Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
A note from Jamie: One year later, we’re much further along our reading journey! Fun to look back and see how far my kids have come–we all need that reminder from time-to-time, don’t we? This post originally published on January 24, 2011.
We were rounding a corner during our morning walk, when my six-year-old son paused to glance at a sign in someone’s yard.
“Look, Mommy. It says: SLOW. KIDS AT PLAY.”
This from a child who has never had a formal reading lesson. With a sharp-as-a-tack memory, Jonathan adds to his sight word vocabulary daily, learning to read without realizing he is.
My seven-year-old daughter is another story. Her knowledge of sight words isn’t her strength. But her grasp of phonics is much better.
When Jonathan doesn’t recognize a word, he asks Trishna to sound it out. When a word is too complex for her abilities, she asks him if he knows what it is.
And all the while my five-year-old tags along, still coloring in zigzags and ecstatic to have learned how to write the first letter of his name.
Three children. Three personalities. Three styles of learning.
Each one legitimate, valued, incredible.
Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables, wrote that “to learn to read is to light a fire. Every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”
It comes in different ways, at different times, for different kids. And in spite of peer pressure from homeschooling friends or the traditional system, there is no one right way to learn to read.
You may sit down with your child and work through 100 Easy Lessons. You may have a child who is completely uninterested in the process or even highly resistant. You may be an unschooler adamant about not forcing things too soon.
No matter who you are, no matter which approach you choose–make sure you slow down. You’ve been given a great gift–a front row seat to wonder, freedom, beauty.
Enjoy the magic.
It seems that anyone who has been homeschooling long has a reading story to share. How did your child learn to read? Did you have a magical moment when things seemed to click, or was it more of a gradual process?