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Learning to Read

Lochlan is 8.5 years old. We have never prioritized teaching him to read until now. We’ve always exposed him to lots of books and stories and read to him daily, but he never wanted to read himself. But now, he is seeing the value in knowing how to read to function in day to day life. And so, for the past few days we have been sitting together and he’s been reading to me.

  • He is able to recognize sight words without specifically being taught them.

  • He is able to decode words because of his phonemic awareness.

  • He is able to figure out words by the context and/or by looking at the pictures.

  • He can read, without ever being “taught” to read.

Now I realize that not all children are the same, and some have neurological differences that make reading more difficult than others. But I knew that I didn’t have to push reading on Lochlan early. We didn’t have a timeline of “shoulds” and “musts”. We simply raised him, and continue to, in a language-rich environment of story, verse, poetry and song.

a boy reading a book

I am grateful for the set of old GINN readers we have. The simplicity of the pictures, the repetition of the words and phrases, how they build upon prior knowledge… they may be old fashioned but they work for my boys, just like they worked for me when I was little.

I share this to simply show that taking the pressure off of our kids can lead to ease of learning. Learning to read is a journey but earlier isn't always better. Once again, the Waldorf phrase of “Let the child come into the world in his own time.” has been a comfort and proven itself to be beneficial for our family.


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