Help! My Child’s Not Reading Yet

Q: What do I do if my relatives are urging me to quit homeschooling and put my young child in school because she isn’t reading yet?

A: A couple of decades ago, one child greatly affected my views on teaching children to read. This boy was about 8 years old when his parents brought him to the tutoring company where I then worked full-time. He was enrolled in a local public school but hadn’t yet learned to read. In fact, he didn’t even know the letters of the alphabet–he didn’t know their names nor their sounds. Experts at the school had told the parents that he was ineducable and would never learn to read. Continue reading Help! My Child’s Not Reading Yet

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Time for Formal Reading Lessons?

A woman I know recently asked whether it was time to begin formal reading lessons for her preschooler. I realized, as I thought about how to answer her, that experience helps so much here. I have materials on hand to teach reading formally to my little guy who is now three and a half years old. But I’m sure that he isn’t really ready for the sorts of lessons those materials would push. Instead, I’ve stuck mostly to informal lessons because my goal at this point is to keep the learning fun; I want him to grow up loving reading and learning and wanting more. Continue reading Time for Formal Reading Lessons?

Ivanhoe–Or: High School Literature in Our House

Have you ever read Ivanhoe? It’s a tough read if you read the original version. Only after starting it, did I read that the author wanted the book to sound as though it were written in the Middle Ages but thought that putting it in the English of that day would make it unreadable to modern audiences, yet worried that in modern English it wouldn’t feel authentic; so he created a mismash of modern and older English and invented a number of words meant to sound older to tell his story. Altogether it makes the book harder to wade through than most classics.

But…. We finished it! This was a big accomplishment Continue reading Ivanhoe–Or: High School Literature in Our House

Teaching Reading. Again.

The great thing about teaching a child to read when your oldest children, whom you taught to read, are now in high school and reading Shakespeare and such, is that there is so much less panic and worry about it. Teaching reading, in my experience, really isn’t that difficult. I’ve read posts online and talked to parents in person who fret over which expensive reading curriculum to buy and how hard to push those lessons, but I never tried those expensive books, and this time around, I’m not worried at all about taking the less expensive, lower-stress route because I know it worked with my other children and led to kids who love to read.

I’ve already begun with our 2 1/2 year old. Continue reading Teaching Reading. Again.