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One Way to Know Your Child is Ready to Read
Often we hear parents bragging about how their 3-year-old was ready to read and began reading full novels at three and a half. Not really, but it feels like that’s what they’re saying when you have an older child that’s not ready to read. And, the public school system, unfortunately, sets the standard for your homeschooled child to be compared to children that are being forced to learn to read or be labeled as a struggling reader, or even worse, having a disability that may or may not really be the case.
Children are Ready to Read at Different Times
It’s true, some 3-year-olds make an active effort in learning their alphabet and can easily remember each sound and name of each letter. My son is one of these. He did not, however, learn to read at 3-years-old. He was very interested and learned most of his alphabet and some sounds along with his older 5-year-old twin siblings.
Later though, when it came time for the twins to learn to read, they had great difficulty with the methods I tried. Whereas, their little brother could pick up on these words and could read the sounds and sound out the words in a snap. It didn’t really matter to him what method I used, he did well with them all.
I’d raised all three of these children from babies. I taught them using the same methods and techniques I’d used to teach their two older brothers to read.
So, what was the difference? It’s simple. The twins just weren’t ready to read and I tried to force them to learn.
How to Know If Your Child is Ready to Read
I’ve read articles stating that children are ready to read when they can sit and listen to a story. With my youngest reader, this didn’t apply. He couldn’t sit still, and still can’t, but can out-read the twins. Go figure!
Another stipulation for kids being ready to read is knowing their alphabet and letter sounds. Well, if they already know the letter sounds all you have to do is teach them how to sound out words. They’re probably beyond ready in this case.
The one way I’ve seen from experience that children are ready to read is if they show an interest. If they’re asking you what a word says, or what sound a certain letter makes, they’re probably ready.
Two Ways Children Show an Interest in Being Ready to Read
1. Are they asking you what a word says?
When you sit down with your young one to read a story, do they ask you what this word says? If so, they’re either ready to read or definitely making strides toward being ready.
2. Does your child want to know what sound a certain letter makes?
If your child brings you any type of printed material and asks you what this letter is, they’re showing interest and can begin learning to read.
If your child is showing an interest in learning to read, check out My Child is Ready to Read, Now What?
Pushing Children to be Ready to Read
All children are different. This is something we all know, right? Then why do we push them to be ready to read when they may not actually be showing interest? Pushing a child to read is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. It’s not going to work well.
If you have an older child, around 8 or 9-years-old, that you feel should be learning to read, start by encouraging them to learn to read. When you push too hard, you push them away and they’ll never really want to learn.
Learning to read will take less effort if it’s something they want to do.
Mixing learning exercises with fun activities helps some children. That one change in our learning to read method made the difference in my children being less frustrated and anxious when we started reading.
Click here to see my reading program, A Heart for Reading. (The first unit is FREE.) We went from tears and frustration to smiles and giggles, and my kids are LEARNING TO READ in about 10 minutes a day.
Having trouble with Science? Click here for 4 Fun Ways to Teach Homeschool Science Without Curriculum.