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Discussion Starter #1
Wasn't sure how to phrase this.<br><br>
I'm wondering when people 'used' to teach reading, phonics, letter names, etc... like back in the 1600-1800s. Was it when they were younger or older? I know parents used to teach at home sometimes/employee tutors other times, but I always read the things that our forefathers were homeschooled... but at what age?<br><br><br>
The reason I ask is a) I've been wondering about this for a while out of plain curiousity and 2) I wonder when it is the best time to teach... when is it something that you spend a few minutes on, or when does it become 'pushing'.<br><br>
The problem is I really oscillate between the 'child-led' based learning (almost unschooling at this age), to some montessori-type items... still play, but still one is overtly teaching, to maybe setting aside a certain part of the day for more 'schooling' activities.<br><br>
Anyone else ever oscillate like this? Maybe it's just since things are so new, she's still young (nearing 3 1/2) I'm not sure what is best at this point. When have other folks started the journey to reading?<br><br>
Tammy
 

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I think the best thing you can do is read to her and let her see you reading. Not sure how they approached it back in the day but I know if children are exposed to reading and writing they will naturally catch on and teach themselves to read. Just as children learn to talk by hearing spoken words and making the connection that these sounds have meanings.<br><br>
As far as Montessori in a 3-6 environment children learn to read as they are learning to write. Materials such as the moveable alphabet, sandpaper letters, language cards and objects, etc. give them opportunities to work on both. IME the letters are introduced to them by the sound they make and children as young as 3 will phonetically spell out words even though they are not spelled correctly they are *uncoding* this mystery.<br><br>
As far as starting the journey to reading, I'm guessing you did that when you introduced books to your dd. I'm sure she's already figured out that the letters on the pages equal words she hears and in time reading and writing will happen naturally.
 

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My thought is that the dc must have learned later than earlier due to the dc being needed to help out on the farms,etc..<br><br>
I know my stepMom has told me that all of her siblings(7) and her friends were reading before Kinder. She thinks it 's bizarre that we go by the average age of 6.5 as the learn-to-read stage. She was brought up in the mid fifties.<br><br>
Good question!<br><br>
mp
 

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my mom started teaching me to read at 4 and i remember it being so stressful and confusing at the time. my niece is 5 and can read all the beginning reader type books. not sure about the 1800's. think it depends on the child and their individual learning style. nak
 

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But also remember that many people didn't know how to read at all... so it may be difficult to come up with a "norm."
 

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Yeah, I agree with Artisan. I do a lot of genealogy and most of my father's ancestors could not read. They were farmers and didn't have the money to spend on luxuries like books. They needed their kids for farm labor.<br><br>
As far as your last question, "when did other folks start the journey?", my oldest learned the alphabet from us but we were not trying to teach him that skill at that time. He was interested and ready and just picked it up. My youngest learned the alphabet at later age, but it was completely on his own. They both went through stages where they were obsessed with letters. I'm a huge believer in child-led learning for this age-set.<br><br>
My oldest is almost 5 and does not read. He has asked me to teach him, but I'm finding it incredibly dull. I'm using, "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading", which comes highly recommended but it kind of makes me want to gouge my eyes out due to how dull and prim it is. It's giving me unpleasant school flashbacks. I don't know how I learned how to read, but I've never enjoyed phonics (but I read very well). My sister taught herself to read at 4. My BIL was taught at 5 in kindy and blames early, adult-led instruction for his reading difficulties; he hates to read.<br><br>
I'm, personally, wary of teaching letters and reading to a child that isn't independently showing interest. I think it's the type of "subject" that can seem really horrible if the child doesn't have that independent interest. When the child is really ready, I think they will soak it all up. From what I've read, the best thing you can do to create a proficient reader is to give the love of reading. You give the love of reading by regularly reading interesting things to the child and showing them how much fantasy and knowledge can be unlocked with books. I think that's much more interesting than, "Vowels are made without using the tongue or teeth to block the sounds. The short-vowel sound of A is ah like 'apple' (not true, btw)." Sorry, that book is getting to me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Artisan</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But also remember that many people didn't know how to read at all... so it may be difficult to come up with a "norm."</div>
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Blarg, don't remember where I read it, but I thought I read at one point the literacy rate was higher when kids weren't in school... Holt or a Gatto or someone...<br><br>
Blarg.<br><br>
(edit:<br>
Ah, found it<br>
John gatto: "You and I are confronted with a great mystery: we had a perfectly literate country before 1852 when, for the first time, we got government schooling shoved down our throats"<br><br>
Not sure how valid that is, and I'm sure it probably excludes minorities/women.<br>
)<br><br>
Tammy
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yah, see that's the thing. We do read a lot, I'm just not sure if I should be overtly doing more in regards to letters/phonics.<br><br>
I have sandpaper letters, and have started using them, and she has 'mild' interest. I'm just not sure whether I should just hold off, and wait until she has a "LARGE" interest, and keep them on the shelf.... probably what I'll do. Keep them there on the shelf, until she has a large interest... and just introduce from time to time to see if her interest has chanced.<br><br>
She has plenty of other interests in other things.<br><br>
Ok. Guess that helped to set my direction, by just reading and writing things out.<br><br>
Tammy
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>quaz</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Blarg, don't remember where I read it, but I thought I read at one point the literacy rate was higher when kids weren't in school... Holt or a Gatto or someone...<br><br>
Blarg.<br><br>
(edit:<br>
Ah, found it<br>
John gatto: "You and I are confronted with a great mystery: we had a perfectly literate country before 1852 when, for the first time, we got government schooling shoved down our throats"<br><br>
Not sure how valid that is, and I'm sure it probably excludes minorities/women.<br>
)<br><br>
Tammy</div>
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Gatto is really bad about not listing sources. He wrote it, but I don't believe it. If I met him, I'd like to see him define "literacy", give a percentage, and list the research he used to make that statement. I've only researched the Carolina foothills in that time period, so I can only make generalizations about that area. Prosperous white men read and so did their daughters. Some others read without going to school and presumably learned from the Bible and perhaps some other texts. A huge part of the population was not literate or barely literate. I cannot imagine a decline in literacy, since large amounts of people are no longer denied access to books. Plus, we now live in a text-inundated society where it's very difficult to get by without reading on some level. When people do read, they are surrounded by a wealth of choices, thanks to libraries, bookstores and the Internet. nak.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamapoppins</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know my stepMom has told me that all of her siblings(7) and her friends were reading before Kinder. She thinks it 's bizarre that we go by the average age of 6.5 as the learn-to-read stage. She was brought up in the mid fifties.</div>
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<span>Then she and her siblings and friends were being taught to read before they went to school - heaven knows why! Either that or she lived in a place where things were being done in a very different way from the rest of the country - or she's just not remembering it clearly. In those days, kindergarten consisted of short days that included hearing a story, singing a song or two, talking about colors, playing in playhouses and with blocks, having recess, taking a nap, and that's about it. Here's a great article on the subject by an award winning teacher of 37 years experience, author of 11 books, Vivian Gussin Paley:<br><br>
Big "A" and Little "a" - An excerpt from Child's Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play<br><a href="http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/vivian_gussin_paley.html" target="_blank">http://www.besthomeschooling.org/art...sin_paley.html</a><br><br>
- Lillian</span>
 

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I also vacillate between unschooling, Montessori and Waldorf. I think the Montessori approach is akin to unschooling in that it offers the opportunity for the child to pick up a lesson, but the child doesn't have to if the interest is not there. It's not much different from you being willing to find resources for your child's initiated interest, just that you the mom have already prepared the lesson and made it visible in the child's immediate surroundings.<br><br>
As far as reading, my dd has been drawing letters since she was 2 or 3 and still at 6 has no great interest in reading, though now she does write down words when dictated to her "mama how do you spell dog?" and is sounding stuff out herself. I wouldn't hurry it. The interest will come.<br><br>
Didn't the girls in the 1600s-1800s do embroidery alphabets starting at about 5-6?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LeftField</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My oldest is almost 5 and does not read. He has asked me to teach him, but I'm finding it incredibly dull.</div>
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<span>You might try cutting back to the simple approach described in this book excerpt and see how it goes. It's the way a lot of people I know of have done it - just a natural way of showing them how in bits and pieces while reading and having fun with them.<br><br><a href="http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/jean_donn_reed.html" target="_blank">http://www.besthomeschooling.org/art...donn_reed.html</a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian</span>
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lillian J</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><span><br><br>
You might try cutting back to the simple approach described in this book excerpt and see how it goes. It's the way a lot of people I know of have done it - just a natural way of showing them how in bits and pieces while reading and having fun with them.<br><br><a href="http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/jean_donn_reed.html" target="_blank">http://www.besthomeschooling.org/art...donn_reed.html</a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian</span></div>
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Thank you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> This is what we've always done. We read for fun. They flip through books on their own too. For a year, I've been dictating by his request so he can write stories. I've been identifying words that he's asked about. He's been copying words from books that he likes. I've spelled words, because he's asked. I've had him sound out words to write on his own, when he wanted to write something. He's been able to sound out CVC words for a year. He has a decent list of sight words. But he doesn't read. I'm fine with that, but he is not. He keeps reminding me to get out the phonics book, even though it seems really dull to me. From what I understand, 4 1/2 is a common age for children to notice they don't read and to insist they need to read. Someone very wise helped me to explain to ds that he IS learning to read, b/c it basically starts as soon as an infant looks at a book; it's a long, organic process. It will be interesting to see how long he stays in this phase of wanting to understand it all at once.<br><br>
Thanks for the link to the great site!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LeftField</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But he doesn't read. I'm fine with that, but he is not.</div>
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<span>Wow! Well, it must be nice to see that he has a persistent nature - he sure doesn't give up on something because it's tedious.<br><br>
The urge to read independently sure does vary. My son was almost 7 when I had to hurriedly get him ready to go into a 1st grade where the others would already know how to read 3 letter words - and he wasn't in the least bit interested! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian</span>
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">He's been able to sound out CVC words for a year. He has a decent list of sight words. But he doesn't read. I'm fine with that, but he is not.</td>
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Have you tried compiling a list of words he can read/sound out, then using that list to make him his own readers. Perhapes adding 2-3 new words per book after he has caught on.
 

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Lillian- I did ask my stepMom, and she said they did move around a lot(Germany I know of) as her Dad was a navy dude. Her Mother was a nurse. The parents ran a pretty tight *ship* from what she has told me.<br><br>
What you describe sounds like my experience with "Nursery School" and kinder.<br><br>
I don't think I read until I was in first grade. UNtil then(And even then!) we played,played,played!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> mp
 

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In the 1600's there were hornbooks that children learned to read from. I believe they started with the alphabet. I don't know what age they started.<br><br><a href="http://www.cedu.niu.edu/blackwell/books.html" target="_blank">http://www.cedu.niu.edu/blackwell/books.html</a><br><br><a href="http://alumni.cc.gettysburg.edu/~s330558/schooling.html" target="_blank">http://alumni.cc.gettysburg.edu/~s330558/schooling.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.angelfire.com/ar3/townevictorian/victoriannursery.html" target="_blank">http://www.angelfire.com/ar3/townevi...annursery.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Literacy" target="_blank">http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Literacy</a><br><br>
I wouldn't look to education before the establishment of schools as an ideal for teaching a child today because things were very different in society then. Child labor laws didn't exist yet. Children as young as 5 or 7 were working. There wasn't an availability of education, books or paper to everyone. The standards of literacy were different too. Sometimes literate just meant being able to sign your name.<br><br><br>
I guess you could say we started by reading to dd and having a book filled house. We had alphabet books but we didn't drill her in the alphabet. She got most of it pretty quickly anyway. Around age four I think was when she became interested in learning to read. We used <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons</span>. The lessons were short. We put it away whenever it became frustrating or dd lost interest. Eventually we got through about half the book. By then dd was reading pretty well and the lessons were not very interesting to her.<br>
We continued to read to her and she enjoyed sites like <a href="http://www.starfall.com" target="_blank">www.starfall.com</a> that let her practice her reading skills in a fun way. She is almost six years old now and reads signs, captions on the TV, instructions for computer games, etc on her own. Sometimes she picks up a book and reads it to herself but I mostly still read books to her. My dd is not writing yet. She types sometimes but really needed to develop her fine motor control before we could work on writing much.<br>
I don't think there is a right age or method. It depends on the child.
 

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<span>I was thinking about this some more, and it came to me that what really matters is when the individual child is ready and eager to learn to read - which could be at age 2 in rare cases or age 10 or older in others, but usually somewhere in the middle.<br><br>
You'll be able to tell you're "pushing" if your daughter is showing little or no interest, trying to change the subject, getting frustrated, not going along with the lesson as planned, complaining, fidgeting, or wanting to go do something else - like play. Play is a child's natural method of learning about the world and developing skills that will make later kinds of learning work - so you can successfully continue to think of play as the curriculum for years to come. Even if she didn't see another letter for another few years, she'd still be able to jump right in and be on par with her peers by the time any of them have any need to read on their own.<br><br>
There have been generations of perfectly successful readers who were not introduced to letters and reading till they were 6 and in the 1st grade. It's only been since the schools have started to really mess things up that they've freaked out and started trying to foist reading on younger and younger children. And now they're creating an even bigger mess. I feel like Alice in Wonderland these days when I hear all the talk about teaching reading to 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 year olds - it's something that's leaked over from the failing school systems, and we just don't need to go along with it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/soapbox.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="soapbox"> There! I feel better now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
But your original past asked "When have other folks started the journey to reading?" My son is in college now, and I introduced him to letters when he was almost 7, and then spent a short time getting him to the level of reading 3 letter words so that he could go into the 1st grade at a little school in which all the other 1st graders would be at that level. When he sat on a panel of other young adult homeschool grads at a conference, they were asked "If you could go back and change one thing about your homeschooling experience, what would it be?" His answer was that he wished we'd realized right from the beginning that things can be learned a lot faster and a lot more easily if you study them later rather than earlier - that something that could take months or years at an earlier age can take weeks at a later age. His friends and their families sitting in the first two center rows burst into loud applause and laughter - because that had been their experience too, but it's one that people don't often thing to express. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Lillian</span>
 
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