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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello--

I need reassurance from other unschoolers whose kids were/are later readers.

My son is reading a little bit. Just a little bit. I do know he'll get there, but it's hard for me to be patient with it taking so long. He isn't trying all of the time. I think I expected that once he learned a little bit, he would take off and be reading Harry Potter within three months. That's not happening.

The other boys, younger by a little bit, in our homeschool group are already reading really well. They are also unschoolers and taught themselves without any pressure from their parents.

To be fair to my son he is very visual and creative and pretends different things all day long. I know v/s learners may read later.

Anyone else in the same boat? When and how did your later readers do it?

Thanks,
Laura
 

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I have a friend who has h/s her kids all along, they are now 15 and 17. The youngest is a boy and he didn't learn to read until he was 8. She said she never pushed the issue. I taught my son to read at age 5 because I knew he may have to go to public school one day in the future (he did) and I wanted him to be ready. We bought Hooked on Phonics and he learned within 2 months and he was "only" 5 years old so I know an 8 yr old could do it.


I would think now is the best time to start getting him in to reading more. There is so much information out there that only a person that reads can get access to.
: My son has soaked up so much information about the USA, the planets, science facts, animal information, etc just by reading books. He has always been an avid reader. I would think it's best to teach your son as soon as possible just so he can be enjoying all thats out there for him to read.I know that some kids can teach themselves in certain areas whereas other kids can not. Maybe your son just isn't capable of it at this point and needs a little help in that area.
 

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My son is almost 8 and is slowly reading but definitely at an early 1st grade level. I have tried to take it slow and I know it's hard as parents to be patient! I use Explode the Code phonics and he likes that so I think it's key to find something they like and don't push it. We have gone at his pace and that means 1-3 pages one day and none for the next few days.

I also make sure I find books he likes such as books about dogs, dragons, Lego Knights, etc. I read to him ALOT and will have him read a word here and there.
When I finally had him start reading a book a day (just about 2-3 mos ago) I made sure I read a page and then he read a page. Then he'd read 2 and I read 1 and so on. Only in the last 2 weeks has he read a whole book on his own but these are the step 1 readers too-so maybe 2-3 sentences on a page.
I think the key is that he's interested in the books and I do it at the "right" time when he's not tired or busy with other things.

I have definitely lightened up about this over the last year! When talking with other hs friends I found some that had sons that didn't read until age 10 or one that finally got interested at age 11 and was reading Harry Potter in 2 weeks! But he had picked up all kinds of reading tips and hints over the years so he was just ready to put it all together.

One common factor which is encouraging-most of these boys are actually interested in reading! They LIKE to read and do it often! To me this is worth the wait
rather than have a son that hates reading but he can sound out words at age 7 KWIM

goods luck
Ann
 

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My son learned really gradually, with reading kicking in at 8.5. He's definitely made years' worth of progress in the past 6 months - he's now just turned 9. I did spend about 18 months "nudging" him along. I'm not totally comfortable with waiting indefinitely, so we did insist on reading daily, one page/day for a while, and then one picture book/day (with me reading some), and eventually a little more. We no longer insist, suggest or even mention reading to him because he's reading happily and easily on his own - some days not at all but other days a lot. I really wanted him to get over that hump before it became a difficult emotional issue for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of the thoughtful responses you guys. Ann, I really appreciate your point about the benefit of waiting for the kids to come around when they're really ready. I think maybe my son is not really ready and I just expect him to be. fourlittlebirds, I did look at your blog and I am a huge Holt fan, so his observation about 9 year olds learning to read is reassuring.

Mommy68, I am impatient with my son's pace for one of the reasons you said: he will be able to learn so much once he can read for himself. However, since I read to him and my daughter a lot, and always have, they both have always been learning a lot from books!

I'm just going to try to relax more about it. One of the reasons I'm homeschooling is so my children can learn at their own pace and don't feel like they have to conquer ideas, rather analyze and fully understand them.

My son is not me. I learned to read at an early age and enjoyed it so much, I just thought he'd be the same. On the other hand, he can draw much better than I ever did, and is far more creative and imaginative than I am. Perhaps it's related?
 

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My kids both read before then BUT a friend of mine had a son who didn't read at all until he was 10. Within a few months, though, he was reading Mark Twain. There is huge variation in what is normal.

Although some 8 year olds are learning stuff from reading, many aren't. Some kids haven't become fluid enough to really be able to soak up content while reading, some dislike reading due to icky pressure while learning to read, and some read mostly pulp fiction. When my sister taught 3rd grade she said that few children started the year reading chapter books or being able to read to learn.

My 8 year old likes non-fiction books with lots of pictures and small blocks of text. Right now she has the Eyewitness Visual Dictiony of Ancient Civilizations out of the library and is really enjoying it. You can learn a lot from a book like this without doing much reading!
 

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I haven't read all the replies but wanted to share a bit. My dd didn't start to read until 9-well really read. She would read a paragraph and stop.But it finally clicked -like everyone said it would-and you can't stop her now. Accordering to others, she is reading at a 6 and 7th grade level
. She is constantly reading. Books go EVERYWHERE with us.

So,theres my story. Hope it helps some.
 

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in waldorff styled education, they don't even begin to start teaching kids to read until they're 8.

so, your son is 'right one schedule' by their philosophy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lauradbg
Hello--

I need reassurance from other unschoolers whose kids were/are later readers.

My son is reading a little bit. Just a little bit. I do know he'll get there, but it's hard for me to be patient with it taking so long. He isn't trying all of the time. I think I expected that once he learned a little bit, he would take off and be reading Harry Potter within three months. That's not happening.

It might still happen.
My son was just reading a little bit at the age of 9. Our situation is a little different, as he'd gone to school until then, but little by little he read things like cartoon captions, or trading cards, comic books, or other little bits of written material until one day he picked up Dragon Rider and just read the book. He was about 12, I think. He moved on to Harry Potter, "young adult" fiction and then to adult stuff in a very short period of time (a couple of months.)

I know it's hard when kids around you are all reading--his younger sister was reading chapter books several years before he was able to, but at this point, no one would know he was a "late" reader. He reads everything, always carries a book with him, and will proudly talk about being a "book worm." Most importantly, he LOVES reading.

My youngest is just beginning to read a little, and that sparked a conversation with my oldest about how he learned to read. I spoke frankly with him about my concerns at the time. He was amused and told me, "I always KNEW I'd read--I just wasn't ready then."
(silly me!)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zoebird
in waldorff styled education, they don't even begin to start teaching kids to read until they're 8.

so, your son is 'right one schedule' by their philosophy.
Not to start a debate here: but wanted to point out that one of the key reasons we decided to hs was because ds(8) who had a great waldorf teacher was not at all keeping up with the other children who were learning enough at that point to put words together and read simple books. We might have been okay with that but it, along with other areas he was 'slower' in was causing concern. They began in 1st grade slowly. The Anthroposphic view-point may be more specifc and it always comes down to the teacher and the class as to how fast they go, However they do start to teach reading before 8-- it's just at a somewhat slower pace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
UPDATE: HE IS READING!!!

Right after I posted my concern, my 5 1/2 year old daughter announced that she would like me to teach her to read. My son instantly said that he would too. I think there's a huge sibling rivalry component here--he was not going to be outdone by his younger sister.

I asked my daughter how she'd like me to teach her--would she like me to use the book "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" or should I just read simple board books with her? She wanted the 100 Easy Lessons. (I had tried to help my son read with that book the previous year).

She's doing great and really enjoys it. I learned from my son's experience with the book, and don't do all of the repetitive stuff. My poor son was so exhausted by the repetition and I was just too thick to skip a lot of it as I should have. I followed the script.

On the other hand, my son wanted me to read board books with him--Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, simple things like that. He did NOT want to use the 100 Easy Lessons book. He has since looked at that book and is just reading the stories that go along with the picture. No more of the stifling (for him) repetitive nonsense. He already knows the sounds letters make, he does not need to repeat it ad nauseum.

Yesterday, he told me that he had thought the only way I'd be able to help him learn to read is to use the book in the proscribed way and that we wouldn't be able to deviate from its instruction! My poor, poor kid.

It's a lesson learned for me! In the future, I won't get locked into any book or way for helping my kids learn. It kills me that my son felt that way. One of the reasons we're homeschooling is so my kids can learn all of the creative, individual ways to get to truth. I want them to feel comfortable looking in all directions and in a lot of ways to learn whatever they need to learn for them.

My son WANTED to learn to read, as much as his active play would have allowed, but felt stuck in a system that was utterly exhausting and insulting and boring.
:
 

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I'm also one that has a later reader in my son (8 1/2). I have an 11 yo daughter that goes to public school. I took my son out of public in first when they were flunking him and not really caring. I've taught him a little here and there...nudging... He knows little words and will try if I get him to focus. He's really good at math, asking questions, and remembering what he's learning in everything else. He's a really good kid.

I'm glad this thread got started. It's good to know there are others in my spot. It is a rough spot to be in sometimes...especially, at least for me, when "others" think it's something you're not doing...and therefore, your fault for "holding the child back"....

Many Blessings,
April
intuitive medium
 
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