The ABCs of Homeschooling - Letter R

    Ah, reading, the BIG subject.  People have become obsessed with early reading; and I'm not just talking about the general public. It's one of those things parents like to brag about - "Well my Susie started to read at just three years old!" There is a bigger and bigger push for early reading.  There are programs, worksheets, games, and tech resources. I am sad to see that the homeschooling community has followed suit.
   Early reading is supposed to give an academic advantage and make lifelong learners out of the children.  That's interesting because when I went to kindergarten at age five over fifty years ago, I think it was mostly play.  But now, formal learning is pushed in preschool and kindergarten is no longer for play.  In most places, it is no longer a half day, either, as it was when I went to school.
   I love to read.  Reading is like breathing to me.  I've got numerous books and magazines that I am reading at all times.  In raising seven children, most of my hobbies and interests were pushed aside for years, but not reading.  Wonder how that happened.  Oh, and by the way, I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.  Don't think I sit around reading novels, because I don't.  It's strictly nonfiction for me.  I don't read to entertain myself.  That seems like wasted time.  I read to inform myself.
   When I taught my first child to read, I had to relearn the vowel sounds, because every "good" homeschool mom knows that the only way to teach reading is through phonics.  I was successful, and assumed that now that I had taught one, the going would be much easier with the rest. Well, I ran into a snafu with number two.  She was struggling with phonics and not enjoying herself at all.  What I probably should have done was just put it aside for a little bit, but those were the days of being a newbie and I didn't have that sense.  So, instead, I contacted the public school and got some of their look say material.  Interestingly enough, she took off shortly after that!  That doesn't mean I advise look say, because I don't.  In time, she became a voracious reader, but interestingly, her reading wasn't that precise.  Oh, she got the gist of the material, but I noticed when she read aloud, she didn't always read exactly what was on the page. She wasn't the only one in that camp.  I had another daughter who was the same way, further down the line.
     Boys, being generally more logical than girls, sometimes find the English language frustrating.  Being my favorite subject, it never bothered me, but when one of my sons, in particular, pointed out the inconsistencies, I could see his point. He found spelling particularly troublesome, and to this day, I'm quite certain he isn't the best speller.  But, it hasn't kept him from being the owner of a successful contracting business.
     My one daughter has a gift for learning. It doesn't matter what it is, actually.  I often discovered she learned something through the process of osmosis.  Reading was no exception.  She learned at the same time her older brother learned, and when it came to spelling, well she passed him and tested out of the course.  He never did finish it, as I recall.
     Do you know the definition of dyslexia?  If you're like most people, you think it is when someone reads and writes backwards.  Well, not exactly.   It is a neurological problem and not an indication at all of intelligence.  In fact, self-made millionaires are four times more likely to suffer from dyslexia than the rest of us. It affects 5 - 10% of the population, but the degree of disability varies from mild to severe.  Having a child with dyslexia can be a homeschool mother's worst nightmare.  It certainly was for me. In fact, it required paying someone to teach him Orton Gillingham Phonics, because, although I taught six other children to read, I wasn't able to teach him. That being said, according to The Power of Dyslexia website, dyslexics make good entrepreneurs, and that is exactly what my son is.
    R is for reading, a very important skill, and sometimes a mysterious challenge.


  1. I also love reading. I can't wait to teach my son, thank your for sharing this wisdom

  2. Glad you found it helpful, Carolynn.


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