When you have a child who struggles to read, who has learning disorders, who is behind all his peers .... well you do what everyone tells you to do.
You try every 'learn to read' method there is.
You push reading at every opportunity.
You live and breathe phonics.
and you don't get very far.
You end up with a child who HATES reading and to be very honest, you end up hating it yourself.
At 7 years old, when we first started homeschooling and I realised how far behind my son was and how bad his reading skills were, I was adamant that my son would learn with my help.
At 8 years old we were not much further along in our progress.
At 9 I think he was worse as he'd developed such a hate for reading.
I honestly thought we would never get there. I remember a few mothers (the minority) had said just to relax and leave it. That at around age 10, particularly for boys, something clicks and they will start to read on their own. I remember reading their comments and thinking no, I can't wait, what if he gets to high school age and still can't read because I waited. I remember thinking I knew best as my son had learning disorders and surely if that was dealt with then reading would flow. It didn't.
I should have waited.
I ignored the best piece of advice given to me.
The one I am going to give now to all those mothers out there who are pushing and rushing to get their kids to read.
Wait till they are ready. It does happen!
Age 10 this year for my boy. He matured. He mellowed a little and something clicked. He actually had an interest in a series and wanted to learn to read it. And wow did he pick it up fast and get into reading in a big way! In the first 5 months he read 10 chapter books. That for us was HUGE. Then he had been given a series of 60 books and decided to read them (or I was giving them away). Between Mid-July and early November he read ALL 60 BOOKS! All chapter books with 10 chapters each. I am still blown away. In just this past week he has read 6 large novels.
It happened! When he was ready.
I look back and think OMG the stress I put on myself and on my poor boy for all those years when we could have been having fun with our school work. So what if I needed to read every question to him. I was sitting right next to him anyway. No teacher is sitting there to see. No peers are there to notice. Why was I so pressured into keeping up with others. I regret not listening to those mothers.
In the last month, I have seen other mothers of children aged 10-12 who have all of a sudden started reading. It was so exciting to read of their interest and success. I realised that just because some of our children take longer to start reading, doesn't mean they will forever be behind.
So to the mothers of children who are young, who hate reading, who struggle with reading and who you think will never get there ..... chill out. Stop pushing the reading issue, stop making life all about reading and putting pressure on yourself or your child. Just step back, let go of the control and make alternative plans (and supports) with your child's learning path until they reach the point where it all just clicks one day.
Most of you won't, you will do what I did, and then look back and think aaahhhhh yeah!
I look forward to reading your blog posts when it happens LOL.
I wonder how many of you find that 10 is the magic age for your child too.