I feel like I'm failing here, like I've done something wrong, or picked the wrong curriculum. But deep down, I know she's just not ready. We've taken multiple breaks and done other things throughout the year, thinking she'd be ready in a few months. Nothing has worked. Except she has learned her letter phonics sounds quite well this year. We played a lot of alphabet go fish and that helped tremendously. We used SSRW.

The long and short of it is, I need an attitude adjustment. Tell me which books to buy. I'll place an Amazon order in the morning (or somewhere else if I can't get them at Amazon.) And maybe a few hugs and BTDT would be helpful as well.

Oh, p.s., we're military and have had a rough year with transition, temp. moves, R.V. living, and finally a permanent move. I'm SURE this has played into a lot of her not being able to learn. But I've tried to keep things as normal as possible and continue with school throughout.

ETA: Is there any reason that I should look into having her tested for LD's? Or should I wait it out? She didn't really talk or even sign (though we sure tried) until she was close to 3. DH has 5 diagnosed LD's, including dyslexia, dysgraphia, auditory processing, ADD, and something else related to the dysgraphia (can't remember.) Would it be helpful? It's as though she knows her numbers one day and the next she can't remember a thing. She will figure out the number, then 2 seconds later, go back to it and not be able to remember what it was. I feel like I'm making absolutely NO progress here, no matter what I do. I'm very frustrated and trying to relax. But maybe I should look into LD testing? How would one even go about that without being attached to a PS?

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*HUGS* to you!! I KNOW you are not alone! I really believe you to be part of a pretty silent but very present group that I hope jump in and offer you BTDT advice!

It is really easy in a big group to shout out the great things that your kid is doing (or almost doing....lets be real) rather than worries/fears/ messages of patience you are repeating like "My favorite things" from the sound of music! So although you are not hearing from like minded/experienced moms...there are lots of them out there!

I also want to throw out that there is an unfortunate trend to feel justified in homeschooling or personal success because of your child's academic success early on. Ironically, many of these same homeschooling parents claim to believe in letting children grow at their own pace. I think when academics come easily early on...parents can forget how arbitrarily that ability is dolled out. We can hug, support, and teach, but our children's accomplishments are just that...THEIR accomplishments! It sounds like your DD is very skilled at many physical tasks....that is her main focus right now and that, too is an accomplishment! I have to say that I am more inspired by moms like you that have faith in their children and plug forward with homeschooling, knowing that it is the right thing for all of you than by ones where it comes more easily. (I use the easily term in a very relative way)

My DS reads fine and does math just fine but we have a host of other issues that may not just come around in time the way that I am sure your DD's reading and math skills will! But if I sat in a room and talked only about his academic accomplishments in those might make someone feel bad. You are probably not getting the whole picture on any of these kids.

you are doing so well by your daughter! You are keeping her with you and custom tailoring her learning environment. I hope for you in time, you gain the confidence to weather naysayers like your has gotten easier for me with time. Feel confident in your wonderful choice to continue nurturing your daughter! Have faith that you WILL KNOW exactly when she is ready to learn these skills in a way that no one else would....She is so little; there is plenty of time!

Tassy DS 7, DD 4, twin DDs 2

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Originally Posted by scheelimama View Post
Besides reading books and playing in the garden, what else can I do with her until she's ready for more. I feel like I'm failing here, like I've done something wrong, or picked the wrong curriculum. But deep down, I know she's just not ready. We've taken multiple breaks and done other things throughout the year, thinking she'd be ready in a few months. Nothing has worked. Except she has learned her letter phonics sounds quite well this year. We played a lot of alphabet go fish and that helped tremendously. We used SSRW.

The long and short of it is, I need an attitude adjustment. Tell me which books to buy. I'll place an Amazon order in the morning (or somewhere else if I can't get them at Amazon.) And maybe a few hugs and BTDT would be helpful as well.
I can't say I've BTDT, because nobody was trying to teach my son to read or do anything with numbers at that age - he didn't start till a year older than her. I think you're just trying to push the river a little - it's not unusual for a child her age not to be ready for reading yet. Children used to be introduced to the letters at age 6, and then slowly guided into reading. Here's a wonderful thread that might cheer you up - "I have a 7 yr. old non-reader" support group

You ask what you can do besides reading books and playing in the garden. You could play with clay, paint, do collage, and all sorts of crafts; help her sew some simple and fun little things like bags for shopping or carrying things; make and blow all different kinds of bubbles; give her little characters and animals and buildings to play with in a sand box or sand table - along with tools and water for getting creative in the sand; play ball games with her; download free audio stories and great music for her to listen to; make playhouses, castles, forts, stores, for/with her to play in, using cardboard boxes or shelves and lengths of fabric or whatever; put on music and dance together; do little nature science experiments with her; spend time outside looking at the stars and moon with her and talking about what's out there; spend time together observing and thinking together about the seasons and movement of the sun...

Anything you can think of has a website full of fun ideas on it - anything! - just Google it. Try "paper chain fun for children" (or "..for kids"), for instance - I just this minute made that up and googled it, and sure enough - there were a lot of links to web pages with fun ideas! Try "paper dolls for children" or "sand play for children" or "garden projects with children" etc.

Think in terms of being her tour guide into the world and sharing all the magical things you can think of. There are so many wonderful things for her to learn about aside from letters and numbers. Don't let anyone intimidate you into feeling that her learning or not learning about reading or arithmetic right now has any bearing on how well she learns or how well she'll be able to learn any manner of things in her own good time.

I'm running out of steam... Oh - books! Okay - try Learning All the Time, by John Holt; Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3- to 8- Year-Old Child, by Linda Dobson; The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12, by Linda Dobson; Learning At Home, A Mother's Guide to Homeschooling, by Marty Layne. It's hard to figure out where to start, really - there are so many good ones!

One more thing - you asked about the Moores' book - you can get School Can Wait used for under $5 + shipping on Amazon, and it's a more scholarly version of the other one - not as "readable" but if you read the customer reviews there on Amazon, you can get a feel for whether you think it would work for what you want.

Have fun! And here's another hug -

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I have BTDT on the reading thing and the late talking thing. My dd took to math like a fish to water but is 8 and reversed her numbers until a few weeks ago. Also very physical....

I wasn't anxious about any of it, but the frustration was driving my dd to distraction. She had distressing meltdowns about unrelated things.

I listened to other moms whose kids got it later and tried to reassure my kid that it would come when her brain developed. We did lapbooks and history projects and science projects and started clubs and did GS badges. We watched PBS and played games on the computer.

She really is super smart. But often feels super not smart because this kind of learning doesn't come easily to her. She's very social and sometimes gets very discouraged because she knows what the other kids are doing and she has been able to.

Here's my thinking for what it's worth.

Is she happy with things how they are? If she is, then I'd wait and follow her lead. It'll likely come on her own as her brain connections develop.

Read articles and books about how boys learn, 'cause that's where all the research on these kinds of learners seems to be pointed. Read "Unicorns are Real," a great encouragement to dd and me. Do lots and lots of sensory activities and activities that cross the midline. See if there are sports fundamentals she wants to learn. Build models together. Sew. Make books together. Learn to knit and play around with music. Make beautiful art.

If she's not happy with how things are, consider looking into multisensorial, play-based ways to learn to blend the letter sounds. (Google will be your new best friend.) Read the Gift of Dyslexia, even if she's not, this kind of learner can benefit from that understanding.

Ask her about where in her body she experiences letter sounds, where she experiences visual print. Amazing conversations with dd about this.

I wasn't anxious about it and my dd was frustrated to the point of fury because she truly felt I didn't understand (or care really) how awful it was for her. I listened to the voice in my hsing world just to reassure her and use the websites and read read read to her.

I regret not listening more to her. When I asked for help on choosing materials, people assumed that I was "pushing."

So my advice (and I really am sparing with advice) is to get yourself into a calm, focused state sometime when it's quiet. Tease out whether your mommy instincts are picking up on a real problem or you are just attending to outside pressures to be at "grade level." Ask yourself if she's thriving now. Picture whether she is content.

Just like with the delayed speech you knew whether it was a problem that needed outside help or whether she was getting it on her own, in her own way at her own are likely to know with reading.

I found this really helpful:

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you guys. DH wanted to do cursive handwriting with her, so we started that, and she's doing amazingly well. She writes well. And she's been noticing cursive everywhere we go for months now and asking about it. So, we do have something "academic" going well. I'm not a waldorf homeschooler or unschooler at heart. I wish I was, but I can't seem to get on board with it myself. I really lean more towards a Charlotte Mason/classical education slant personally, but that's not really working with my dd.

I am wondering if she is LD, I have always kind of wondered. But oddly, I was VERY relaxed about her being a late talker. I need to get back in that state of mind. I'm going to work on remembering how I felt then and the attitude I had about it and try to get back to that now.

Lillian, thank you for all the wonderful links! I will start trying to incorporate some of them.

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Having had three late readers (8, 11 and 10 respecitively) I feel for you! it is really difficult to let go and trust and I can't say I did I good job in that department the first time around. Despite my nervousness, not one of them read until they were good and ready!

DD was in school and a huge big hairy deal was made out of the fact that she didn't recognise all the letters at the end of K and couldn't read at the end of 1st. I'm talking summer school, title 1, resource room the whole thing. By the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade they had discontinued the title 1 summer school. Gues when she learned to read? Yup. She entered 3rd grade on reading level. She was tested that year for LDs and she does have one that involves short term memory and I suspect (meaning I know- I just haven't proven it) dyslexia and dysgraphia. At the age of 15 she is reading adult level books and doing fine with an 11th grade level British Lit course.

DD2 is autistic and is in school but in a program where the kids learn at their own pace in a way that works best for them. She also seemd to learn *overnight*, although with her I suspect she'd had at least some of that knowledge all along and finally decided she was ready to share
She was 11.

DS has been homeschooled since pre-school but was recieving OT and speech from the PS. He still hadn't learned to read at age 8, almost 9 and was upset about it so we asked the school to test him. He has the same LD that his sister has, but worse
We ended up sending him to a small group reading *class* at the PS and it's worked out well for him. However since they too saw little progress and a sudden *jump* into reading and since they used the same materials I did
, I figure he was just ready. This happened right around his 10th birthday. He's still not a confident reader, but he's only been reading for about 5m so I suspect it will come, probably over the summer LOL!

What can you do? Read to her, do science experiments, teach her to cook, read some more, watch documentaries, play with clay, play board games, read. Do whatever you would do with her if she was reading, just do the reading for her! That's what I've always done with DS and despite being unable to read anything but the word *cat* until he was 10yo his reading teacher described him as *intelligent and worldly* at his last IEP and said he has a remarkable vocabulary

And yes, listen to her. As long as she is happy there is no reason to be concerned, but if she isn't then it is important to help her, even if eiyther course of action takes you outside your comfort zone. I don't regret putting DS in the PS reading group, even though I suspect it didn't really do anything that time wouldn't have done on it's own, because it made him feel empowered.
I do regret letting them label DD because it brought her down and made her feel stupid

Oh, the schools here won't test for LDs until age 8 because of the normal differences in learning, so I really wouldn't worry about that right now.

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You've gotten good advice. I would add that learning is happening all the time, every second. She might not be able to tell what a 3 is on paper, but I bet she can bring 3 forks to the table when you ask, if she's helping you set the table, fi. She probably can help you put two teaspoons of salt into a recipe you're making together as well. That's all the beginning of 'math' and it's a perfectly appropriate developmental place for a 6 yr old to be.

Now, you say you've always wondered about LDs. That's a little bit of a different issue, and one you can give more attention to if you trust your instincts. However, sometmes it's hard to tell instinct from fear. Fe, 'I don't don't want to fly on that plane' might mean you have a feeling about something real being wrong with the plane, or you simply might be afraid of flying because of past bad's up to us individually to sort through that kind of emotional stuff.

But, in general, from what you've written here, she seems well within in the range of developing just fine.
But I am not her Mum, and I have not known her since the beginning.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you. Actually, I don't have any fear re: LD's, just a gut instinct that we might be dealing with some with her in the future. But I'm not going to have her tested yet, as I agree that she is within the normal limits developmentally. It's just tough when you are around people whose preschoolers are doing more academically than your almost 6 year old.

And yes, she can count out the correct number of things, easily up to 10 and with difficulty occasionally up to 30. She does tally marks to keep track of the amount of money we're spending at the grocery store and circles 2 groups of 5, to make groups of 10. She can count by 10's up to 100 (not past though). But then we come home and I tell her to get 10 dominoes each to start the game (after just being at the grocery store) and she says "how much is 10 mommy?" I wanna' say "are you for real!" Sometimes she totally gets it and other times, not at all, even though it's exactly the same thing.

I do feel like I've got into a better frame of mind though since I posted this a few days ago. She's doing Reading Eggs, handwriting, and we're playing games for math. We're reading the story of Pocahontas (by her request) and working on getting our garden started. She's happy right now, and doesn't really feel like she's doing any school other than the handwriting, which she does enjoy and only spends about 10 min. a day doing. So, for now, we're back in a good place. I appreciate everyone's advice so much!

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I wish I had a relaxed attitude from the begining..but I didn't I stressed.

My ds is 9 . Was dx'd severe delayed as a toddler then specific LD's for pre-K and K. Didn't really speak words till age 4. He couldn't retain number and letter recognition till the summer between K and 1st grade. After 1st grade they dropped his speech services. At the end of 2nd they dropped his math LD (although I wish they would have kept it..takes him a long time to work problems).

He is disgraphic..but after much stress..I have decided to relax about it. We practice handwriting and typing.

Honestly my advice is to just play with her. Talk a lot. Read to her a lot.
You can make yourself crazy , but it will happen when it happens. She will get it..just not on someone elses standard schedule. My ds didn't want to learn from paper or pencil until he was 8.

Play is something that will seem to fade as she gets older..hang on to it and enjoy each other.

Have a letter of the day
Cut it out of paper of fabric and pin it to her clothing ( I wrote it on palm)

Starfall has the A B C section

We would do cupcakes/ cookie with a letter

Give her a newspaper clipping and a light marker to dot all the letter A's or Q's ect.

Foam Letters..the peel and stick kind..and Foam Numbers too

I did puff paint dots on the numbers so he could count the dots on the number

Lots of counting cheerios, m n m's , gummy bears, jelly beans for fun.

Candy Land
Sequence or Memory
You can even make your own game board on paper and use a dice. Label the spaces with whatever you want..letters, numbers, coins, or pictures.

Play mail man and number the doors or shoe boxes and have her match the envelope.
Play train ride..have a punch ticket with a number or letter
Have her dig up little cheap toys in the dirt or sand and then organize them by sound on a poster board..ex; lizard he goes in L pile and say LLLL every time something goes in that section.

We did a letter game like this

Letter P
(call of 4/5/or 6 items)
Pizza, Pennies, Pickles, Ponies, and Pepperoni
Then see if the other person can say all the items you named. It helps build memory.

You can try to give directions to follow
Go touch the door, turn off the light and then pick up those shoes..see if she can follow a pattern of directions and make them longer. This develops short term memory.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you! The Dot math looks awesome! I saw that a long time ago but had forgotten about it. I think the tactile nature of the puff paint would really help. One can hope anyway.

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My oldest didnt begin to read till he was closer to 8. He kept mixing up letters when asked to identify them. I stressed for years, and pushed, and 2nd guessed, and nearly put him in school. But then I decided to let on our relationship (which was suffering) and be his mom...not teacher. Within a week the kid started to read...EVERYTHING. One year later and he goes to bed with an encyclopedia, he can read a 200 page chapter book in a couple hours, and just DEVOURS any book in his path. He just had a different "start" date than what is typically expected of a child.
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