Children Teach Themselves to Read

Discussion in 'Alternative Learning' started by Linda, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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  2. craftmuffin

    craftmuffin Nursing my brains out

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    Very interesting - thanks for sharing! Touches on some things that have been on my mind as I'm watching my 3.5yo teach herself basic phonics and some simple reading. We have encouraged her interest and always answer her questions, and of course we read to her lots, but she is most certainly teaching herself at this point. Part of me is inclined to launch her into some kind of formal phonics course... but I figure she doesn't "need" to be reading now so why not just let her do her own thing and see what happens?
  3. TeriMomOf4

    TeriMomOf4 Active Member

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    2/3 of me is absolute agreement with this article. ;) I have two that I can say, "I don't know where or how they learned how to do that." and then I have Libby. Libby who still didn't know her letters at age 6 and was diagnosed with dyslexia. Libby who was at a sub preschool level of reading 1 1/2 years ago and is now reading above a 3rd grade level (she is 8).
    I don't think she would have managed on her own without the intervention from SR....which she LOVES. Because she wanted to read so much though, I think I could make a case that we were following her lead by having her evaluated and following up with the Dyslexia program. If she hadn't been interested in it or shown such frustration, I don't think I would have intervened as early as we did.
  4. bubbles

    bubbles New Member

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    It is interesting how some children make it through the school system w/ out ever learning to read. I wonder if it is the system that stops them, improper instruction, or what. Just an interesting thought.
  5. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    Well, I think it is many variables. (and yes these are generalizations but probably pretty darn fair in an overcrowded inner city school)
    ~they do not come form literate homes(English as a second language or illiterate)
    ~they are NOT given attention in school.
    ~they are not encouraged to follow their interests. Key to learning is to enjoy what you are doing.
    ~they can easily hide that they do not know how to read in those schools
    ~truancy - teachers don't know kids well
    If you read John Holt's book 'Teach Your Own' (he was a long time teacher) He talks about how kids tried to evade notice in any area they were weak in. It took serious trust building on the teachers part to really evaluate what was gong on so that he could help. Just because someone has these variables in their lives, does not mean they are 'stupid'. They are just using all of their intelligence and mostly energy in deception, evasion, and truancy. They are masters at working the system.

    In any case, those are my ideas:)

    Teri, what is SR?
    Your daughter was expressing interest and frustration and you attended to her desires and needs. I do think that this article, makes the point of a supportive, interested, literate social group for kids to learn to read on their own as it provides the support. While your daughter did not know her letters at 6yo and ended up with a diagnosis with Dyslexia, not knowing those letters at that age is not the gold standard for ability to read in the future nor does it mean a child has a learning 'disability' although it must feel that way once you have gone down that path...

    Boys can really stress parents out in this department(especially when compared to mainstream education averages) as they can start reading so much later than girls. I have seen many children learn to hate 'learning' due to the pushing of schools to get them to read at a certain age. Especially boys.

    I am just glad to see an article like this in a mainstream magazine. While it is largely anecdotal and speaks mostly about kids reading early on their own, it certainly paints a very different picture than what the mainstream tells us is the *right* way for kids to learn reading.
  6. TeriMomOf4

    TeriMomOf4 Active Member

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    SR=Scottish Rite

    I realize that there are kids out there that don't know their letters at age 6. However, when you come from a household where much of the family were early readers and writers and there is one that just cannot do it, no matter how much she wants it...that's an issue.
    On her testing, she scored very high on perceptive reasoning ability and extremely low on her reading/letter recognition. There was a disparity and she really needed the special instruction that she got from the program.
  7. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    I totally understand what you are saying, Terri, that she wanted to and was frustrated in a very supportive environment. That can be a sign there is an issue. I took me an hour to type out what wrote...I was hoping what I was saying would be clear...maybe I was not. I certainly was not criticizing you at all. You were recognizing and meeting your child's needs beautifully.
  8. bubbles

    bubbles New Member

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    All good points Linda. I hope I didn't come across as denying the value of the article.
  9. Linda

    Linda Amity's Focus Member

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    it's all good(of course!). how people learn fascinates me:)

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