Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A.P.D.--The Literacy Edition

Last week, Cubby received many nice Valentine's Day cards from his preschool classmates. In fact, only Cubby and one other boy didn't make valentines for the whole class*. And without exception, every card was signed by the child.

Well. That's interesting, since not only is Cubby unable to write his name, he can't even recognize it. Or, more to the point, he won't.

It's kind of annoying how resistant he is to the whole idea of letters or numbers. If it's brought up, he announces with great certainty that he does not want to learn to read. Or tell time. Or write. No. No way.

I don't know why he's so stubborn about it. Probably because he recognizes this as an issue on which adults seem to fixate, and so he will deny their enthusiasm on the subject with flat rejection. He doesn't have much power over his life thus far, but he has this.

A power trip? From a four-year-old? Surely that's a little dramatic.

 Yeah, well, so is Cubby.

There's really no doubting Cubby's intelligence, so I'm not in the least concerned about this myself, except for what might happen when he starts kindergarten and may have to deal with certain age expectations. But since he's still a year and a half away from kindergarten, it's not really on my radar yet. I'm more concerned with trying to curb his incessant pretend shooting.

I don't remember when I learned to read myself, which leads me to suspect it might have been somewhat early.

So there's the question, my lovelies: When did you (or your children) learn how to read?

* Although, since we're talking three- and four-year-olds here, it's really their parents who didn't make any. Which would be, uh, me. Win!


Anonymous said...

Can't remember when I learned to read but I think it came from being read to. I am sure that you have been doing this all along--and that Cubby will grow impatient with having to wait for someone else to find the time to read to him. Mary in MN

Anonymous said...

I learned to read in 1st grade, which is when we learned in "the old days." I remember being so eager to read, and so afraid I couldn't learn it. My parents (smart folks, they were) pointed out the words I already knew from my little books, and from the TV screen. That helped, but I still had to prove to myself that I could learn.

Terry said...

At the age of 4 1/2 my son had been going to a small home based day care provider for a couple of years. She worked with the children so that they would know things like colors, how to print their name, how to color, how to recognize simple words etc. My daughter did just fine with her. She warned me that my son did not know his colors. He also refused to color and when forced to do it simply scribbled some lines on the picture provided. She tried to tell me that he was not ready for kindergarten. I knew that he knew his colors and I felt that he was plenty smart and socialable and ready to go to school and I was anxious not to have to pay daycare anymore. He was smart, but he was not ready! In kindergarten he refused to take part in anything that involved sitting at the table, except for free-time drawing pictures which he loved to do and in great detail. He continued this in first grade. His first grade teacher was an old bitch literally, I knew her from my daughter who had her a year earlier. She blamed everything on his home life and did nothing to encourage him and then passed him onto 2nd grade. He cried every morning that he did not want to go to school. In second grade he got very lucky with a brand new but older teacher who worked hard with him. He did manage to learn some things, but it was hell for all of us and we all agreed that he should repeat second grade. He loved this teacher, and when he found out she was being transferred to a different school the next year, he insisted that he go to that school also so he could have her again the next year. I would like to say that he got over his stubborness, but he did not and school was unpleasant for many years. One of the things we had to do for a few years was to write out his homework for him because he would not do it! He said it hurt his hand. He pretty much brought home all his work he was supposed to do in class and we would work it with him, but I had to do the writing. I don't specifically remember when it was he learned to read. But I do believe he knew more than he let on at the time. He was a daydreamer, but I feel that he still picked up a lot of knowledge just by hearing what was going on around him. At one point he was diagnosed as ADD (not ADHD) and took ritalin for a year or so. It didn't really help.
Anyway, he is now 26. He is very smart, but he has never been sucessful in school. But he knows a lot about a lot of things. He is in the Marines right now, but he plans on going to college when he gets out. From what I have read about Cubby, I know that he is one smart boy! If I was doing this all over again, I would not push my son so hard. I would not have sent him to school and waited another year. I would have possibly tried home-schooling him. But whatever you do, be prepared to hear from unhappy teachers who will not really have any good advice. In the 12 years my son was in school, there were only a very few who could get through to him. They almost always liked him, they just couldn't get him to do anything.

Anonymous said...

We redshirted both our boys and it was the best thing we could ever have done. I remember pressure from friends and neighbors whose kids could read at three. And guess what? ALL of them could read at 7 so why the fuss to do it so early? I did label everything in the house for a few years just to teach the connection between the word and the item. With you and A as parents, both Cubby and Charlie are going to be fine!!

flask said...

i remember exactly the moment in which i became destined for literacy: my parents left the house to go somewhere in our small neighborhood and to my small brain they were gone FOREVER and i realized that i could bend those arcane symbols that meant SOUNDS to form words to write a note to tell them in case they came home that i'd gone to look for them.

my concern for cubby and school (speaking as a retired teacher) is that he will feel he has little use for it unless he sees how it applies to stuff in which he is interested.

school will want him to be quite, behave, and fit in. they will not be interested in showing him WHY he wants to know this stuff. they will only wish for him to be obedient.

tell him for me, in an age appropriate way: if i'd'a' known basic trigonometry was going to come in handy for navigation with compass, i'd have paid better attention.

Tammy said...

Drake is 5 1/2 and just now starting to learn sight words.
He hates handwriting with a passion, but will manage a few (less than six) words at each lesson. He's not interested in coloring, either. (he scribbles a few lines, then quits)

He'll get it when it's the right time. He is learning other things at a steady pace, and is eager and interested in how things work (his fave phrase is 'what if'), so I'm not worried about it.

As an above poster said, by age " " they're all reading, so it's all good! Don't let peer pressure (your own/society) worry you about it.

Anonymous said...

I learned to read VERY early, because I wanted to do everything my older brother and sister was doing.

I don't have children and am no expert at giving advice, but it seems to me that Cubby wants to participate in anything that A. is doing, so maybe if A. spent some time working with this (not saying he doesn't), Cubby might take more of an interest? Just a thought. Again, I am NO EXPERT, just an idea.

Sandy Shoes in NC

Anonymous said...

Sorry, dear, but you face a growing up time loaded with autonomy issues! But, back to reading, I learned in school, i.e. in first grade. I was curious before, but my parents did not own books except for a few oddballs like Breeding Dairy Cattle (no pictures), and Alexander the Great (ditto). We owned one children's book and I filled it with attempts at writing words I couldn't suss out. School really was a miracle in those days.

Anyway, Cubby just isn't anxious to go along with the program. He will teach himself, but only because he will suddenly realize that it is the only way to get where HE wants to go. Maybe you could take a history of firearms out of the library, tell him how great it is, and refuse to read it to him. By tomorrow he might make the leap!

rls said...

I learned early, when I was 3. And started kindergarten when I was 4, because my mom figured I might as well. My daughter learned pretty early, too. It took my son a little longer, but what I can vividly remember about him learning to read was how doggedly he would sound things out when he didn't recognize the word.

Anonymous said...

The mighty moo seemed to pick it up in preschool with sight words and such and was really proud of herself. But once she got to kindergarten (5 years old) and did that Spaulding phonics stuff she took off. I mean like reading shampoo bottles in the tub. It's really scary. Mind you her personality is much much more people pleaser than cubby's. She lives for approval. Still trying to work out how she got that way as I remember growing up thinking it was me against the world. Gotta come back to me in some way! ;)


Anonymous said...

First grade as someone was when we all learned back in the olden days.
Cubby sees no need to read or write or recognize his name....he is planning on being a hermit and living off the land.... :) Beth

Daisy said...

I know he rarely sits still, but do you read to him? You probably do, when you can. :) That is the single most important thing a parent can do to raise a reader.

Anonymous said...

I would agree--as soon as Cubby discovers that books hold information about things he is interested in, he'll come around.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

For those who wondered: Yes, Cubby is read to. Every day, a lot. We read chapter books and science books and board books and word books and books that are, as a matter fact, WAY beyond his age level. So I know it's not that.

mil said...

To add one more thing to this long list-I wonder if kids who have an excellent speaking/playing vocabulary (While playing, Cubby uses words like "supercilious scoundrel") might find spoken language just much more interesting than the printed words that they could reasonably be expected to decode.

mil said...

To add one more thing to this long list-I wonder if kids who have an excellent speaking/playing vocabulary (While playing, Cubby uses words like "supercilious scoundrel") might find spoken language just much more interesting than the printed words that they could reasonably be expected to decode.

Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

We didn't make valentines, either! We are also not the family that invites every other child to our child's birthday party! Oh, well. People will live.

I learned to read EARLY - by 1st grade, I think. And my almost 4 year old just learned to write her name and a couple other words and can read a little.

But I don't stress it, either! Kids move at they're own pace and it's our responsibility to just let them find their way, right? I read to my kiddo all the time, I myself read all the time and our house is filled with books, so...It's like literacy immersion (or drowning.)

Cubby will probably be like my brother, who didn't do anything people wanted him to do until he was damn good and ready - and then knocked their socks off. Cubby's language is already far advanced. He's a firecracker!

Anonymous said...

This is what my son's preschool directed us to as to Kindergarten.

That may help. My son was 3 when he learned to write his name and he could read simple sentences by 4. Half way through Kindergarten he was reading on his own. I guess kids learn at their own rate. There were also certain expectations with behavior at school, and they were not optional.

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