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In a message dated 11/29/03 1:04:13 AM, jaam1224@... writes:

<< But I am having a nagging feeling that it is the more the method (even
though she does seem to be enjoying the workbooks most days) than anything
else. My goal still is to have her LOVE to learn, but I want to help her
get where she wants to go as well. >>

I think you're right.

Kids sometimes REALLY want to learn to read (I remember my little brother
saying "Teach me to read" with a plaintive begging tone when he was too little to
read), but they think it's something you can show them in just a few days or
weeks. And some parents think so too, but it's not.

When we were kids my dad worked for a mining company in a place where horses
sometimes grazed--totally unrelated to what he was doing. One Saturday we and
the boss's kids had gone with the dads while they did something, so we could
just goof around in the office, in the hills, wherever around there. The
moms were there too.

Kids and adults were lounging here and there when one of the other girls,
eight or nine or so, came running in YELLING "COME LOOK!!!! COME SEE WHAT I

We ALL ran to look.

The horses were doing what horses occasionally do, but it was circus-like to
the kids. They were having exhuberant horse-sex.

She didn't teach them to do that, but she had said or done something toward
them, and off they went.

So it is sometimes when an adult DOES think she's taught a child to read.

If you're there about the right time and reading clicks for them, I think
it's easy to think you taught them to do that.

And if my slightly-younger-friend Pam had tried to get them to do that trick
again, or to get other horses to do that trick, she might have thought those
horses weren't too smart, or were uncooperative, or that she needed to tweak
her training methods.

There are lots of things you can do to help her learn to read, but maybe the
best thing you can do is tell her it takes years, and she has already started

My daughter was frustrated to be "a late reader" (MAYBE) yet when she did get
it, she zoomed away past her friends who had believed themselves to be
reading for a year or more. They eased into reading (or were dragged in) the
old-timey, show-progress way, so when she was having to ask people to read her
Harry Potter cards do her, her friends were reading their own. Kind of. Badly
and with errors that affected the game sometimes. But Holly was in awe, still,
and embarrassed sometimes.

When it came to her it was like a wave that carried her past and over them,
and now she sight reads "with comprehension" while they're still sounding out
words they don't understand.

Reading without comprehension, by the way, is one of the most insane school
concepts ever imagined. For ANY practical purposes "reading without
comprehension" means "not reading," but in school kids do it ALL the time. They teach
reading separate from comprehension, just about. What is THAT!? It's the
epitomy of phonics. The kind of phonics my Macintosh can do. The Mac has no
idea what it read, when it sounds out words with its voice simulation function.
Kids at school do that too, and teachers say "Good!"

That's not the kind of reading that helps kids read chapter books in bed at

I've collected lots of reading accounts here:


I think the easiest way to help her read is to tread lightly around
traditional methods. They've proven in the past to help MANY children fear and hate
reading or anything that looks like reading.