Is it normal for a 6yo not to want to read-aloud?

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Is it normal for a 6yo not to want to read-aloud?

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gen. 15, 2007, 11:24 pm

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gen. 16, 2007, 3:34 am

Ugh. I just poured my heart out in a message and it wouldn't post, so I am experimenting with this one.

gen. 16, 2007, 3:47 am

O.K., that one worked, I'll try again.

Have lots of patience ;) Six can be very young, every child develops differently. I wish I had not emphasized reading quite so early for mine. It seemed we beat our heads against a wall (the child and I), then suddenly, they just got it. I finally learned with my third child. I waited and watched for his readiness and he picked up reading almost instantly.

So, here are some practical suggestions. Let her do something with her hands while she listens. Draw, play dough, Legos, dolls, paper dolls. Every now and then, stop reading and use questions to see if she listens.

Act out some of the stories using puppets, your children or dolls. Let her dress up as one of the characters from the story.

One of my sons disliked most fiction. He was much happier with nature guides or biographies and for some reason, poetry.

Have short reading periods, 5-10 minutes at most to start.

Don't be discouraged and keep trying. She may not pick up your love of reading (my sons didn't, but they are excellent readers, my daughter is better read than I now), but keep it fun and loving and the good experience will win out. Bless you!

gen. 16, 2007, 4:48 pm

I let her draw and that works most of the time, the kicker is that we classically homeschool. There's a LOT of reading we do. Last night I was reading Sinbad's Seven Voyages which is very interesting and not dull at all and she started playing with her younger brother.

I turn to her and ask her if she's listening...she says no. I asked her what she thought was interesting about the story and she said that Sinbad keeps getting out of trouble. Then she wouldn't stop messing around with her brother. I asked out of frustration, "Am I wasting my time reading this?" She said, "yes."

URGH! Now, I should know better than to ask a question that I don't want to hear the answer to but I was trying to point out to her that I was spending time with her. Quality time.

She doesn't seem to like anything except poetry and picture books that are short. We've been trying to read the longer books by breaking them up, it takes forever but they get read. Do you think I should give this up for now? Just go with the picture books?

thanks for the response!

gen. 16, 2007, 5:48 pm

I did a more hand's on approach when mine were young, though I looked longingly at the classical approach. I could have done it with my daughter, but my sons would never have stood for it. The problem is, you have to consider their learning style as well as your teaching style and what you want to accomplish. I firmly believe that if you can get them to love learning early on, they can catch up to any learning they've missed later on. You save frustration for both of you that way.

I am having dinner with a friend tonight who has done more of the classical approach, and I will ask her, maybe she will have more suggestions.

One thing, perhaps you've tried, teach while brother is napping and have a special place which is just for school. Whether it be the couch or a room, let her know "This is school now." Then don't make it a very long time. Better to read several times a day for short periods, broken with activities and food, than to try to get it all done at this age.

Don't be frustrated about a time frame. Remember, you've begun a lifetime of learning, your job isn't to fill her head with information by a certain age, but to teach her to love learning.

Not trying to preach, just saying things I wish I had heard when mine were young :)

gen. 16, 2007, 6:03 pm

Non-homeschooler (or schooled) butting in. :-)

Go with the poetry! I've read that poetry appeals to young children --- something to do with having spent months before birth listening to a rhythmic heartbeat. From the time I can remember, I begged to hear poetry recited or to be read to from thick anthologies of poems and "story poems."

I wanted to read, but didn't learn until I got to school. My parents tried to show me, but their methods didn't work, and I was terribly frustrated. It took Miss Wellwood about 10 minutes (I can still picture the blackboard on that wonderful day!) to reveal the "secret" of how letters formed words, and how one could "sound them out." From that day I read anything that didn't move, and some things that did. :-)

gen. 16, 2007, 7:07 pm

We just received a poetry book by Shel Silverstein which is awesome. He makes up goofy poems and the pictures are cute. My son uses them for copywork and then draws a picture to go with it. The one he's doing now is 'How to make a Hippopotamus sandwich'. The picture that goes with it shows all the makings of a sandwich tied aroud the hippo, very cute. He gets a laugh out of all of them.


gen. 17, 2007, 3:06 am

I love that poem. I included it in the gross-out cookbook I made for my son.

triviumacademy: I'm back from dinner with my friend. She recommended you read Educating the Wholehearted Child. She has found it very valuable. We are not sure what specific curriculum you are using, but most classical ones are quite rigid. What she has done is slowed down the pace, especially at the beginning of their schooling. She didn't start her daughter until she was seven and they take two years to go through one year of curriculum. By the way, her daughter is extremely bright and well adjusted, performing well above her 9th grade level.

One thing she said is very important, and I agree: Value the relationship with your child more than the curriculum or its schedule. These things are written by people to give a plan, but you must make it conform to your family, not the other way around.

One benefit of home school, is that we get to work so much with our children's character, but if they are tuning us out at reading time because perhaps it isn't where they are at, we loose credibility with them. I have to tell you, I wish my daughter ever wanted to play with her brothers. It has been a long uphill struggle to get her to see their fine qualities :)

I'm not sure if you are a Bible believer, but one verse says, and I paraphrase; Train up a child in the way THEY should go. Often this is used to say there are certain things we should teach a child, and that is valid, however, each child has a bent or talent in life and if we try to move them from it, we provoke them, which is a no-no. We need to find it and help them follow in it.

Whenever I am up against a wall in my children's schooling, it helps me to get quiet, back up, examine my goals and make sure they are worthy, and then pray a lot. Always I am given the direction to go. Teaching at home requires much flexibility and you must have much grace towards yourself as well as your child.

Be encouraged! You have your child's best interest at heart and that is of first importance. Give yourself a hug, tell your husband and children you need a hug. Take a break in a quiet place and know that you will find your way.

Love, blessings and encouragement to you, Lee

gen. 17, 2007, 9:25 am

My copy of Shel Silverstein and Educating the Whole Hearted Child are on their way, it's funny- I ordered these before I read your messages!

I want to thank you all for your advice and wisdom, I "know" these things and some times it's just hard to DO them. Lol. We're simplifying our read-alouds, in fact we're avoiding any long chapter books unless they are specifically requested by her.

I probably read a total of 2.5 hours a day to my children, the nighttime reading is what my example was from. I need to make that time just her and I after her younger brother is in bed.

Thank you for advising a homeschool mom who got frustrated!

P.S. You can classically homeschool any type of learning style, it's just a matter of using the right products to fit your child. We're in our first year so it's just a matter of my daughter and I getting to know each other in this setting. I'm grateful to be learning these lessons now instead of 3 or 4 years from now. : )

gen. 17, 2007, 2:11 pm

My friend just called with two more references for you Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola and A Charlotte Mason Education. She said one that might be helpful to you later on is Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson, that is if you are interested in a Christian education :)

She loved the first two books because they gave her the freedom to keep the curriculum, but let go of the pace.

I do wish I had had the internet when I started 14 years ago. I know it was there, we just didn't think it was necessary. I did have a wonderful support network however, of ladies who had been through those rough first years. There's nothing like experience, but it's never the same for any two people.

Editat: gen. 17, 2007, 3:45 pm

Thanks Mrs. Lee, I'm very well-read in classical education and Charlotte Mason, which spurred this on to begin with!

Charlotte Mason says to read unabridged versions of classics like Swiss Family Robinson to a 6 year old. That would not fly here! Lol.

The Well-Trained Mind has similar recommendations as does Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorns, and just about every classical, Charlotte Mason type book I've read. I'm letting my "ideals" go and getting more real but I supposed that's what the first year is all about.

Your friend is a gem just as you are! Thank you again. Hopefully, my question will make others feel comfortable to use this forum as well.

: )

gen. 17, 2007, 6:18 pm

My son loves those abridged stories of the classics-Great Illustrated Classics-with the hard white cover. Book stores usually sell those as buy 3 get one free-lol

We have quit a few. Although I too believe that reading above their level is important, reading something as difficult as Swiss Family Robinson is too hard. The enjoyment would be lost on the kids if the language is too hard or descriptive, as in most of the classics. The books have text on one side and a picture on the other.

By the way, I had started Swiss Family Robinson with my son when he was six. It was clear that he was lost after about six chapters, I finished it though. It was a wonderful story.

I know a little about classical ed. I had tried to follow the structure, but it proved to be a little to hard for my reluctant reader. I tried using Story of the World, but had to get too many books to read, and we don't have anything here in this library. I've heard Mystery of HIstory is nice, but I fear the same problem. Luckily, the library carries a ton of American history books.

gen. 17, 2007, 8:44 pm

Sometimes I think about what my advice would have been if I had only had my daughter...quite smug, I think :) God knew to give me my sons, humility, laughter, joy and patience. Aren't kids great!

I never read a classic from the 1800's until I was in my 20's, I read a LOT, just not those. When I did discover them, I had the maturity and perspective needed to appreciate them better. I'm not saying don't read them, just saying, don't give up hope, children might even appreciate them better later in their lives.

Our family read Swiss Family Robinson and many others, but they preferred Jules Verne, Little House on the Prairie, Ralph Moodyetc. We did as many activities as we could around the books, cooking, map travel when appropriate, costumes, etc. There was rarely a perfect reading session though. My children usually ended up in a huge fight over who sat where. :S

How about Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh or Thornton Wilder stories? I know they are not exactly classics, yet there is so much of value in them I would not call them fluff.

I'm going to have to think up a question about teaching high school boys. The problem is, there are so many questions!

gen. 18, 2007, 12:06 am

Did you really mean Thornton Wilder or Thornton Burgess? We've read Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh, Pilgrim's Progress by Helen Taylor, and many many others. We're about to start Charlotte's Web.

I think I would alarm some if I shared all that we read, but I wanted our nighttime read aloud to be something that my dd6 craves, you know? Not just sits through. Things are changing, we're reading whatever she wants right now.

For school her read-alouds are currently, Christian Liberty Press' Nature Readers, McGuffey's Eclectic First Reader, an old Dick and Jane called Our New Friends, and Reading Literature Primer from Yesterday's Classics. She reads about 4x a day from any of these books.

We read a fable a day either her or I aloud, Bible story and a myth from the period in history we're reading about. We also read about 2-4 poems a day because we incorporate poetry into our lessons. If I can find a poem about the subject we're talking about, it is being read. She loves poetry. We also read supplemental books in science, history, art, music and sometimes math and grammar. On average we can read about 9-12 books without touching her curriculum books.

I was incorporating historical fiction into our nightly readings but I think unless it's a short picture book, we're going to leave that reading for later years.

: ) Jessica

gen. 18, 2007, 4:38 am

triviumacademy: You are doing a great job! What fun you have ahead of you.

Yes, I meant Thornton Burgess. No wonder the touchstone took forever to load, it was trying to give me a clue :) Though I enjoy Thornton Wilder, don't think I could recommend him for a six year old :D

gen. 18, 2007, 1:28 pm

: ) Lol! I didn't think so! It sure did make me laugh though! Have a great day!

gen. 18, 2007, 5:30 pm

Just had another idea. Why not let her make her own book and illustrate it. She may want to read it to everyone then?

Just a thought....

gen. 18, 2007, 10:22 pm

We already do that, she's already gone through one ream of paper, great idea though!

I think we've found our solution, at least for now. Thanks!
: )

gen. 19, 2007, 9:42 am

Have you considered the possibility that involved readings at nighttime might be part of the problem? Children are no different than adults in that many do their best work in the morning after a good night of sleep. Perhaps your daughter isn't able to attend to the reading because she's already had a long day for a little person and is ready to unwind before bedtime. If she has to listen intently and sort out what you're reading it's going to seem like work to her. Like anyone else, she probably doesn't want to work in the evening; it might seem like school never ends!