Reading later than the EYFS dicatates(9 Posts)
Hello, I have been a bit of a lurker, popping up now and again during our deliberations but I am almost officially a home edder as my DD turns 5 next week and we have decided not to take up her school place. I am feeling pretty good about this and happy that this is the right decision, right now. I have found the people around me have been mostly supportive. However, my mum is an early years teacher and whilst she hasn't said she doesn't approve, she obviously doesn't approve. She is spending every opportunity trying to teach her to read, I am sure because she is worried she will be getting "behind". I am not worried about this. She is bright, it will happen, in good time. Can anyone point me in the direction of some easily digestable research about starting to read around age 7 (when I understand reading happens easily) and how children who do this reach the same level earlier readers in no time at all? Any information would be great so I can reassure my Mum that I am not doing any damage! Thanks
Have a look at Waldorf Steiner education, my cousins were schooled the Steiner way and didn't learn to read until age 7. Eldest one learnt quickly and was devouring books within months. Younger one struggled a bit as she is dyslexic, but is reading fully.
Steiner believed children shouldn't read until they are 7 because the soul doesn't incarnate until you get your adult teeth - not sure that is the kind of evidence that will convince a teacher!
How about telling your mum that in Finland formal education doesn't begin until 6 or 7 and they have one of the best education systems in the world?
I meant research comparing Steiner/reading aged 7 with reading aged 5, sorry wasn't clear (as a teacher, I am not convinced by Steiner ). For example this.
Peter Gray's article is based on case studies, but nevertheless makes some interesting points about how learning to read outside the school system is different to learning to read within it.
I'd just ban your mum from doing this and say it's up to you. I wish I had done this with my mum (primary teacher) instead of trying to persuade her. Actually I did ban her, but I didn't ban her hard enough.
Yes, I would just be "my child, my rules" and make it very clear you will not take any interference on the reading front. Don't be intimidated by the teacher thing - I am a teacher but had to learn - and unlearn - so much when I started home edding.
I don't have research but plenty of anecdotal evidence and that's what changed my mind (which will be hard for you to give to your mum, sorry).
When DD2 came out of school at 8, she was a fantastic reader who had been reading very fluently since reception. We went to various home ed groups, including book clubs, and I'm afraid to say I was a) slightly smug that she was by far the best reader there and b) slightly shocked that some of her new friends had apparently made no start on reading at all.
Fast forward to now, all age 13. Her best friend did not start to read until 11 and then seemed to read almost overnight. She wanted to do it, so she did it. She's not the only one - DD2 has two or three other friends who were very late readers and now all read perfectly.
At 8, DD2's best friend could not write her name even. Now they sit and chat on facebook and guess who has the better spelling and grammar? DD's friend writes perfectly, better than most adults, whereas DD still drives me to distraction by confusing too/two/to and there/ their/ they're etc. I think there's a lot to be said for not being turned off of these things by having them rammed down your throat at 5.
I honestly wonder what the point was of infant school and why we put so much emphasis into formal learning at primary age. She could have been playing . It's like walking. Some children walk at 9 months, some at 18 months. But once you are an adult no one cares when you learnt to walk and you can't tell who learnt early. I think reading is the same.
Good luck with dealing with this - and stick to your guns. Try to find other like minded people so you have support
Perhaps you could get through to her by explaining that many children who have left the school system take a while to deschool and that H.ed is a completely different philosophy to school, which is the reason you have chosen this for your dd.
It must be hard for your mum though as a former teacher myself I can sympathise. I can even admit to planning, assessing, in the early days. Old habits are hard to break.
Maybe you could find her some H.ed books for her to see just how different it can be from formal schooling.
haven't had chance to read the whole thread but my son went from very little reading (the odd road sign, word on a cereal packet etc) to reading a whole paragraph in a horrid Henry book word perfect, all the inflection and attitude spot on at the age of 7. Breath. Believe. When we home educate we practice 'just in time' learning. They will do it when they're ready.
I didn't have to practice words and reading for ages every day 'after school' with him, he just 'got it' when he was ready. Sorry, I know it's not research but just wanted to confirm what you believe!
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