Jump to content

Menu

Things homeschoolers say that drive me crazy


Recommended Posts

Yes, yes, and yes!  I was very much into the better late than early camp for reading early on in my homeschooling career.  I have 2 dyslexic children.  I wished I would have had them tested earlier.  My adult son still really struggles. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 dyslexic kids here.  I listened to the don't worry some are late bloomers speech from even my reading specialist mother.   Terrible mistake.  As soon as we started targeted instruction using a program designed specifically for dyslexics (in 6th grade!) she went from Clifford books after 7 years of school to Divergent after a year and a half of instruction that better fit with how her brain works.  Really wish we had started sooner.

 

Do I think kids are frequently pushed too young, before they are developmentally ready?  Yes.  All the time.  Schools are horrible about that but so are homeschoolers.  Doesn't mean that a child is not also needing very specialized, targeted instruction and if a parent expresses concern that they don't have a legitimate one.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are using Barton Reading and Spelling because it is OG based, it is scripted (I really needed that support) and has training DVDs for me, plus it covers reading/spelling through early High School, not just basic reading skills.  

 

Also, each level can be resold for close to the original price so even though the system is expensive, it actually isn't over the long haul.  Plus, when we were paying for specialized dyslexia tutoring, that cost us WAAAAAY more than Barton and it netted us next to nothing.  

 

Level 1 and 2 seem really, really basic and might seem too basic for an older student.  Mine was 6th grade when we started and she did grumble.  However, once we started using the program I realized that one of her issues was very definitely that she was missing key building blocks of reading that other programs just assumed were there.  Barton didn't.  Going way, way back and putting in those key building blocks was what finally turned things around.  DD recognizes that now, too, and while she doesn't love Barton, as in Oh wow this is fun! she loves Barton in the sense of Oh Wow, I can finally read.  Lets keep going, Mom.  I don't want to change to something else that might not help as well.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been making me crazy too. I'm on another group where that's *always* the suggestion. Back off, it's just developmental, it'll happen when it's time. ACK! I mean, yes, to a point. If you're trying to make your 5 yo be ready for Harry Potter then please back way off. But your 9 yo can't read despite instruction? Time for an intervention!

  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will be honest I don't think rushing a child through reading at an early age if they aren't ready is a good idea. I doubt if I had started DD on Barton at age 5 she would have netted much and it might have demoralized her just like her instruction at school did.

 

But when a child is still struggling at 7 and 8 and 9 it seems really unhelpful to keep telling a parent to just give them more time when there may very definitely be an underlying cause for their struggles.

Information, solid information, not just speculation and hope, was the most wonderful feeling. We finally had real answers and a much more productive path to follow.

At the same time it made me sick inside to realize how many years we wasted...why didnt we seek those answers much sooner?

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a huge pet peeve of mine on the facebook homeschool groups I belong on. Without exception, 90% of the replies when a parent questions their child struggling with reading, are in the "leave it alone" camp. 

I'm teaching my middle to read under the assumption that he may be dyslexic. It runs rampant on my side of the family, our eldest is dyslexic, and he (at a month shy of 6) is presenting almost identically as our oldest did at that age. IMO, there's no harm in using some of the same programs and methods that we used with "definitely dyslexic" DD, with DS. Better safe than sorry, imo, but I'm careful to no longer post his struggles in reading on my facebook groups.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never heard this irl. Ever. But I do see it online. I do have a boy who decodes well but gets tired reading after 10 or so pages, even a book he really likes. I did give him some extra time (he is 8) since he was decoding well. I think it is time for a vision check. Maybe I delayed longer than I should have because of comments like that, but I don't think so. I think people in all kinds of educational situations take a wait and see approach to some things.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Overheard in a group setting recently:

 

HS Mom #1: "_________ [13 year old son] is reading words like 'cat' and 'top' now. I am so relieved."

HS Mom #2: "See? I told you he would pick it up on his own if you just backed off and waited long enough." [radical unschooler]

 

Not 9 or 10 years old and struggling. Not 11 or 12, with intervention. Thirteen! Figure it out, kid, your internal motivations are enough.

 

Thirteen, finally able to struggle through "Cat sat on mat." Think about that. Rivka, I agree with you 100% on this.

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's because my oldest is eight that I don't really see the thirteen year old who is just figuring out reading, but my guess is that it's a reaction to the extreme pressure in homeschooling communities to have very young kids reading. I have a five year old who is just starting to read, which is later than my oldest but perfectly developmentally fine. Most of the time, I feel happy with his progress and can keep myself from comparing him to his older sibling; but then, I'm talking to other homeschooling parents and hear this homeschooling dad reiterate all the research he's been doing because his kid six months older than mine isn't interested in reading yet and when I mention my middle child's letter reversals he starts talking about dyslexia. (Yes, I know letter reversals are developmentally normal for a five year old.) Or my husband will fret about my middle child not reading yet, since both he and I read early, and how maybe it's because he's neglected middle child... Or the mom of a kid who isn't seven yet freaking out about how her kid "just started learning to read," meaning she's reading Frog and Toad. The anxiety is contagious, and I think we ride through this by reassuring ourselves that it's developmental, that it will just click, and the exact point where it goes from a kid learning it in his own time to a kid needing intervention...especially as homeschoolers who will worry about judgment from kids not reading... I think that's where this all wait, wait, wait comes from.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll add to this another related peeve... I'm tired of hearing about "right brained learners" being slow to pick things up and how they especially need extra time. There's some homeschool guru who has a book about this and a bunch of people have bought into it. But everything I've read from actual neuroscientists says that the whole right brain vs. left brain learner/thinker thing is complete bunk. Yet someone has built a whole business out of telling people to wait and not worry about basic reading or math because it's "brain development."

 

I mean, I get it. Sometimes there are skills that if you just wait on, they're way easier later. I saw it with all the time we wasted trying to learn telling time when the kids were 6 and 7 yo. Total waste. It took them like one lesson to grasp it when they were 8. Sometimes there is a value in just being willing to hold on. But that can't be the answer every single time to every single person, especially when a child is radically out of sync with peers or when there are other warning signs or genetic history or so forth.

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have certainly seen kids who were young enough that I thought it was too early to tell whether they were just a little slower to mature, cognitively, or whether there was likely to be a persistent reading problem. I often recommend that parents put the reading curriculum aside for six months or so and focus on phonological awareness games, working on identifying and manipulating sounds in different ways.

 

If the games are easy and the kid has solid phonological skills, then yeah, keep reading aloud a lot, build pre-reading skills, wait for a little more developmental maturation to happen, and don't worry too much. If the kid doesn't have good phonological skills, you don't need to wait until they're old enough for a diagnosis of dyslexia to start working on those things. And if there are warning signs, even if you aren't sure, I think it makes a lot of sense to proceed with a good Orton-Gillingham curriculum without waiting to be positive that your kid "needs" it.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Thirteen, finally able to struggle through "Cat sat on mat." Think about that. Rivka, I agree with you 100% on this.

 

All I can do is shake my head and say, "that's not okay."

 

My oldest has dyslexia, and showed signs early on. I taught in Spanish first, and she would reverse syllables (unlike letters in English). It became really apparent when I started teaching English reading. I'm glad I started looking for answers prior to an evaluation. I heard some of that wait stuff too.

 

But, even if people around us are saying wait, wait, there's something to be said about that gut feeling that something is just wrong, and getting help for the problem.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another one: 'let kids be kids'.   But maybe this particular kid does want to read all day long and despises finger painting.  Of course he needs to do a variety of activities (outdoors as well as indoors), but I'm not going to refuse him the academic materials that he is asking for.  I thought that one of the joys of home education was being able to individualise it.

  • Like 23
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another one: 'let kids be kids'.   But maybe this particular kid does want to read all day long and despises finger painting.  Of course he needs to do a variety of activities (outdoors as well as indoors), but I'm not going to refuse him the academic materials that he is asking for.  I thought that one of the joys of home education was being able to individualise it.

 

AMEN. This was one of my absolute most peeviest pet peeves when my eldest was little.

 

"Let him be a kid."

 

"He is being a kid. He's being a kid who is reading Latin and working ahead in math and science, and later he'll probably be a kid who is digging a hole in the backyard. Because he is a child, no matter what he is doing he is being a child. Quod erat demonstrandum."

  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll add to this another related peeve... I'm tired of hearing about "right brained learners" being slow to pick things up and how they especially need extra time. There's some homeschool guru who has a book about this and a bunch of people have bought into it. But everything I've read from actual neuroscientists says that the whole right brain vs. left brain learner/thinker thing is complete bunk. Yet someone has built a whole business out of telling people to wait and not worry about basic reading or math because it's "brain development."

 

I mean, I get it. Sometimes there are skills that if you just wait on, they're way easier later. I saw it with all the time we wasted trying to learn telling time when the kids were 6 and 7 yo. Total waste. It took them like one lesson to grasp it when they were 8. Sometimes there is a value in just being willing to hold on. But that can't be the answer every single time to every single person, especially when a child is radically out of sync with peers or when there are other warning signs or genetic history or so forth.

And my pet peeve is that when something doesn't apply to your kid, it's complete bunk.

 

Yes, my kid didn't have a problem reading.  And I support getting help for kids to read.  However, that doesn't make "right brained learning" bunk.  It was life-changing for us to realize that my kid IS a right brain learner, whole-to-parts thinker.  Requiring stories, color, humor, and pictures to learn.  So I'm happy that you never lost years of education trying to teach your kid in a way that didn't work for them.  That doesn't make it bunk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah.  I'm a huge proponent of not pushing children before they're ready, but that's absent obvious red flags.  Not pushing my now 10yo son to read and do heavy academics before he was ready was absolutely the right choice.  In his case, it was obvious from a very young age that he needed a little more time to mature and be ready.  When he was ready, he was really ready.  So I'm very much in favor of not pushing, taking time, etc.

 

But.  That's absent obvious red flags.  My son was making the reasonable milestones -- noticing letters, interest in books, etc., and he wasn't trying to read but struggling; he was simply meeting the milestones at his own pace (and we're talking ready to read at seven, rather than ready at five, so not at all out of the realms of normal and definitely not out of the realms of normal for that child).  No red flags.  A child actively resisting learning to read and with a family history of dyslexia -- red flags.  This is a great example of where homeschoolers need to police ourselves, if we don't want the government policing us instead.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been making me crazy too. I'm on another group where that's *always* the suggestion. Back off, it's just developmental, it'll happen when it's time. ACK! I mean, yes, to a point. If you're trying to make your 5 yo be ready for Harry Potter then please back way off. But your 9 yo can't read despite instruction? Time for an intervention!

Yes, when I say that about my six year old it's a wee bit different than a friend commenting on their rising fifth grader! We have indeed had major developmental leaps after several years of phonics instruction that didn't seem to help much, and then an audible clicking nosing in their brains ;). But when you're hitting third and fourth grade it's time for some outside help, I think, if fluently reading a grade level or two below their age still isn't happening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Overheard in a group setting recently:

 

HS Mom #1: "_________ [13 year old son] is reading words like 'cat' and 'top' now. I am so relieved."

HS Mom #2: "See? I told you he would pick it up on his own if you just backed off and waited long enough." [radical unschooler]

 

Not 9 or 10 years old and struggling. Not 11 or 12, with intervention. Thirteen! Figure it out, kid, your internal motivations are enough.

 

Thirteen, finally able to struggle through "Cat sat on mat." Think about that. Rivka, I agree with you 100% on this.

That poor family! It's times like that when I gently take people aside, privately in person, and discuss what I'm seeing/hearing and direct them to some more resources. It's embarasing to do in a group and you get all sorts of unhelpful suggestions, but most of those parents know there IS something up with their kiddo and are just exhausted trying to fix it, so the advice to give it time and take breaks seems like permission for relief. I get that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My #1 irritant: Homeschoolers who say "Even if you just hand them a novel it will be better than the education they get in the public school". No, sorry, not true.

I'm about as anti public education as they come and this is total bunk. If one cannot competently, consistently educate their child in a way that the child can develop educational and life skills at the pace appropriate to their needs? It's time to look for outside help of some sort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My daughter was in a school until 6th grade so my experience may be different from others but if we had gotten an evaluation back in 2nd or 3rd grade it would have really helped her self esteem and definitely helped us more effectively help her. By the time she hit 3rd she was already feeling that she was stupid and others just hadn't realized it yet. She felt she was hiding how stupid she really was.

 

If we had gotten the private eval back then we could have gotten her accomodations and far more effective instruction early on. She would not have had to spend so many hours of her childhood frantically trying to keep up and feeling more and more demoralized and depressed.

 

In fact, if we had gotten evals then we might have started homeschooling much sooner. We could have worked on reading skills separately from exposure to rich books/science/history. We could have scaffolded her weak areas while still slowly working to strengthen those areas but still provided a rich learning environment that didn't daily make her feel stupid. Those painful, depressing upper elementary years might never have happened.

 

If we had been homeschooling from the beginning I would still have wanted a diagnosis so I could have solid answers for exactly where her weaknesses AND strengths lie. That eval was a HUGE help and a HUGE relief, even for my daughter. But we could have also given her more time to mature, which I truly believe she also needed.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Person 1: "My child is really resisting learning to read, and we have dyslexia on both sides of our family, so I'm worried."

 

Person 2: "You just need to stop pushing him."

Person 3: "Reading is like a light coming on, they seem to struggle and then one day they can just do it! Don't worry!"

Person 4: "He will want to learn how himself when he's ready."

Person 5: "When he's motivated to do it for himself, it will click."

Person 6: "It's not developmentally appropriate for children to read before eight."

Person 7: "One day it will just happen. Don't worry about it."

 

 

 

Firstly, do you actually talk to 6 different people about a child's important issue?  Seems to be bordering on gossip at this point, and certainly not respecting the privacy of your child.

 

Secondly, look at the source and circumstances of the "advice."  How well informed are they about the topic? Are they a professionally trained expert on this issue? If you are just discussing an issue to see if it's something common in other children, then fine. For areas of major concern, seek advice of a trained expert. 

 

 

I would be quite distressed to hear that a random comment I may have made in passing about reading to a fellow homeschool mom became the source of her blaming me for not seeking professional advice. A casual chat (in person or on-line) is NOT a professional consultation. 

 

I'm very sorry about the stress that this issue has been for you and your famiily, but it's not anyone else's responsibility to seek professional advice for your child. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Firstly, do you actually talk to 6 different people about a child's important issue? Seems to be bordering on gossip at this point, and certainly not respecting the privacy of your child.

 

Secondly, look at the source and circumstances of the "advice." How well informed are they about the topic? Are they a professionally trained expert on this issue? If you are just discussing an issue to see if it's something common in other children, then fine. For areas of major concern, seek advice of a trained expert.

 

 

I would be quite distressed to hear that a random comment I may have made in passing about reading to a fellow homeschool mom became the source of her blaming me for not seeking professional advice. A casual chat (in person or on-line) is NOT a professional consultation.

 

I'm very sorry about the stress that this issue has been for you and your famiily, but it's not anyone else's responsibility to seek professional advice for your child.

This is a regular topic of discussion at swimming and break periods at co op. It's really nice to have a bunch of other moms to chat with abour schooling, curriculum, what's normal and what isn't, etc. They're not experts, but many of them have plenty of experience and it can be a big help to newer moms like myself, who haven't done as many grades. Some folks offer much better advice - our group is full of academically stringent mommies, which is fabulous. It still requires a mommy filter to know what is useful and what isn't, but I wouldn't call it gossip so much as group brainstorming :)

 

If we weren't speaking respectfully of our children and trying our best to help them, it would be a different matter. But no one homeschooling mom knows everything and others can be a wonderful resource (just like on here :) )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a regular topic of discussion at swimming and break periods at co op. It's really nice to have a bunch of other moms to chat with abour schooling, curriculum, what's normal and what isn't, etc. They're not experts, but many of them have plenty of experience and it can be a big help to newer moms like myself, who haven't done as many grades. Some folks offer much better advice - our group is full of academically stringent mommies, which is fabulous. It still requires a mommy filter to know what is useful and what isn't, but I wouldn't call it gossip so much as group brainstorming :)

 

If we weren't speaking respectfully of our children and trying our best to help them, it would be a different matter. But no one homeschooling mom knows everything and others can be a wonderful resource (just like on here :) )

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another one: 'let kids be kids'.   But maybe this particular kid does want to read all day long and despises finger painting.  Of course he needs to do a variety of activities (outdoors as well as indoors), but I'm not going to refuse him the academic materials that he is asking for.  I thought that one of the joys of home education was being able to individualise it.

 

Yes, my oldest child was asking to learn to read, and was truly eager and ready to learn. All the while, others who did not know her as well were telling me not to push.

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And my pet peeve is that when something doesn't apply to your kid, it's complete bunk.

 

Yes, my kid didn't have a problem reading.  And I support getting help for kids to read.  However, that doesn't make "right brained learning" bunk.  It was life-changing for us to realize that my kid IS a right brain learner, whole-to-parts thinker.  Requiring stories, color, humor, and pictures to learn.  So I'm happy that you never lost years of education trying to teach your kid in a way that didn't work for them.  That doesn't make it bunk.

 

What I mean by "bunk" is that there is no scientific basis for it. No studies that support it. Neuroscientists say that there is no such thing as "right brained." It is actually scientific bunk - based in very old science that has, as I understand it, been completely disproven.

 

If the lens of looking at work in a different way works for you guys, I think that's great. I think people are individuals and we should do what works. I'm sure that this particular homeschool guru has some good practical suggestions even if the basis of what she's saying is incorrect. I'm sorry if I offended you. I have mostly seen this suggestion in the context of older children who lack basic skills and people saying not to bother doing anything because they're "just right brained."

  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a regular topic of discussion at swimming and break periods at co op. It's really nice to have a bunch of other moms to chat with abour schooling, curriculum, what's normal and what isn't, etc. They're not experts, but many of them have plenty of experience and it can be a big help to newer moms like myself, who haven't done as many grades. Some folks offer much better advice - our group is full of academically stringent mommies, which is fabulous. It still requires a mommy filter to know what is useful and what isn't, but I wouldn't call it gossip so much as group brainstorming :)

 

If we weren't speaking respectfully of our children and trying our best to help them, it would be a different matter. But no one homeschooling mom knows everything and others can be a wonderful resource (just like on here :) )

 

I stand by my comment. If a mom is actually worried about a serious issue, then chatting about it with a group of ladies at poolside is not necessarily helpful. You may not want to call it "gossip" but it's casual chitchat.  

 

The fact that people are getting upset about the information their are receiving during these kinds of casual chats leads me to believe that some of them are taking the chats far too seriously.  Save serious issues for situations where you know and trust the source.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Firstly, do you actually talk to 6 different people about a child's important issue?  Seems to be bordering on gossip at this point, and certainly not respecting the privacy of your child.

 

Secondly, look at the source and circumstances of the "advice."  How well informed are they about the topic? Are they a professionally trained expert on this issue? If you are just discussing an issue to see if it's something common in other children, then fine. For areas of major concern, seek advice of a trained expert. 

 

I would be quite distressed to hear that a random comment I may have made in passing about reading to a fellow homeschool mom became the source of her blaming me for not seeking professional advice. A casual chat (in person or on-line) is NOT a professional consultation. 

 

I'm very sorry about the stress that this issue has been for you and your famiily, but it's not anyone else's responsibility to seek professional advice for your child. 

 

I think you must have misunderstood my original post.

 

I was describing a common pattern I have seen across multiple homeschooling discussion groups, email lists, facebook groups, forums (although not this one), etc. I wasn't speaking about my own children or a specific encounter I personally had. That's why the post is titled "Things homeschoolers say that drive me crazy," rather than "My fellow homeschoolers are not solving my children's problems for me." So while I'm sure your chiding was well-meant, it was also off the mark.

 

I do think it's unfair to characterize parents who are seeking advice on a learning issue as "gossiping." Homeschooling has been a peer-supported enterprise from its earliest days. I think it's entirely natural to make other parents your first stop for advice when you're facing a nonemergency problem with learning, behavior, or health.

 

Of course it is also the case, as you say, that a casual chat is not a professional consultation. My concern is that too many homeschoolers hurry to reassure each other that professional consultation is never needed, because children will figure out everything on their own. That drives me crazy.

 

...Although I acknowledge that it may sound self-serving of me to say so, given that I'm a licensed psychologist who specializes in children with learning issues.

  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I mean by "bunk" is that there is no scientific basis for it. No studies that support it. Neuroscientists say that there is no such thing as "right brained." It is actually scientific bunk - based in very old science that has, as I understand it, been completely disproven.

 

If the lens of looking at work in a different way works for you guys, I think that's great. I think people are individuals and we should do what works. I'm sure that this particular homeschool guru has some good practical suggestions even if the basis of what she's saying is incorrect. I'm sorry if I offended you. I have mostly seen this suggestion in the context of older children who lack basic skills and people saying not to bother doing anything because they're "just right brained."

 

If it's the same particular homeschool guru (who I love as a person and think is great), she's one of the one who tried to convince me there was absolutely nothing wrong with Cameron as far as a learning disability, but instead he was "just right brained" and not to worry at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What are the signs we should look for that tell us testing would be recommended? What age range should we really start to worry? What difference, if any, should be considered between boys and girls? What I was trying to say in my earlier post is where is the line drawn between giving them time to develop and testing?  

 

Many of us just want to be supportive of each other. I read The Truth About Being A Mom With A Speech Delayed Child last night and it just made me so sad. I'm sure many don't mean to be hurtful and have no idea what someone else is going through. When you are already sensitive to the issue, any comment can be taken badly no matter how constructive or benign it is intended to be. 

 

I think that what you said in your previous post, "Sometimes you just don't know until you've given them some time and tried different things," is very reasonable.

 

Honestly, a lot of the answers for homeschoolers turn out to be "it depends." For example, an unschooled 8-year-old who can't read is a different story from a public school student of the same age who hasn't responded to 3 1/2 years of reading instruction. As I said earlier, a kid who can't read but has rock-solid phonological skills worries me less than a kid who can't read OR rhyme.

 

I don't think we all need to become LD experts and know what to look for in other people's kids or when another mom should seek professional advice. All I really ask is that people keep the existence of LDs in mind before telling a worried mom not to worry because "they all get it eventually."

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it's the same particular homeschool guru (who I love as a person and think is great), she's one of the one who tried to convince me there was absolutely nothing wrong with Cameron as far as a learning disability, but instead he was "just right brained" and not to worry at all.

 

:( See, that's what I mean. I'm sorry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My #1 irritant: Homeschoolers who say "Even if you just hand them a novel it will be better than the education they get in the public school". No, sorry, not true.

It depends on the age and the school. When I pulled my eldest from kindergarten, the work was so below where she was academically and they spent so much time watching movies (the last month they watched 2 hour kid movies every day) that I was convinced that playing Monopoly with her and letting her read (she was a very precocious reader), it wouldn't be a good education, but it'd be better than what she was getting at that school. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Learning styles.

 

Sorry. No evidence. Cannot stand it when the conversation around me turns to learning styles.

 

"Can you present this poetry workshop kinaesthetically for my little Johnny ?"

 

No.

My sides! Rofl!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found that my children who struggled were stressed because they weren't getting reading.  They put a lot of pressure on themselves because they wanted to read but couldn't.  Backing off would have made it worse.  They were relieved when we got a diagnosis and found how best to teach the dyslexic mind. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I mean by "bunk" is that there is no scientific basis for it. No studies that support it. Neuroscientists say that there is no such thing as "right brained." It is actually scientific bunk - based in very old science that has, as I understand it, been completely disproven.

 

If the lens of looking at work in a different way works for you guys, I think that's great. I think people are individuals and we should do what works. I'm sure that this particular homeschool guru has some good practical suggestions even if the basis of what she's saying is incorrect. I'm sorry if I offended you. I have mostly seen this suggestion in the context of older children who lack basic skills and people saying not to bother doing anything because they're "just right brained."

 

Kinda like how we were taught for years that the tongue has specific spots on it that taste specific things. 

 

Don't know why this reminded me of that, but it does. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kinda like how we were taught for years that the tongue has specific spots on it that taste specific things. 

 

Don't know why this reminded me of that, but it does. 

I remember that!  Haven't thought about spots on the tongue that taste different things in years!  So that's a bunch of hogwash?  Interesting!  :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that what you said in your previous post, "Sometimes you just don't know until you've given them some time and tried different things," is very reasonable.

 

Honestly, a lot of the answers for homeschoolers turn out to be "it depends." For example, an unschooled 8-year-old who can't read is a different story from a public school student of the same age who hasn't responded to 3 1/2 years of reading instruction. As I said earlier, a kid who can't read but has rock-solid phonological skills worries me less than a kid who can't read OR rhyme.

 

I don't think we all need to become LD experts and know what to look for in other people's kids or when another mom should seek professional advice. All I really ask is that people keep the existence of LDs in mind before telling a worried mom not to worry because "they all get it eventually."

Right--I would have worried about my son if I hadn't seen so many remedial students. He had good phonological skills and blended fine, it just took a lot of time for him to learn all the letter sound combinations needed, he needed a lot of repetition. He did K level phonics for 2 years, 1st grade level phonics for 2 years, then finally upper level phonics. He showed slow but steady progress the entire time. He is now reading above grade level. He actually could rhyme 2 years earlier than my daughter learned to rhyme, and I had to explicitly teach her how to rhyme, he learned on his own. She was reading at the 12th grade level before she learned to rhyme.

 

I did the exact same programs with my daughter and she was well above grade level by the end of K.

 

They are the opposite in math, my daughter needs more repetition and more explicit instruction in math. i tell people only half jokingly that I should have practiced on other peoples' children in math, too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If delaying the formal reading instruction is recommended by a friend of mine, I usually pipe up and talk about the things that the child can do in the mean time. You can always play board games (Guess Who?, Alphabet train puzzle, etc), read aloud books and discuss. audio books, basically don't stop totally interacting with your child. They are good homeschoolers just for noticing the potential problem and looking into it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a regular topic of discussion at swimming and break periods at co op. It's really nice to have a bunch of other moms to chat with abour schooling, curriculum, what's normal and what isn't, etc. They're not experts, but many of them have plenty of experience and it can be a big help to newer moms like myself, who haven't done as many grades. Some folks offer much better advice - our group is full of academically stringent mommies, which is fabulous. It still requires a mommy filter to know what is useful and what isn't, but I wouldn't call it gossip so much as group brainstorming :)

 

If we weren't speaking respectfully of our children and trying our best to help them, it would be a different matter. But no one homeschooling mom knows everything and others can be a wonderful resource (just like on here :) )

Along with this thought then, I'm very very very thankful to the moms that simply told me to chill out. Indeed, with time and methodical, gentle help, reading is finally "clicking" with my child nearing the end of first grade. Goodness, please ladies don't stop that saying that if the situation warrants it. Of course, I have to filter advice, that's my job as a mom. I know my child and so far my gut hasn't been wrong. The OP doesn't say the child's age, but that has a huge amount to do with the advice given. As a new homeschooler, and even more new to teaching a child how to read, the idea that most kids don't learn to read by the end of K was a totally new idea to me. That formal instruction in lots of places doesn't even begin until 8, also news to me. Even reading the WTM, I felt rather pressured and out of place because my child wasn't reading in first grade. While yes, there are issues that make themselves apparent early that are indicative of a problem, I think it's just unfair to fault bystanders that are only given a few sentences about a kid and giving it their best shot to keep a mom from beating her head against the wall any more than necessary.

I think you must have misunderstood my original post.

 

I was describing a common pattern I have seen across multiple homeschooling discussion groups, email lists, facebook groups, forums (although not this one), etc. I wasn't speaking about my own children or a specific encounter I personally had. That's why the post is titled "Things homeschoolers say that drive me crazy," rather than "My fellow homeschoolers are not solving my children's problems for me." So while I'm sure your chiding was well-meant, it was also off the mark.

 

I do think it's unfair to characterize parents who are seeking advice on a learning issue as "gossiping." Homeschooling has been a peer-supported enterprise from its earliest days. I think it's entirely natural to make other parents your first stop for advice when you're facing a nonemergency problem with learning, behavior, or health.

 

Of course it is also the case, as you say, that a casual chat is not a professional consultation. My concern is that too many homeschoolers hurry to reassure each other that professional consultation is never needed, because children will figure out everything on their own. That drives me crazy.

 

...Although I acknowledge that it may sound self-serving of me to say so, given that I'm a licensed psychologist who specializes in children with learning issues.

I think if you led with this, I'd have not stated the above. :) Still, I would venture to say the majority of moms making such statements don't feel that kids never ever need help, and that professional intervention is never warranted. Just that, given the odds, yes your child will probably be able to read just fine.

 

 

I have certainly seen kids who were young enough that I thought it was too early to tell whether they were just a little slower to mature, cognitively, or whether there was likely to be a persistent reading problem. I often recommend that parents put the reading curriculum aside for six months or so and focus on phonological awareness games, working on identifying and manipulating sounds in different ways.

 

If the games are easy and the kid has solid phonological skills, then yeah, keep reading aloud a lot, build pre-reading skills, wait for a little more developmental maturation to happen, and don't worry too much. If the kid doesn't have good phonological skills, you don't need to wait until they're old enough for a diagnosis of dyslexia to start working on those things. And if there are warning signs, even if you aren't sure, I think it makes a lot of sense to proceed with a good Orton-Gillingham curriculum without waiting to be positive that your kid "needs" it.

Because here it seems that you have given some of that very advice. If we're just having a casual chat and my only advice is what I've seen with my own daughter,if it seems to be similar to our situation (slightly older kid not making the leap from simple blending to reading independently), then all I have to give "chill out, keep at it, it will come". Moms that have had other outcomes, and professionals such as yourself, should certainly pipe in and share the signs and things that indicated issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cringed for a minute, because I frequently say things somewhat similar to the examples posted.  Just not as "whatever" as the actual examples.  And usually to parents of 3 and 4 year olds who "won't" sit still for formal reading instruction.

 

The new motto I'm trying to adhere to is "They'll figure it out on their own."  The parents, that is!  ;)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Overheard in a group setting recently:

 

HS Mom #1: "_________ [13 year old son] is reading words like 'cat' and 'top' now. I am so relieved."

HS Mom #2: "See? I told you he would pick it up on his own if you just backed off and waited long enough." [radical unschooler]

 

Not 9 or 10 years old and struggling. Not 11 or 12, with intervention. Thirteen! Figure it out, kid, your internal motivations are enough.

 

Thirteen, finally able to struggle through "Cat sat on mat." Think about that. Rivka, I agree with you 100% on this.

Oh my goodness. I have children around that age and reading level. They are coming from a background of profound neglect; they are still learning English; they are extremely delayed developmentally. The idea of a child in a family environment with a concerned parent being at that same level and people saying that is okay....it blows my mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...