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MeaganS

My "baby" can blend letters. I guess we can start school with the last kid!

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My 3yo (4 in a few months) proved today she can blend letters to make words. At our house, I have my preschoolers learn letters through apps, games, shows, and informal practice. Once they know their basic letter sounds and can prove they can blend, I start on OPGTR, usually around 4yo. That's when I officially view myself as homeschooling them because I start "formal" lessons at that point. When I tested her and she showed she can do it, she jumped up and down and ran all around, she was so excited. She's been wanting to "do school" since she was a toddler and has always felt left out during our school days.

I am both excited and sort of dreading it. Teaching reading isn't my favorite. However, with her being several years younger than her sisters, I think this time might be a different experience for me. Her sisters were all close in age and I was more overwhelmed back then with 3 little girls, one of whom was ASD. Now I'm a bit more chill and have had a few years break since the last reader. Plus she's my little buddy. So here's hoping it goes well! Either way, this is quite the milestone for me!

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14 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Congratulations, but what’s the rush? 

Not the OP, but my fourth is at that same stage - a month shy of turning 4 and just now capable of blending CVC words.

For us the "rush" is that she wants to read.  She sees her three older brothers reading for hours every day - reading for fun, reading for information, reading for practical purposes like checking the calendar to see if we have play dates or dentist appointments coming up.  Audrey see all of that and she wants in on it.

So I'm teaching her how to read.  We're spending ~15 minutes a day...some of that might be OPGTR, or Explode the Code, or Bob books, or a game, or hands on activity.  She is excited to be "doing school" and if she follows the path my boys took (which she is so far) then in 6 months she will be reading Frog and Toad and in a year she will be reading Freckle Juice...and from there she will more or less be able to read all the things.

Obviously if she wasn't ready then I would not be pushing, but since she is showing me that she is ready and she wants to learn, then I am certainly not going to withhold reading lessons.  She is awake for about 12 hours every day...I don't see any harm in devoting 15 of those minutes to learning a skill that will open up the world to her.

Wendy

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16 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

Not the OP, but my fourth is at that same stage - a month shy of turning 4 and just now capable of blending CVC words.

For us the "rush" is that she wants to read.  She sees her three older brothers reading for hours every day - reading for fun, reading for information, reading for practical purposes like checking the calendar to see if we have play dates or dentist appointments coming up.  Audrey see all of that and she wants in on it.

So I'm teaching her how to read.  We're spending ~15 minutes a day...some of that might be OPGTR, or Explode the Code, or Bob books, or a game, or hands on activity.  She is excited to be "doing school" and if she follows the path my boys took (which she is so far) then in 6 months she will be reading Frog and Toad and in a year she will be reading Freckle Juice...and from there she will more or less be able to read all the things.

Obviously if she wasn't ready then I would not be pushing, but since she is showing me that she is ready and she wants to learn, then I am certainly not going to withhold reading lessons.  She is awake for about 12 hours every day...I don't see any harm in devoting 15 of those minutes to learning a skill that will open up the world to her.

Wendy

 

This is exactly how we got to the situation that Kindergarteners are now expected to write, and I am saying this as a parent of a kid who read fluently at 4 as an unintended consequence of being gifted a Leapfrog. 

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6 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

This is exactly how we got to the situation that Kindergarteners are now expected to write, and I am saying this as a parent of a kid who read fluently at 4 as an unintended consequence of being gifted a Leapfrog. 

Hmmm.  I don't expect my 4 years to read.  I also don't expect them not to read.  I treat each of them as an individual and teach them what they are ready for and wanting to learn. 

I also don't expect my kindergartners to write...well, any more than their name in some rudimentary fashion.  I don't really understand how kindergartners writing is an unavoidable consequence of 4 year olds reading.  All of my boys read fluently at 4, and yet my 6 year old only writes (copies) a sentence or two a day and even my 8 year old starts breaking out in hives if I ask him to write more than a few sentences.  They write what they are ready to write.  And if my daughter comes along and wants to write pages and pages of stories as a kindergartner, I'm not going to stop her because that is somehow age-inappropriate just because she is 5.

Honestly, I would rather teach my 4 year olds to read via books and games and (gasp!) structured learning time together rather than handing them a Leapfrog.

Wendy

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I am just out loud questioning the need for formal lessons at such young age,  not debating inferiority or superiority of households who ban video games at home, which is what leapfrog is. 

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1 hour ago, wendyroo said:

Not the OP, but my fourth is at that same stage - a month shy of turning 4 and just now capable of blending CVC words.

For us the "rush" is that she wants to read.  She sees her three older brothers reading for hours every day - reading for fun, reading for information, reading for practical purposes like checking the calendar to see if we have play dates or dentist appointments coming up.  Audrey see all of that and she wants in on it.

So I'm teaching her how to read.  We're spending ~15 minutes a day...some of that might be OPGTR, or Explode the Code, or Bob books, or a game, or hands on activity.  She is excited to be "doing school" and if she follows the path my boys took (which she is so far) then in 6 months she will be reading Frog and Toad and in a year she will be reading Freckle Juice...and from there she will more or less be able to read all the things.

Obviously if she wasn't ready then I would not be pushing, but since she is showing me that she is ready and she wants to learn, then I am certainly not going to withhold reading lessons.  She is awake for about 12 hours every day...I don't see any harm in devoting 15 of those minutes to learning a skill that will open up the world to her.

Wendy

 

Pretty much this. I tend to be a better early than late kind of parent when it comes to reading anyways. I don't seen any reason not to teach her to read. Her sisters are all fluent readers and she sees them (and her parents) reading on and off all day. Why would I keep a skill away from her when she's ready to learn it? My 3 older daughters all learned fairly painlessly and dd3 appears to not have any learning issues that would stop her (with dd11's myriad of special needs, I've become quite good at sensing them in kids I'm around often). I won't require any writing or math until she's 4, but even then it's very light and to her age level. All told, when she's 4 she will spend maybe 30 minutes of formal school time daily. 5-15 minutes for a phonics lesson a few months before is hardly going to take away from time she could be outside playing or building with blocks. Especially since half of her playtime lately has been her sisterss using her as their pupil in their own play "preschool."

Some say to wait until a kid is 7yo. And I can see some value in that, especially when talking about large groups of children. But it's not for us and our kids. My current 7yo spent several hours a day reading Harry Potter the last few weeks. She is fascinated by Thomas Paine and read 2 biographies of him from the library in the last few months (one for mid-elementary, one maybe middle school level). Today she was reading a book about policemen and kept telling me facts about what they have to do to learn their job and how she wants to be a policeman. She writes pages and pages of Pokemon stories for fun. With this as my experience, I can't see any reason why she should only just now be taught to read. She was ready at almost 4yo too. So I taught her then. 

I'm not ignorant to the arguments for against "better late than early". And as a whole, I agree that there are issues in modern Kindergartens (and Elementary Schools) with their imbalance in teaching age appropriate skills and content. But I was also a kid that adored reading, as do my daughters. And I was bored in Elementary School, which is a big reason why we homeschool in the first place. I don't measure my family by what public schools are doing and I don't measure public schools by what we're doing. They are apples and oranges. So I see no harm in teaching an obviously interested and capable almost 4yo how to sound out words so she can gain independence and joy from something we, as a family, also enjoy. I'm no Tiger Mom, but I think there's a happy medium too.

Edited by MeaganS
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On 9/20/2019 at 12:41 PM, Roadrunner said:

 

This is exactly how we got to the situation that Kindergarteners are now expected to write, and I am saying this as a parent of a kid who read fluently at 4 as an unintended consequence of being gifted a Leapfrog. 

 

I get it about KG expecting kids to be way past where they need to be at that age.   Its a pet peeve of mine too.   But I don't think teaching reading to a kid who is excited to do it is how we got into that mess.     I really think it was when we started pushing preschool as a need.   I think there's always been kids who read early and that's no big deal so long as they aren't pressured to.   

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15 hours ago, goldenecho said:

 

I get it about KG expecting kids to be way past where they need to be at that age.   Its a pet peeve of mine too.   But I don't think teaching reading to a kid who is excited to do it is how we got into that mess.     I really think it was when we started pushing preschool as a need.   I think there's always been kids who read early and that's no big deal so long as they aren't pressured to.   

 

I think something is fundamentally broken because more and more people are really paranoid over getting their kids an edge. For every Davidson kid who was born with a genius IQ and will naturally pick up reading without any instruction, there are hundreds or parents instructing their young kids to learn how to read to no apparent benefit other than to make sure they enter K ahead of the pack, which leads to a crazy cycle of sorts of pushing more and more academics down the age group to “beat the competition” and holding kids back a year to give them an edge.... I see it here in crazy California. I think generally we should as a society ask ourselves a question is this serves the kids at all and in what way? So maybe this discussion doesn’t belong in this thread, but older my kids get, better my perspective gets. Again, I am not talking about profoundly gifted kids who truly stand apart from us and have unique needs. I am talking about the other 99.9%. 

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4 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

 

I think something is fundamentally broken because more and more people are really paranoid over getting their kids an edge. For every Davidson kid who was born with a genius IQ and will naturally pick up reading without any instruction, there are hundreds or parents instructing their young kids to learn how to read to no apparent benefit other than to make sure they enter K ahead of the pack, which leads to a crazy cycle of sorts of pushing more and more academics down the age group to “beat the competition” and holding kids back a year to give them an edge.... I see it here in crazy California. I think generally we should as a society ask ourselves a question is this serves the kids at all and in what way? So maybe this discussion doesn’t belong in this thread, but older my kids get, better my perspective gets. Again, I am not talking about profoundly gifted kids who truly stand apart from us and have unique needs. I am talking about the other 99.9%. 


Yup, see, I agree with you. But I also think there's a big difference between a mom teaching a child because that child is ready and interested verses a society (and parents) pushing age-inappropriate skills at the exclusion of age appropriate ones, especially out of fear. Getting rid of play and exploring time, forcing them to write long compositions, "Kindergarten prep" etc. I saw an ad for "Kindergarten Prep" on my Facebook feed and just rolled my eyes. Kindergarten IS the prep.

I don't think my kids are profoundly gifted (in fact, I know they aren't). If they were in public school, they'd probably be in the gifted program, but I'd consider them "bright." However, it's just as arbitrary to say "all kids must learn to read at 7yo" as it is to say "all kids must learn at 4yo." And I know that just because my kids were all ready by 4yo, that doesn't mean at all that schools should expect that. But again, I'm not really interested in worrying about what other schools are doing. It really has no effect on me and how I school my own children. Learning about what others are doing is interesting for sure, and I think that would be a fun conversation to have another thread.

I don't have grown kids yet, but my oldest is 11 and I have yet to feel any twinges of guilt about teaching her to read when she was 4. Seven years into homeschooling I've changed a lot of things, but that's not one of them.

Edited by MeaganS
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Interesting where seemingly harmless celebration threads will go.

Congrats to the OP and your dd! Teaching reading is so exciting! For the child, a whole new form of entertainment opens up!

I have 6 kids ranging from 23 down to just turned 3. My policy has always been go at the pace of the child. It doesn’t matter if it was early or late. It was when they were ready.

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Hurray for readiness! It's so nice when the kiddo makes it obvious like that! 

I started teaching my earlier reader when she kept asking how to spell things. She caught right on.

Have fun and enjoy the couch time! 

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Congrats! I've made a mistake or two in my parenting life-time, but teaching reading early and often to my toddlers was NOT one of them.

Enjoy the journey!

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On 9/26/2019 at 4:24 PM, MeaganS said:


Yup, see, I agree with you. But I also think there's a big difference between a mom teaching a child because that child is ready and interested verses a society (and parents) pushing age-inappropriate skills at the exclusion of age appropriate ones, especially out of fear. Getting rid of play and exploring time, forcing them to write long compositions, "Kindergarten prep" etc. I saw an ad for "Kindergarten Prep" on my Facebook feed and just rolled my eyes. Kindergarten IS the prep.

 

Amen!   Before I was homeschooling or even considering it, I remember being confused when everyone asked me where I was sending my child 4 year old to preschool like it was expected.  I had a newborn at home and they knew I didn't work so I was just perplexed.  

It breaks my heart when I hear things like "Kindergarten Prep"  too...or when I see people on some of the homeschool forums talk about how people in their life don't think they are qualified to teach...their 3 or 4 year old!   And even more come searching for preschool homeschool curriculum, with the same "nervous newbie" trepidation about whether they can handle this thing (something I understand and expect from homeschoolers taking their first steps into homeschooling elementary and later--but that seems so wrong when it's moms of preschoolers feeling this way).    I don't have anything against a good preschool or daycare for working parents, but where did society shift so that it stole our confidence that we are enough for our little ones? 

 

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