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Posted by on Nov. 28, 2012 at 11:44 PM
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Hello Everyone!

I am not sure what kind of a homeschooler I am yet however I have two boys at home one who does a Cyber 
School and one who is homeschooled. They are 14 (well soon to be, Dec 30) and 8. My youngest has had a very rocky start in school. He struggled through 3 years of traditional private school. He refused to comply and do the work as asked. He would hide and cry a lot. He was sent home often. He really suffers anxiety when it comes to school or any form of schooling. We believe he has Dyslexia which would be the reason he is not reading yet and why school was the worst thing for him. I am currently trying to deschool him but I am having a hard time letting go. I feel like he "should" be reading. And I hate that he feels bad that he isn't. I am terrified I am going to fail him. Right now I have been getting wonderful ideas from the folks over at Happy Homeschoolers on how to tackle this and not beat my self up constantly.  I hope to learn a ton here :) 

by on Nov. 28, 2012 at 11:44 PM
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by Group Owner on Nov. 29, 2012 at 12:59 AM
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Hi, you!

A lot of kids are overwhelmed by the demands of group education. Group education wasn't meant to be (and remains nothing to do with) what kids need --it's the only economical way to handle massive numbers of people at once.

He might 'should' be reading, but he isn't ... doesn't thinking it should be so make you crazy? Let him breathe for a while. Lots of kids don't have the parts of their brains necessary to learn to read until they're nearing their teens. An interesting part of that is that, like kids who potty trained 'late', they're indistinguishable from their peers by the time they're 16.

Have you read Better Late than Early? You might find that helps. Or, perhaps, The Hurried Child...

by Member on Nov. 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Welcome! It took a while for me to get over the "supposed to" mentality. My son is 6 and has no desire to read but surprises everyone he meets with his wit :) He's smart, he's happy and he plays well with others of all ages, what more can I ask for?

by Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Kids are so different.  My oldest asked me to teach him to read at 5 and just took off very quickly.  My youngest has been more slow and steady.  Homeschooling gave me the opportunity to just let learn on his own schedule.  He is 9 and just starting to read on his own.  He still prefers me to read to him the most.  He loves reading Garfield comic books.  He has learned more words in the last two months than he has in 4 years.  It was just a matter of time.  I hear him reading out loud a Garfield comic to his brother and I am so happy for him.  He has such joy on his face that he beginning to read on his own.  He has been wanting to be able to read so badly for a long time.  I just kept encouraging him and telling him that reading is not easy and it is probably one of the hardest things he will learn to do.  He loves books and me reading to him.  He brings me books and tells me he wants to learn.  When it comes to reading patience and a desire to learn are the most important.  Welcome to the group.  

by New Member on Dec. 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I totally agree with you on deschooling him! Let him just relax until maybe January then just read to him. Have him sit in your lap and look at what you are reading. Let him pick the books and don;t worry over a "time frame" 

by Group Owner on Dec. 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM

8 is pretty young for the 'average' male reader... Lots of boys don't develop the brain structures necessary to read until 9 or 10 (or 12 or 13) and there is simply no way to make it go faster. Interestingly, late readers often have much better developed memory skills than early readers...

I think your fears are the product of our mass education system that has HURRY UP stamped all over it. It's a contrived 'rush' that has no bearing on the real world, and actually causes a lot of kids to dig their heels in and refuse to move for a very, very long time (see: basement trolls and other 31yos who live in their parents' cellars...)

Relax. Trust him.

He learned to walk and talk --two of the most complex things people EVER learn-- he CAN learn to read and write and everything else he needs, in his own time, at his own pace, when he can...

One of my favourite quotes (which I'm about to mangle) is about letting kids be kids and changing the way we see their progress:

'An 8yo is NOT half a 16yo.'

There is a lot of time, and a huge amount of brain development, between now and then.

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