As an eager homeschool mom with two children, age 3 and 1, I bought “Hooked on Phonics” thinking it would be ideal to teach my preschooler to read as soon as possible.
My thought process went like this. The sooner she reads the quicker she can become independent in her schooling, the less work for me.
Sounds logical right?
So very wrong.
She was just not ready to read. She knew all her consonant and vowel sounds. She knew how to sound out a word, but could figure out how to do it on her own and became very frustrated each time I tried to teach her. In fact she wasn’t ready until a full two years later.
By then we were a family of six. My daughter was five, the other children were 3, 1 and 1 ( yes, twins).
By then I did not have time to use Hooked on Phonics. Our family was so busy just surviving, getting through the day, making sure everyone was diapered and fed, clean and happy. I did not have time for daily lesson on reading.
What we DID have time for was reading with the kids, to the kids and for the kids, ALL the kids. We checked out library books and read aloud. We were gifted books and read them over and over at bed time. We found books at thrift stores and read them till the covers fell off.
We. Read. With. Our. Kids. Every.Darn.Day.
And then like magic at age 5 something happened, she was suddenly reading.
Not sounding out words, or stumbling or reading in fits and starts.
She was actually reading, and doing it WELL!
She was fluent and seemed to easily learn new words. She is reading with ease and with emotion. It is a thing of beauty.
Now she is six, and as I reflect back, she knew all along what I did not. When she was ready she would read. Her time table was not my own, and that was frustrating for me.
Ultimately, she let me know when she was ready to read not by a date in a calender saying she was a certain age but by her actions.
She showed me she was ready to read by reading independently on her own timing.
Trust in the process. Trust that your child will let you know when they are ready. Because, they will. And it will be magical when it happens.