Relax About Reading

August 14, 2009

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Today I shared with a friend over lunch that Julien, my 8 year old son, is reading beautifully.

But it wasn’t always this way.

In fact just two months ago he labored to read at all.

Reading one page of an “easy” kids book was overwhelming to him.

It exhausted him in fact.

I was scared that he might not learn to read well.

I worried that he would always struggle with reading.

I worried that he was a “shut down learner“.

I worried that he wouldn’t grow up to be a bookworm (... like me).

Then one day this summer, I decided to just stop.

I stopped worrying.

I stopped making him read to me.

I stopped reading to him.


I just decided to trust.

And so we had fun.

We went to the pool.

We played outside.

And eventually all of a sudden, he learned how to read.

Now, school has started.

And he complains about how slowly the other kids in his class read.

Reading is about deciphering code.

Those little symbols on the page? They mean something. They have a sound.

All of a sudden, they just get it.

It just makes sense.

Kids learn how to read when they’re ready.

Just as they are birthed when they’re ready.

And they crawl when they are ready.

And walk when they’re ready.

And sleep through the night when they’re ready.

And wean when they’re ready.

Kids teach themselves to read.

We just get the heck out of the way.

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One Response to “Relax About Reading”

  1. Mindy on August 19th, 2009 8:25 am

    3 of my kids learned to read without much help at all. But one of them was going around telling everyone that he couldn’t read at seven years old. I was so embarrased and worried, especially since I homeschool. I tried every curriculum I could find (on a tight budget) At some point he just got it. At eight he read the Narnia series. Wow, what a relief!

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