Is Your Kindergartner Struggling…

…With Reading?

Many parents find that their five or even six-year-old child experiences difficulty in learning to read.  After exhausting multiple educational approaches and curricula without success, they may worry they aren’t capable of homeschooling effectively, or wonder why their child isn’t progressing “normally.” What’s a parent to do? 

Parent and child may not be the problem—the expectation that children should learn to read proficiently by age six is.

As recently as the 1980’s, reading was not regularly taught in WV kindergartens.  Kindergarten was an entry-level program, a mere half day of school, that served to transition students into the classroom and help them to love being at school.  Several veteran kindergarten teachers share that their goal was for their students to love learning and feel successful in their progress.  Although early concepts were introduced, basic reading skills weren’t taught, or expected, until first grade.  Further, proficient reading wasn’t expected until second grade.

A piano teacher with over 40 years of experience reports that while only a handful of students are visually ready to distinguish written symbols before age 7, nearly all children benefit from waiting until that process is no longer tedious.  While a younger child may be able to progress before age 7, it’s only after age 7 that their progress becomes faster and much more enjoyable.  

As reported in this article, the left brain, whose functions include language, numeracy and literacy, doesn’t fully come online until seven years of age.  While society is left-brain dominant, children at young ages are not.

Experts agree that pushing children to read early often causes long-lasting feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and confusion.  Merely waiting until they are more ready can provide them with confidence for a lifetime!  

So why do we push our children when they are only four or five?  We have bought into the lie that if our children aren’t good readers by age 6, they are somehow deficient.  This just isn’t true.  

In addition, we have devalued the many things that children usually learn at ages four, five and six. Many foundational experiences that we lump under the label “play” are actually essential learning opportunities.  We educationally deprive our children when we reduce their creative play time and instead sit them in front of screens or at desks, thinking that we’re helping them by providing computer games and early academics.

Early academics can and are beneficial—if we define ‘academics’ very differently.  What if, instead of early reading expectations, we focused on developmentally appropriate, and equally essential, academics instead?  For a list of possibilities, click here.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PSAT For Your Junior High or High Schooler

PSAT For Your Junior High or High Schooler

Early summer is the perfect time to contact local schools about PSAT options in the fall. Both private and public schools may have options for homeschool testers. Don’t wait until the last minute to inquire and reserve a spot for your student! Find out information...

read more
Second Year to Struggle With Assessment Results?

Second Year to Struggle With Assessment Results?

Remember that the second consecutive year that a homeschooled student does not make “acceptable progress” on their annual homeschool assessment, the parent or instructor must submit “additional evidence” of appropriate instruction TO THE COUNTY. What is “acceptable...

read more