Recently, Karen Edmisten shared some of her experiences teaching her children to read. M has recently taken off with reading in a big way, and I realized I’ve not shared very much about our journey which has been very different than I envisioned it would be.
I imagined that M would teach herself to read. Maybe a few phonics lessons would be in order, but I thought that with all the reading aloud we did, M would just absorb what she needed to do it on her own. As far as we can remember (my memory of my childhood is excellent in many ways but not when it comes to learning to read) Brent and I both taught ourselves to read this way. M learns most things easily, but I don’t remember now why I thought reading would be so simple.
As it turns out, we’ve used a mishmash of different books and methods to reach the place we are now where M is starting to read books with stories that interest her and reading is starting to be more fun and less work. But it has been work. I’ve had to be open to taking breaks from lessons and trying lots of different games, activities and readers. M had to conquer a fear that I wouldn’t read to her once she learned to read (perish the thought!) and frustration that reading hasn’t come as effortlessly as other things she’s wanted or needed to learn.
In my next reading post I’ll share more of the specifics of what we tried, what worked and what didn’t.