Thursday, 11 February 2010


We used to be autonomous home educators but, for various reasons, we decided about six months ago to introduce some structure and learning goals into our HE agenda. I'm sorry to say, though, that I went rather overboard in some areas and am now having to back off a little. Four year old Ed really seemed to show a lot of reading readiness, so I purchased the book 'Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons'. Now I don't mean to disrespect the book, as it may work very well for some children; for us, however, it was a nightmare. We did all of six lessons before Ed told me that 'reading is boring' and I quickly shelved it in horror before heading into a massive panic about what I was going to do with him now. Anyway, I needn't have worried for it seems that Ed is reading ready, but he needs a more hands on, interactive approach. He woke up this morning, grabbed some bath letters he received as a Christmas pressie and told me we were doing some letter work.
We had such fun. We talked about vowels and consonants and that you really need some of both in order to make a word. (He kept making strings of consonants and saying 'what does this say, mummy?') Then I put together some VC combinations such as 'at/in/ot' and made up stories about them sitting on a park bench together and along came 'f' who said, 'I wonder what would happen if I sat down with 'at' and joined my sound to them?' He was actually reading CVCs and enjoying every minute. Of course, being Ed, he then went on to make up some very random 'letter stories' involving death, destruction and Indiana Jones. But hey, I totally feel that we're making progress. In contrast, I have to say that he really enjoys his maths workbook and can write down the answers of problems up to the sum of ten. Wierd, we are two English graduates with two maths/science orientated children. I have to say, though, that mathsy or not, he is loving 'The Horse and his Boy', our bedtime readaloud. I'll make him a literature fan one way or the other. LOL!!!


Wendy said...

Just read, read, read, everything and anything and enjoy stories together- they'll read in no time cos they get fed up relying on you to tell them how the stories end!! Especially if you have a few deliberate "I'm too busy" moments!!

Jo C said...

I wish it were true but at 8, despite living in a house full of books and having me read to him obsessively, George has only really just mastered reading. And he still prefers being read to than reading himself. I think they're rebelling against their literary parents. LOL. Brilliant advice, though, nevertheless. I just loooooovvvvvveeeee reading. Hope they will too one day.

Wendy said...

Yeah - when I said in "no time" I wasn't thinking of national curriculum standards!! Despite having one early reader myself I don't think 8 is that old really and Waldorf certainly doesn't. Also when it does come it comes much quicker because of the added maturity. I bet there will be no real difference between him and an early reader at, say, 12. I think being read to fulfills other functions too - it's a good way of getting parental attention (in a postive way!) and brings back memories of being little again (and we all need that!)Thinking about it some more - I still love being read to
but I also enjoy the speed that comes from being able to do it myself. Also being more "sciency" might mean he enjoys reading technical stuff more than stories eventually?