Sunday, 4 May 2008

Reading but Not Reading

Pressure for Mommy.

I was reading Lia's post on reading, and I know what she's talking about.

Everyone (OK, not everyone, but everyone of the old school when it comes to raising children) is telling me Micah should be in school and I should get him to start reading already. And by reading they mean that he should be able to recognise words and read to himself. I know it's never too early to start reading, but I don't want to be pressured to have to pressure my kids.

I believe it is really a matter of timing and readiness. Micah still can’t read, and I know it’s because he is, despite being so out going, very apprehensive of things that are new and unfamiliar. He is somewhat afraid to fail*. So I know he is holding back on reading for himself, although he really loves books and stories and can write his own name. I am not pushing him, as it’s really more like coaxing a cat to come down from a very tall tree. When he lands it, there'll be no halting that, that's for sure.

So we are reading. We are reading every day. There were in fact a few books from the science center's library that he enjoyed so much he memorised the words and pretended to read, flipping the pages and reciting the words, looking like he is actually reading, and with full of expressions too. So entertaining, that was.

On a more technical subject, there is the whole thing about reading by memory - word recognision - and reading phonetically - matching and stringing sounds of the letters. I would love to have him do both, but don't know if that would be confusing or complimentary. Mommy's still trying to sort this out in her brain.

Max can recognise some of the letters of the alphabet and some numbers too. He will sometimes point at labels etc. and say, "Look. It's ABC here." Actually quite funny and cute, that is if you don't feel he needs to be corrected and read the actual letters out to him.

Max can say the ABCs quite well for his age (by my standard), going smoothly till he hits L-Q stretch he needs some help, then he can just finish the rest. He can also tell you the different animals starting with each letter from A-Z, but needs some help with K, N, Q, U, W, X.

He has not quite recognised numbers yet, though he can count 1-7, sometimes 1-10, but misses a number in between. He can put out the number of fingers correctly from 1-5.

The main thing is that both the boys love books. We all love going to the library and book shops, sitting down and reading together. Maybe they also see this as a cozy time with Mommy or daddy, and also my younger sis (she too, loves to read and loves to read with the boys):
A time they climb up to your lap, or sit close next to you and hear your voice, smell your hair and watch your finger mover move across the page.

Of course I’d love to have them read so that they can enjoy reading for themselves, and not just because some one else’s kid can already do it.

* This I know because, despite his "extrovert-iness", he is somewhat insecure. He is afraid to play with boisterous older kids sometimes because he is afraid they might hurt him. He is afraid to try new games because he does not like to lose. He is afraid to try new stuff because he does not like to fail.


A gift from God said...

Tell you what Kathie,

You should start with phonetics, teach Micah all 26 sounds of the alphabets and then follow by the vowel combinations. Like 'at,ad,ab..' then combine 3 letter words then consonant blends...

At the same's ok to teach him reading by memorizing whole word. He won't really be confused.

At his age, he will understand the difference. Good luck.

hissychick said...

I actually think that there is far too much pressure on both kids and their parents to try and get their little ones reading before they start school. What's the rush?

It's far more important to instill a LOVE of books and stories and to feed their imaginations. If your child learns to read along the way, great, but if they aren't reading by the time they start school, well that is what school is for!

Ann said...

Iti s good that you are not feeling the pressure. No one knows their kids more than their mummy!!
With Go'd guidance, you will always do the best for them.

Pray hard. Live well.

Moomykin said...

a gift from god,

Thanks you.

Will try that when we are both up to it and will keep progress posted here. :)



I actually heard from a neighbour that in the kindy her son goes to (which is also in our neighbourhood) finds that almost all the kids come already knowing their ABCs, and that is as early as 3 years old. So her 4 year old was pressured to know it all too.

There is definitely tonnes of pressure.

Moomykin said...


Thank you for your assurance. I guess I have to think of something a little more concrete in "teaching" my boys at home. Hrmmm....

But you are most right when you say "Live well". Thanks.

Angelia said...

it's very funny lah, I've had so many folks (since the kids were 2) ask me, wah ur boys can't read yet ah? I said not as such but they love books!

Im used to getting funny looks hahaha Cos I look after the kids myself, cos I have no maid/cleaner, I work from home,I breastfed my kids, Im happy to let em play around, not have tuition etc. The only lessons they have is Mandarin (and thats once a week) cos I cant teach that to them.

There's no more joy in childhood for so many kids hor :( you can see all around you u know.

let's keep things the way we do things, Kin, cos kids will be happier that way :)