Late to read? Why that’s not always a problem.
I would like to tell you something about my mother and about me. Homeschooling mothers have to be self-sacrificial, hard-working, and patient. I want to share how these qualities in my mother blessed my life in a particular way. For whatever reason (some people would affix a three or four letter acronym to this), I was just not ready to read when most boys and girls normally learn to read.
It wasn’t that she wasn’t trying hard enough, or that she was not qualified (truth be told, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Gordon College, and taught at Winter Park High School – she is over-qualified!). For whatever reason, I simply wasn’t ready–I was just not grasping the careful and articulate lessons she taught me. She patiently continued to teach me from 6-10 years old. When I was about 10 years old everything suddenly clicked into place. I was ready to read, and took off!
I now have a BA in Liberal Arts and Culture from New Saint Andrews College, whose core program is particularly vigorous in reading, requiring an estimated 20,000 pages of reading in Freshman year alone. The pile of books Freshman are required to read is taller than most girls. And I loved it. I thrived. I am a voracious reader.
The amazing thing, however, is not that I was late, but that I never knew it. It was only years later that I looked back and realized that most kids learned to read earlier than I did. I had no idea. And that’s when I realized just how much love and care and patience it took my mother to continue teaching me, worrying about the delay, and yet plodding on. It turned out, nothing was “wrong with me.” I was perfectly normal, and just needed time. Had I been in public school I would have been acutely aware of my “slowness.” It wasn’t easy for my mother to homeschool all 5 of us kids in 5 different grades, while also being a pastor’s wife overseas. But it was an incredible gift to me. Thank you!
Now married to another bibliophile, we are inundated with books. We have more books than our bookshelves can hold. Piles of books on every subject: fiction, history, philosophy, literature, theology, how-to’s, The Great Books, classics, etc. And we’ve read the majority of them!
If you are a parent with a late reader, don’t assume there is a problem. Obviously sometimes there can be true issues, ranging from physical, physiological, or even just plain old laziness. But I believe many children are cast into a mold that simply doesn’t fit them. When we force them into that mold, we are hurting them, not helping them. Sometimes they just need time. I did!
Founder and CEO, Roman Roads Media
January 8th, 2013.
Daniel Foucachon grew up in Lyon, France where his family was church-planting with MTW. He was homeschooled for most of his education, attending a Classical Christian School for two years in Lyon. He then moved to Moscow, Idaho in 2005 to attend New Saint Andrews College, and graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts and Culture in 2009. While finishing school and working in his father’s French restaurant, “West of Paris,” he ran a local media production company where he sub-contracted with Canon Press to create CanonWired. In 2012 he founded Roman Roads Media with the desire to bring quality Classical Christian Education to the homeschooler. He now lives in Moscow, Idaho with his wife Lydia, and four kids (Edmund, William, Margaux, and Ethan).
Thank you!! I’m a homeschool mother and my 8 year old boy is not ready yet. He knows the letters, he reads very slowly some easy words, but he’s just not that into it. As a former teacher it was hard for me at the beginning of our homeschooling, to respect his lack of interest. Now that I’ve learned to relax and trust him, he’s made a lot of progress. Little by little but he has.
I was wondering if I could translate this into Spanish and share it in my site with all the due credits to you as there are more and more families in Argentina choosing to homeschool their kids and the “learn to read” issue is a big thing for many of us. There isn’t much information in Spanish about it through a homeschooled person perspective.
Thanks for your comment!
I would be very glad for this to be made available in Spanish. Go right ahead!
Thanks! My 6 yr old daughter and child number 5 is patient with my lessons (?) but it hasn’t clicked yet. I needed encouragement today!!
I finally had a chance to read this and I really needed this. My 7 year old daughter isn’t reading yet and I am trying not get stressed out, but I don’t think I’m succeeding. This was a great reminder.
I have two boys 10 and 13 both late VERY late readers. We have tested for everything under the sun and still its a struggle. I was a late read growing up too. But guess what, now I can find my oldest reading his high/low book well past the scheduled amount of have to read time “because its good”. I too read every right because I like it, and my youngest is working really hard and I am sure will one day become a reader too. Its nice to get reminders we are not alone in not fitting in the box and we will be ok.
I couldn’t have found this at a better time. We are pulling our almost eight year old out of a public charter school (today is his last day) because he is a “struggling” reader, when I really feel he just isn’t ready. He has started to pick up that he isn’t where the other children are and I am hoping that we can pull him out and help him realize he is great at reading right where he is at. I have many fears as I start this home school journey, but am putting my faith in God and his guidance to have him home with me. We are also pulling our almost 6 year old from kindergarten and will home school her as well, and then I have a 3, 1 and 2 month old, so life is going to take on some changes, but this post really helps me feel comforted that when he is ready he will take off and love reading. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much for this post! My middle child is almost 7, and she just does not care about reading. She likes to write and doodle. And she likes to read 3-letter words or make up words for what is on the page. Otherwise, she does not care how the letters go together at all. I have been stressing (as she has two cousins the exact same age and they read at their “age level”), but I am learning to just adore her creativity and encourage her to go at her own pace. 🙂 So thank you for the encouragement that I am headed in the right direction!!