Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teaching Your Child To Read

My children have always had their nose in a book. Even JJ at 2 sees his sisters with their noses in books and they puts his nose in a book. LOL!!! I have read to them from birth on. I still read to them and plan to still read to them as long as they will allow me. :)

Getting my degree in education is good in some things, and bad in others. It has put a strong conviction in me never to allow my children in public school (I have seen the behind the scenes and it is not pretty). That is a GOOD thing. But it has also put a push in me that I want to push my children to do more and more at younger and younger ages.

I have shared before about how I felt it was important to wait to teach my children to read. This goes against everything I learned in college. One of the reasons I believed it was the right thing to do. ;) I had a friend, Lisa, whom I greatly admired how she was raising her kids. AA was just a baby at the time. And I asked Lisa a ton of questions. She just smiled and told me that I should read the Raymond Moore books and should start with Better Late Than Early.

This book really changed me and my outlook on teaching my children.

It was not easy to fight what had been instilled in me by my parents (who asked weekly since AA was 3 years old if she could read yet), instilled in me by college (children need to be reading at the earliest age possible), what my husband believed (who felt pressured because his sister's autistic son could read fully by the age of 3 but could not comprehend any of it), and what the world was pushing (pumping lessons into the womb to start reaching the child before he is even born).

I have shared how it was only a few months ago that AA (now 8 1/2 yrs) began reading. As she was growing up, I would read to her frequently. We had a library of books in the basement that she would pick books from. She slept with books. And always pretended to read them. When she wanted to do some reading lessons, I would pull out the book and we would do the lesson (sometimes 2 or 3 at a time because she wanted more). There would be weeks and sometimes MONTHS between lessons. I never pushed it.

Finally a few months ago she picked up a 230 page book and read it front to back with hardly stopping! And now, she is reading Pilgrim's Progress!

An excerpt from what she read today:

Christian: And who was he who bade him cease?
Faithful: I did not know Him at first,but as He went by, I saw the nail holes in His hands and knew He was our Lord.
Christian: he that overtook you was Moses, he spares none and shows no mercy to those who transgress the law.

WOW! And when we ask her to tell us what is happening in the story, she is able to tell us with FULL COMPREHENSION!! With words like bade and transgress.

I write this as ENCOURAGEMENT to wait and let children read when they want to. Be it three years old or eight years old, it is wonderful to wait until the CHILD is ready. AA now LOVES to read. She is even teaching herself some math by reading books! She shocked me the other day when she said that 3 bunches for $10 meant that each bunch was $3.33!!! It took her a little bit of time. You could see the wheels in that brain crunching!! But she did get it. And OH HOW WONDERFUL the light in her eyes when she realized she figured out the answer, before she even spoke it I knew by the look in her eyes she got it right! I asked her where she learned to do that and she said some book I had bought at a garage sale!!! :)

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