My middle child went to kindergarten last year at what was supposed to the best public school in the best school district in Kansas, which is one of the top states in the country. He is a kinesthetic learner with incredible spatial skills, but is a slow learner when it comes to reading. Watching his classmates “get it” while he struggled, killed his self confidence. His teacher progressed through the curriculum according to plan, and my boy was left behind. Not only did he finish kindergarten not reading, but he did not believe himself to be capable of reading. His teacher never raised with us any concerns about his reading—I’m not certain whether she even realized that he was struggling, because he is not the type to ask for help. Here we are now, homeschooling, half-way through 1st grade, and he is just now becoming confident enough in his reading ability to read to someone besides me. He still insists that he can’t read, but he’s reading cereal boxes, and he can answer for me when his little brother asks, “What does that say?”! Yes, he is behind where other kids with his same manufacturing date range might be, but he is a unique little person who is learning and growing every day and I am proud of him and the progress he has made!
What would you do with this situation: The younger child (5) hears something once and never forgets it. He is progressing in phonics and reading 3 letter words. He is very ready to learn to read. The oldest child (6) is not ready. He has always been later to do things all the way back to feeding himself and potty training. He “wants” to read like the younger child, but is having tons of trouble just blending 2 letters. He knows all his letter sounds backward and forward, so to review those is not even really necessary. Do I just stop everything and try again in a few months. How would you explain this to him? I’ve tried explaining that reading is just a developmental stage like learning to walk, and when your ready it won’t be so hard . . . I’m afraid it makes him feel dumb. Any suggestions? [Read more…]