The Budding of My "Later Reader"
If your child is one of those so called "late readers," don't despair. Things can change when you least expect it. I have a seven year old boy who, until recently, had shown no interest whatsoever in reading, although he loves to be read to, and absolutely loves books. We've encouraged him along the way to sound out words, but never sat him down to insist he "practice" or, heaven forbid, pulled out any phonics or other how-to books. He recoils at anything resembling a textbook. It's hereditary - I was the same way. So we've just kept on reading to him.
None of my not-so-veiled encouragements to read ever penetrated the wall of resistance he put up. Discreetly strewed books about his interests or favorite super hero were only perused if they had great pictures he could pour over. The fact that his cousin of the same age was plowing through chapter books did nothing to crack that wall. He just convinced her to read aloud to him!
Well - to quote a homeschool sage who once counseled me on another issue - and I find it applies here as well - "You'll never find it until you stop looking for it."
The other day we were at an art supply store. My son noticed some cute Halloween stamps - the kind you use with an ink pad. It was a pack of four little stamps for $10. Expensive, but I decided to indulge him, figuring it would be a good creative outlet. Little did I know he would come home and start feverishly creating "books"! Using the stamps, he'd write a sentence and place a stamp in lieu of a word wherever he could, using the four stamps we'd just purchased. This went on for the whole afternoon. "Mommy, how do you spell..?" Then, the next day he read his "book" (albeit short) to the kids at Park Day. Writing and reading without any encouragement from me.
Who'd have thought? He's still not picking up any other books, but it's definitely a step in the right direction.
Copyright 2006 Lori Bell
Lori and her Husband Dave bilingually homeschool their seven year old son Joshua in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Lori speaks and reads only Spanish with their son and Dave speaks and reads only English. They draw on a very eclectic assortment of resources and experiences to facilitate learning. Lori is also the owner/moderator for a local Yahoo group in her county.
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