Friday, July 11, 2008

Learning to Read

I am Teaching [Daisy] to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. When a girl is ready, she's ready, even if her fourth birthday isn't until Sunday. I love, love sitting and doing her little lesson with her each day because her hair smells so good.

I've had children learn to read as young as four and as old as seven. Every child has his own timetable.

New homeschooling moms, don't burn yourselves out! Trying to teach an unready child is like pushing cooked spaghetti up a hill. You will be much happier if you wait a little too long, rather than start a little too early.


Edi said...

I oldest pretty much taught herself to read when she was I was apprehensive about actually having to teach my ds. I began one day using the 100 Easy Lessons...after a few lessons I realized he just wasn't getting it. We gave up. About 6 months later we tried it again and almost right away I could tell that this time he WAS getting it. He was ready. I was (somewhat) ready.

We were nearing the end of 100 Easy Lessons, I was tired of the stories and we began reading real books and his reading just took off. I'm still amazed how kids learn to read - they're wired to read and whether it's sooner or later, it usually happens.

Carrie said...

Thank you for sharing this--it was just what I needed to hear today! I've been thinking about starting to do a little bit of school with my 4 yr. old; he seems ready (especially for reading) but I'm not sure. It was good to hear your encouragement to not stress out over it. :)

Ms Dale said...

An early Happy Birthday to Daisy on her
Fourth. She will do well with her reading and
i thinks it's great that she is starting. Never
too young or too old to learn to read.
So exciting.

Ms. Dale

Peggy said...

Oh, I loved using that book! I used that for two of mine and it worked nicely. I had one teach herself just by amazing Livvie girl.
I really enjoy your blog.
The Simple Women

Shelley Jo said...

Amen,Anna! I made the mistake of pushing too soon and I have long regretted it.

momawake said...

I totally agree with you. As Raymond Moore said, "better late than never."

Tracy said...

I used that book for my third child. He was a few months shy of five, and just took off. Have fun!

Davene said...

Thanks so much for the word of encouragement and warning you included at the end. We need to hear that often, I think! :)

I used that book with my oldest this past year, and it went well. I loved the simplicity of it.

Mrs. H. said...

100 Easy Lessons is always the first book I recommend to new homeschoolers. For me, the scariest part of homeschooling was teaching my child to read - after that is accomplished you feel like you can do anything! :-) I had a 100 square chart that my son and I used. He put a sticker after each completed lesson and we were both so proud when there was a sticker in all 100 spots - and he could read! Can't wait to hear about Daisy's 4th birthday!

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

Amen to that! My littlest started at 3 too...completely against my better judgment. But clearly, she was ready.

Karen said...

I taught Alaina with the very same book. We loved the little mini lessons. And you're right... wait until they're ready.

Anonymous said...

I really wish someone would have explained that to me earlier. I have two really good readers. My son Joshua didn't read until he turned ten and still struggles but improves with each day. My son Ben is picking it up quite easily.
I'm glad I know now not to push and just let it come naturally.
Mom to 5,

Mrs. Rabe said...

I agree with you! Each child has their own timetable!

Mine have started to read at varying ages as well. The readers are all thriving and reading above grade level.

They still love it when we all read together, though!

heartathome said...

You are so very right about trying to teach an unready child to read! Love your "pushing cooked spaghetti uphill"! Amen!!!!!
Have fun reading, Daisey! Your world is about to burst wide open!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I gave that book to my daughter when Elizabeth was about three (not for her to use it at the time but to have it "handy"). I believe she was five when they went through it and Stephanie liked using it very much.

David learned to read at age four because he wanted to be there when his sister was "doing school". :)

My son, Christopher, started learning to read while in the public schools (we started homeschooling in 2nd grade). It took him awhile to be a good reader but he went from little books to French literature overnight. :)

Bev said...

that's an analogy I'll remember! And yes, doesnt the head of a freshly bathed child smell all kinds of wonderful!

Deborah said...

Love,love,love that book! Your advice is excellent too! So true!

Joy said...

I agree!

And what a hilarious, but apt metaphor. I'll have to remember that, and ask myself, am I trying to push cooked spaghetti up a hill?

Missy said...

Amen, Anna! Every parent, not just those who home school, could save themselves and their children a lot of grief and stress, if they just understood every child is different and has their own readiness "timetable"!

Susan L said...

A few words containing a lot of wisdom (but I suppose that's the way you always are)!

We loved this book. I used it only for my youngest (now 21) at age 4 (when she asked to learn to read), and it was delightful.

I've known quite a few children who've learned to read at age 2, and I know of at least one boy who didn't learn til 10, but by age 15 he was excelling in college.

Truly, each child has his or her own timetable, built into him by God. It's best to work with God's design. :-)


Tracy said...

Mr Busy's first teacher said the same thing. They get it when they get it. You just keep giving them opportunities to learn and one day they'll take off.

I'm still amazed that Mr Busy can even read, let alone read well. I have no idea how that happened. He couldn't even write his name when he started school!

Anonymous said...

I have a homeschooling friend who used this philosophy with her children, and at first I thought, "That's crazy that you wouldn't at least attempt to teach them to read by the age of 8 years." Wow, have I been wrong?! The child who waited until 9 years to read preferred learning/teaching himself to play the piano instead. He's so talented, and yes, he's a proficient reader now too.

I don't know exactly how he did it, but my four year old taught himself to read without us formerly working with him at all. Sure, we read books to him everyday, but I never had formal lessons for him. He's five now and reads well above public school "grade level". I think he was just motivated and ready.

As a public school-educated person myself, it's taken me awhile to realize and accept that the "institution's ideas" aren't necessarily the best ways for a person to grow and learn. Now, I wonder how held back we have been by the "institution"?

Katy said...

Thank you for posting this. My dd7is still struggling and I forget that the other 4 were all different. I've had one read at 4 and one, not until he was 8. But they always turn the corner. The one that waited until he was 8? I can't get the books out of his hands now! I love homeschooling!


Laura of Harvest Lane said...

I just finished my last time through 100 Easy Lessons. I've done it three times in the last couple of years with my last 3 children.

It did the job. I recommend it. But after 4 times throught, I was glad to give it to a friend!



Amy Jo said...

Oh, THANK YOU! I really needed to read this today. My 7 year old son is using the same book and is just beginning to read; whereas, my 3 year old daughter (whom English is a second language for) is already figuring it out!

Loved the image of you sitting with your precious girl doing a lesson while enjoying her sweet smelling hair. So beautiful!

Tracy said...

We are using this with my 3 and a half year old. I taught in public school for 9 years, during that time I worked with many children having trouble with reading.

I planned to wait for my son (who is also ESL) until a friend suggested this book (a homeschooler) after hearing him identifying letters, some sounds, and asking what everything said. I am glad we are working on it, he is reading and loves it. I am amazed at what a well written book, a child's mind, and one on one instruction accomplishes. We plan on reading Rod and Staff grade 1 readers (along with library books) when he is done since they go through the Bible. Have fun teaching Daisy!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I have heard it before, but I needed to hear it again. My son is 4 1/2 and is learning to read, but I know I'm pusing him too hard. Time to step back and let him take his time!

Anonymous said...

Like some others here, I will also say thank you for sharing this! My little guy turns 7 in a month, and we are on lesson 48 of 100 Easy Lessons. It is going very well, but I've often worried about being late. I'm trying to let that go!

BTW...a friend pointed me to your blog. I know I'll be back again! :)


Anonymous said...


I am so enjoying your blog. I am a single working mom trying to work and starting to homeschool my two 4 year old girls. Your tidbits you share are blessings to me. I linked to you via Ann Voscamp - what a joy your site is - I love the photos.
Louisiana Blessings,

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