With 5 kids and homeschooling we have had 5 very different approaches to reading and readiness. I worked endlessly with Leighton learning his letters and sounds and he started kindergarten reading when he was in his second year of preschool and hasn’t looked back. I can’t keep books in front of him now without him going through them at lightening speed. Caedmon started pretty early but has hit some bumps along the road, we’ve switched up reading curriculums and tried a number of different things. He’s got such an imagination that he has already written the entire story and numerous sequels in his mind about what the story will be about before he’s even 2 words in on a page….figuring out how to encourage his young mind but also encourage fluency in reading has been something we have been working on. Edric has been more of a typical reader and while his learning style is quite unique and it has taken some figuring out he is slowly progressing and figuring this reading thing out. Especially with his speech delay he has grown so much in the past year and come a long way. Coppelia is no where close to being ready. She sings the ABC song, often with random repeats in it with some “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Jesus Loves Me” thrown in the middle. The fact that the things in the song, ie A; B; C; etc actually pertain to something real and something that can be decoded and made into words and stories is something above her right now. But again realizing that she’s been home less than 2 years and her speech is so far behind, I’m just glad she’s beginning to identify and use words to communicate, reading will come, but it’s much farther down the path for her. Paxton on the other hand is ready. And actually more than ready. He knows his letters, he knows all the sounds that they make and he is ready to start. I could in reality start him in the basic kindergarten readers and he wold likely just take off. But I’m reigning him in a bit, he’s only 3, won’t be 4 for a few more months yet, and so I’m just working on building that solid foundation.
So we started today with his pre-reading skills. We’ve primarily used Sonlight for most of our homeschool but when Caedmon ran into issues and fluency stuff we found “All About Reading” and started using that. And I’ve been pretty pleased with it, so we started Paxton on the Pre-Reader this morning. He was quite pleased and felt like one of the big boys doing homeschool this morning (no preschool because of the holiday). He loved reviewing the big letter A and practicing rhyming as well. He’s also recently figured out how to write his name and so he practiced that.
I admire teachers in the classroom and it amazes me how they can teach and meet the needs of so many students at so many different levels with such varied learning styles. We only have 5 kids and they each have their own way of approaching things and figuring out how to tap into that has been key, but also a challenge. Teachers do it in their classroom each day, which is amazing. And so we start down the path of developing another reader in the family. Coppélia will get there to in her own time, and then it will be her turn to start reading as well.