Teaching A Child To Read

I was scared y’all!

Scared of failing at this seemingly simple task but one that is so vital to our understanding of our world. One that will last a lifetime and carry on even when I’m gone.

Our older two children had gone to a Mother’s Day Out program 2-3 days a week for a few hours while I was running my business and it was there that they mostly learned to read. I helped them at home, but it seemed like all the “hard work” was being done by someone else. I got to reap benefits but didn’t have to pull out the “how to teach your child to read” books. Along comes #3 and he’s been with me every day. I was getting nervous over the last couple of years as we approached the age of reading! I bought a few books on teaching him how to read but never picked them up. I just kept reading to him throughout the day and every night. I took the Charlotte Mason idea of just letting it be but still wondered in the back of my mind if I was totally going to mess up this thing called learning to read. We tried to do a bit of putting words next to objects so he could get a feel for it, but he wasn’t that into it and neither was I. It seems a lot of forced interaction into something that I find so beautiful and so I was struggling. Then, about 2 weeks ago, he decided he was ready to read to me. AND, he did it!! We sat down with some good ole’ Dr. Seuss and he read many of them almost completely through! I had to help him some, but man was that a good feeling!! In an instant, the pressure evaporated and I could relax and enjoy this time of his learning. The world was being opened up to him in a new way and HE was excited to make it happen. I think it has become my education philosophy in so many ways…just let them see it, hear it, and find it. Curiosity is what drives us all. That and necessity. So, my best plan as a mom and as a teacher is to just put it out there, give them the opportunity and the stuff to make it happen, and then enjoy the ride. It doesn’t mean hands off the wheel completely, but it gives space. Space to let them explore things without oversight. To try, maybe fail and then be willing to try again when THEY are ready. This whole idea of asynchronous learning is such a valid one. Our children are all different and things will happen at different times for them. There is nothing wrong with that and it’s a huge part of the joy and beauty of homeschooling. We can be 3 grades “ahead” in one area, on grade in another, and maybe need a bit more time in others. What a gift! So, to any other moms out there facing similar hurdles, I want to say just enjoy the journey! Our children are built to learn! They have marvelous brains and thought patterns, they want to know more and be more. God created us with a sense of wonder and curiosity that can’t be easily tamed or put out. So, take a step back, make sure you have the good stuff around and share it with them in little and big doses as you enjoy it and then let them do it on their timeline. Be the cheerleader and the coach, be the preparer, and the pantry of goods but don’t feel like you have to teach them something. They will learn, they will grow and we get to go along for the wonderful ride. Sure, there will be harder things and sometimes we might have to explain the reasons why they need to take math or chemistry, but if we do it from a place of empowering them, giving them the reins and finding a workable solution for all, we can get there in a much more joy-filled and restful way! More power to you and your children as you explore this great big world of knowledge!! I know each day I’m learning new things, and this one was a big one! I don’t have to stress so much and tomorrow really will take care of itself! Focus on the next step or the next thing and don’t spend too much time in the future or the past! One is yet to be written and the other is already done. Plan for success and reap from the lessons and the next steps will go a bit easier for you and your children! I’m so thankful for these lessons. They keep me excited and full of hope. I wish the same for you!!