Learning to Read

<p>I was talking with my mom and my older sister at the dinner table tonight and the topic came around to education (my sister is getting her teaching credential and I'm in higher education so this is a frequent topic.) I asked my mom about reading because I don't remember anyone ever teaching me to read, I just remember reading a lot with my parents and I remember the first book I ever read to my parents. My sister said the professor in one of her courses said only about 5% of kids know how to read when they start school.</p>

<p>I'm curious as to how (if) you all taught your children to read, and how many of your kids could read before they started school. I know CC isn't necessarily an accurate sample; I just thought that it was an interesting topic.</p>

<p>I DID have quite a few problems with writing; I couldn't write as well as I could vocalize. I still have poor spatial relations skills in general, and I often got in trouble for my poor writing. (I'm a good writer, just my handwriting is bad.)</p>

<p>I taught both my kids to read before they went to pre-school. it was easy.</p>

<p>mom2collegekids, what was your strategy? Did you just read a lot to them? That’s what I remember my mom doing. I especially remember these books that were by Disney that had a little panel of buttons on the side that made noise. I would lay with my head in mom’s lap, mom would read and I would press the buttons. We did that almost every night; we had Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and probably some other ones but those were my favorite.</p>

<p>We were talking specifically about how bored my sister and I (my brother wasn’t here, but I would assume the same was true for him) got in school during reading groups. I remember for a while my school was big on hooked on phonics and I was miserable. I always got in trouble when I read out loud because I would go too fast and the other kids couldn’t keep up. </p>

<p>My parents (d’s grandparents) bought her hooked on phonics for her 4th birthday. I used it several times a week…didn’t want to push it too much. 3 months later to the day, I know this is tmi…I was on the potty and she came into the bathroom with the USA money section. She asked me “what does housing starts dip mean?” So okay, pretty sure hooked on phonics worked.</p>

<p>Btw, I have always said it and will swear by it…early reading is a major key to academic success.</p>

<p>GA2012mom, I agree. My brother posted a picture on facebook the other day that said something along the lines of “Children become readers in the laps of their parents.” So true. I have many fond memories of reading books with parents. I also remember laying on the sofa reading books (mostly my American Girl books, which I adored as a kid), and spelling a word for my mom who was in the kitchen and asking her what that word meant. Most times she would tell me, but every once in a while she would tell me to get the dictionary and look it up.</p>

<p>Haha, that reminds me…when she was 5 I had a friend that literally had an entire bedroom full of EVERY Barbie thing you could buy. Her kid was an infant…that’s another story. Anyways, my daughter saw this room…of course her eyes were huge and she was amazed. My friend said "I think ****** is J e a l o u s… spelling it out. My daughter turned to her and said “who’s jealous!” We never again did the spelling thing in front of her.</p>

<p>My mother read to me a lot from infancy onward, and I did the same with my D. I never actually “taught” her to read; she picked it up by osmosis or whole-word recognition sitting in the crook of my arm and following the words on the page. I’ve always wondered about the long-term efficacy of phonetic methods of reading instruction, because English spelling is ultimately not very phonetic.</p>

<p>My kids both read late (2nd half of first grade before they really “got it”), but both took off like rockets once they got the hang of it. One ended up with 800 CR/800 Wr and 800 SAT II LIt scores (this is my kid at a STEM school, go figure), and the other graduated Phi Beta Kappa from her college with a humanities major. I will say we read to our kids a TON when they were little, and they loved books – just didn’t read early for whatever reason.</p>

<p>The children I know who were very early readers all picked it up when their parents read to them. They learned by memorizing the words, not phonetically, and they are visual, not auditory, learners. As a visual person reading to my children, I would point to a word and say it, never “chunk” it out phonetically. It worked for my children, and I’m sure it would have been hard for me to teach phonetically.</p>

<p>Hmmm, very different marsian. When I taught my daughter at 4 phonetically when she went to kindergarten she was in a combo k-1 class. They were teaching the “whole word” type method and none of the kids were getting it. I guess different things for diff kids.</p>

<p>@GA2012MOM, they were using “whole language” with my kids, too, and I suspect that may be one reason why they read late. D1 started getting at as soon as we started doing phonics work with her at home.</p>

<p>Yes, that was it. I got pissed that every week wjen I volunteered in tghe class, the teacher had me taking out a kid ingto the hall to teach them to read! I realized she was using me lol because the whole language thing wasn’t working.</p>

<p>yikes, typos in the dark with bad eyesight</p>

<p>And said kid was a classics major…loved the written word. Now a geek in medschool but has the love of language.</p>

<p>I’ve heard that some kids can learn to read with whole word but all kids can learn with phonics.</p>

<p>Hmmm, my daughter and I have discussed her future child/children which she wants me to be the live in nanny (her prob future husband also an md) and she wants me to do phonics. Hey, if it worked before…</p>

<p>There is the thing called “reading readiness”. I was typical and remember learning to read in first grade (Dick, Jane and Spot), then zooming ahead. NMS, etc later.</p>

<p>Son was at a preschool fulltime for daycare. As a four year old they did addition, subtraction et al- by repetition- it did not stick, as before first grade he had lost it. remember his trouble with those =,-,*,/ flashcards. He was an Honors math grad in college (added comp sci major as well). Arithmetic and math are not the same, btw.</p>

<p>For reading they had this idiotic program, plus an IBM (?) computer program. They had a “primer”, then books from one to at least 17 (some other kids progressed to that one). Reading (and arithmetic/math) teaching goes through phases in education. This preschool sequence had words to fill in c-t, s-t, supposed to put in the a… Son made it through the primer and part way through book one. His lovely Montessori (quasi program in my opinion- another whole discussion) teacher worked with him one-on-one during the required nap time since he wouldn’t sleep and was disturbing the other kids. Instead of keeping him in that school for kindergarten we chose to put him in the public kindergarten (1/2 days back then and I no longer worked). He had a fall birthday so he needed to be tested by the school district for early entry. He tested at least at the second grade reading level in all subtests. In kindergarten he got a “student of the week” award for reading at the fifth grade level. In his 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade classroom the following year he was with the 3rd graders- the highest reading group. He also was a gifted speller-was easily doing HS lists of 200 most misspelled words after finishing the middle school one in third grade. I wonder if he would have progressed past the city area spelling bee in 5th grade if he had bothered to study the list of words (found out about that minutes before the bee- he came in third behind 8th graders who were busy reviewing just before it).</p>

<p>I kept his elementary school paragraph titled “eraser dust”- why he chose that topic??? While I was a voracious reader I HATED to write- no wonder I got B’s in the Honors by placement test required English Lit class in college (pre AP days- no getting credit from HS work). Part of it is perfectionism- trying to write the perfect piece…</p>

<p>We were told by the school psychologist who tested our son at age 4 that we should have 100 books- I think we had 1/4 that but went to the public library very often. I practically had memorized several Dr. Seuss books with daily reading. </p>

<p>Here’s another aspect of reading. I once asked my elementary school teacher+ librarian sister when kids learn to read silently (you get tired of hearing books being read). It varies per her. Son may have been a second grader, age 6 or 7. I don’t know when I did and my mother was long gone before I was married/had a child. She was also a reader.</p>

<p>Some kids are gifted mathematically or verbally- my kid was both (2400 SAT Dec senior year, just 16). It was interesting to see which fields most interested him since he could easily do both. STEM, like his parents (who also are big time readers).</p>

<p>ps- not bragging but giving an example of an atypical kid. It is fascinating to learn about how varied people can be.</p>

<p>wis, it really is. </p>

<p>Like I said, I had a lot of trouble with my writing/fine motor in general. My Kindergarten teacher called in my parents (we were public school all the way and had generally very positive experiences) and suggested they have me tested for learning disabilities just to make sure that everything was okay. She knew what a gifted reader and in general student I was, never a behavioral problem, etc; but she was concerned that there was such a large gap between what I could read and verbalize and what I could write.</p>

<p>Parents took me and had me evaluated (I was too young to remember any of this but my mom frequently tells the story) by several people, including a psychologist. Apparently the psychologist came out with me with a look of awe on her face and said, “She’s very smart.” My parents responded with a kind of “Oh, yeah, we know…” and the psychologist said, “No, she’s…brilliant. She’s using words I don’t know.” (Whether that’s true or they’re being overly-dramatic for effect…)</p>

<p>Anyway, everything tested normal, she said I was just a little behind in my fine motor and spatial relations skills. I often struggled with writing, especially cursive (I’m also left-handed and was often the only left-handed student in the class which made it more difficult.) One teacher which I do remember screamed at me in front of the entire class that there was no reason for my writing to be that bad. After that, my mom would schedule conferences with teachers at the beginning of each year to explain and ask them to just be patient with me. (My writing has gotten much better over the years, but still isn’t perfect and most likely never will be.) I was very happy when I got to high school and got to start turning in typed papers.</p>

<p>I was reading before school started just from having my mom read to me all the time and watching Sesame Street. My kids were the same way although my son hid it from us for a long time. Then we were at the dentist’s office one day when he was 4 and he said “People aren’t allowed to smoke in here”. I asked him how he knew that and he pointed to the sign- which was words only “No Smoking”. I said “You can read!” He said “No I can’t, I can’t read all the words yet”. I asked him to tell me what a poster on the wall said. He said “We believe in the music of a smile”. The poster actually said “We believe in the magic of a smile”. I was floored. He had given us NO clue and thought he couldn’t read since he couldn’t read every word he encountered. It was pretty cute. </p>

<p>My penmanship was very rough when I was in first grade and my teacher told my mom that my fine motor skills were not as developed as they could be. She suggested I do more arts and crafts at home and my mom bought me one of those loop looms. I made a gazillion potholders. I loved that thing. My writing improved tremendously. </p>