Re: reading


-=-My middle son (6 1/2) has just started asking to learn to read.
Any good ideas for making it fun?-=-

It's possible that he's ready, and it's possible that he's not ready.
Wanting to learn isn't what it takes with reading, it seems. But
wanting to learn can be fun, and you could play with words and sounds
without it being organized "teaching."

Anything involving rhymes or what words look like or lists of words
that start the same (regardless of how they're spelled) might be fun
to play with.

Kirby used to have a folder with the words of songs he liked, printed
out in a largish font.

Sometimes I would write six or eight (give or take, depending) words--
usually names of people they were playing with in those days, or names
of all the dogs they knew or something, but I wouldn't say what the
list was. I'd just start writing, and they might ask. Maybe the
names of towns around us. Because usually there was one word on the
list, or two, that they were doing to recognize, like their own
names. If they saw "Dodd" it might be last names of friends and
relatives. Or if they say Kirby and Marty on the list it might be a
list names in the family, or of their friends or neighbors. Sometimes
they might guess one because of an intial letter, or I would say "One
of them is Michael" or whatever, and Marty might say "Michael starts
like Marty!" and find it. Those games lasted moments. Don't plan
anything that's going to last longer than a few seconds. If it lasts
longer that's great. If it's done in a flash, even better.

Learning doesn't take an hour, ever. It takes a second. Practice
might take an hour, but the moment when connections are made or the
magical piece of the mystery is revealed happens in a burst. Reading
involves thousands of bursts, over years.

Play with words, but don't "teach reading, for two important reasons:
If you think you taught your child to read, it will keep you from
believing that he could have learned it without you. If your child
thinks you taught him to read, he will wait for you to teach him other
things. He won't believe that he could have learned it without



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