Friday, March 21, 2008

What I wish I'd known....

Today I came across an interesting meme at The Heart of the Matter, a new blog to me. (Thanks to Smallworld.) This week the topic is:

What You Wish You Had Known Your First Year of Homeschooling.

I can't really say when my first year of homeschooling was. Was it when I decided to homeschool? Was it when my kids "should have gone" to kindergarten? Or when I had to register them with the local school district at age 7? I guess it doesn't matter, because the answer would be the same no matter what:

I'd have calmed down about the reading.

Both my husband and I could read before we went to kindergarten, and both love books. So we assumed any kids of ours would love books and would be early readers. Well, they both love books, always have. Our boy's first comfort object was a book, not a blankie. And if we had to punish the little toddler, afterwards he would cry "read a book, read a book!" That was how he could be sure he was still loved.

But neither kid took to reading early. The boy and I struggled mightily for a couple of years before I gave up on the conventional methods and let him read easy books. By 8 I could relax a little because he could read, some. Now by almost 11 he is doing pretty well. He can't spell, because he never got the phonics down. But recently he asked me to "redo" phonics with him because he sees the lack of it hindering him. Since he is doing it because he wants to, there is no struggle and we're progressing OK. He is "behind" in writing but otherwise doing pretty well. I managed not to kill his love for books and learning.

My 2nd child wasn't interested at age 6, and I didn't really care because I was still struggling with her big brother. At 7 she taught herself to read. I guess hearing his phonics lessons was enough to get her started, and she's never looked back.

So, if I could have those years back, I'd just keep reading to them, keep letting them love books and language, and sit back till they were ready to read. I should have known it would happen.

Go over to Heart of the Matter and see what others have to say.


SmallWorld said...

Without a doubt, my favorite homeschool moments are those spent snuggled on the couch, reading.

Heidi @ Southpaugh Homeschool said...

I am almost glad that I did not have that problem - - I started homeschooling AFTER they learned how to read.
My daughter is reading SO much more now that she is homeschooling. YEAH!!
Thanks for sharing!!

Amy said...

Yes, we have learned that going their pace and having a relaxed atmosphere will make everything so much easier.