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Author Topic: When did you learn to read?
Joldo
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I was talking about this with some of my friends the other day, and most said they were taught to read in preschool or kindergarten. I didn't learn until first grade.

When did you learn? When did your children learn? I'm curious about this, actually. My parents read to my brother and I quite a lot, and we all told stories to each other, but they never tried to accelerate our learning with flashcards or by teaching us such things.

What do you think are the pros and cons? I know at early ages the brain picks those things up very easily, yet I wonder how long that extends. Among these friends, from our comparisons, I am the one who reads the fastest, the most, understands the most, and enjoys the most. I'm the only one who sets aside quite a lot of time for pleasure reading.

I suppose what I'm asking is this: is it better to instill, early on, the knowledge of reading or the love of stories?

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Taalcon
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I'm told I began to read at around age 3.
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Shan
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Instill a love of learning and reading by modeling life-long learning and reading.

Reading skills develop at a variety of ages - for a few as early as 4 or as late as 9. There is no "standard" age.

Turn the TV, the computer, the video games, the movies off and give younger children a wide variety of open-ended building materials and dramatic play materials (i.e., blocks, dress-up clothes) and take the time to "read" stories with 'em - as in, let them choose a story and help tell it.

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Verily the Younger
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My parents tell me I asked them to teach me how to read when I was two.
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Teshi
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I was probably four or so when I first read words. But I agree with Shan, although I would start my hypothetical children earlier, there is no "do or die" age for reading.
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TMedina
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I didn't learn to read until relatively late when compared to my peers - 2nd, maybe 3rd grade? I remember, but I don't have a reference point for what grade I was in at the time.

Apparently I did sit in the corner looking at the pictures during pre-school. Some things never change. [Big Grin]

-Trevor

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reader
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According to my mother, I taught myself to read at age 4. I've always read much faster than almost everyone else I know, and I've always had an advanced vocabulary. We didn't have any TV in the house, never watched videos, and my mother read to us all the time. There were no flashcards involved or anything of that sort - my mother never set out to teach me how to read - I just picked it up on my own through exposure.
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Elizabeth
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As for stories. We read to our kids from the get-go, even as infants. My daughter, even though she has always been a very good reader, just started to love reading(10) and my son(8) could care less about fiction. He wants to read the Red Sox stats and Sports Illustrated.
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Shan
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You're quite correct, Teshi, you'd have open-ended play materials that were developmentally appropriate for all ages and stages. Plenty of eye and body contact for the infants, lots of safe exploring space for the crawlers and toddlers, lots of "manipulables" for the older pre-K set.

Most grade K teachers want kids to come to grade K prepared to learn - i.e., social skills, gross and fine motor skills in place, communication skills, following directions, healthy, eager to learn, able to sit still for 20 minutes at a time . . .

All the rest (letters, numbers, etc) can be taught if the child is ready to learn.

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littlemissattitude
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I am told that I mostly taught myself to read, and I was reading by age three. I started reading books out of the adult section of the library when I was seven, but I had started reading "adult" books, mostly in the form of my mother's Reader's Digest Condensed Books, at least a year or two before that. I was also reading the newspaper by that time.

I think it's fine to teach a child to read before they start school. But at the time I was young, it was one of those things that mostly just Wasn't Done. I can remember the first grade teacher who was renting a room from my grandmother when I was in kindergarten and first grade absolutely hitting the roof when she found out that my parents had allowed me to learn to read. Apparently that was something that she thought should be left to the professionals. Still, I can't see the point of telling a child who is enthusiastic about learning to read that they aren't old enough.

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Elizabeth
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The Waldorf Scools do not teach formal reading until third grade.
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Steev
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It was well in to the 3rd grade before I could read. I had to be tutored one-on-one during the after lunch reading hour by a reading teacher.

I was doing pretty well in kindergarten I new all of the letters and could understand what some of them sounded like. Then the school district decided that a reading program based on memorization rather than phonetics was a better approach. That coupled with a 1st and 2nd grade teacher that would reward the achievers and ignore the non-achievers, that’s when I fell behind.

I look as some of my friends nowadays who learn solely on the memorization approach. Imagine a 30-year-old guy reading a newspaper and seeing a word he has never seen before. He can’t read it. He doesn’t know the phonetics. He has used the word before and knows the meaning but can’t make the connection from the written page. I used to get frustrated with him until I understood what was going on. Thankfully he married a wonderful woman who is teaching him the phonetics.

[ April 11, 2005, 12:26 AM: Message edited by: Steev ]

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Shan
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And if you're in a "wanna-be" Waldorf school, not even then.

/ends snarkiness

And actually, Waldorf is teaching skill sets that lead to reading - knitting is an excellent mehtod for hand-eye coordination (needed to track words on a page); storytelling and drama encourage imagination (which is necessary to make the leap from "mark on page" to "mark on page means a certain sound and letter name" to "many marks on the page means a word that sounds like"), and emphasize a "love" of learning that will hopefully remain with the child throughout.

However, if you don't have a real teacher that knows how to teach the mechanics of reading, then all that prep work goes for naught -

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Tstorm
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Not quite certain, but probably sometime between kindergarten and first grade. I do recall learning to follow instructions by building with Legos. I mean, I remember vividly the first time I "understood" how to follow the instructions. I'm unable to point to a date, though.
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Joldo
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Hmmmmm . . . What I know of how I learned was that they taught the basics one day in school and I mostly extrapolated from there.

Actually, this is kinda why I ended up getting lots of funny looks in second grade. The books I read were above my level, and it was always automatic to me that if I don't know a word, I figure it from text. And then I use it. And boy, when I used the wrong word, wow.

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Papa Moose
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quote:
The Waldorf Scools do not teach formal reading until third grade.
Even later than that on spelling, I presume? *wink*

I know I used to read the encyclopedia when I was three -- I assume I chose them because they were on the lower bookshelves and thus I could reach them. I used to lie on my bed in such a way that the light from the streetlamp would shine through my window and onto the books. Whether those were the first books or not, I do not know.

--Pop

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Shigosei
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I learned to read around two, probably because my parents read to me a lot. I read chapter books by four. I could read adult (level, not content!) material at about second grade.

Amusingly enough, apparently I could identify car and credit card logos around 18 months. My parents tell me it was a good party trick.

Today, I am still completely addicted to reading, and I can read faster than most of my peers (this helps a lot in college). I can think of no reason that learning to read early has harmed me. I'm actually glad I didn't get phonics until well after I learned to read, because I think it would have slowed me down. Most of the time, I take in entire words and just recognize them, without connecting them to the spoken sounds.

I doubt that whether a kid learns to read early or late matters, nor do I feel that it is better to learn at school. After all, I pretty much taught myself, and I've had no problems. I'm surprised that teachers would have a problem with kids learning to read before school. If I have any, I will absolutely read to my kids starting from an early age, and if they learn to do it on their own, so be it.

Edit to take into account posts that happened while I was writing mine:

quote:
I look as some of my friends nowadays who learn solely on the memorization approach. Imagine a 30-year-old guy reading a newspaper and seeing a word he has never seen before. He can’t read it. He doesn’t know the phonetics. He has used the word before and knows the meaning but can’t make the connection from the written page.
I have the opposite problem. I know many, many words and their meanings but have never heard them out loud. I frequently mispronounce words, putting the stress on the wrong syllable. Also, I often can't pronounce foreign words. It was awhile before I realized "facade" was pronounced "fasod." It's embarrassing.

[ April 11, 2005, 12:55 AM: Message edited by: Shigosei ]

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rivka
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My goodness, I must be severely delayed! [Wink]

I don't think I taught myself to read until I was at least four. With the help of this cute little phonics reader called A Pig Can Jig (left by a previous tenant in an apartment we were in that summer), and the occasional question to my mother.

We still have that book around here somewhere . . . *fondly*

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Carrie
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There's video of me reading words off index cards at 3. The part my mom likes is whenever I get a word wrong, I have to explain why the word on the card isn't the word I said.

I used to be so cute [Cry] What happened?

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Alcon
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I picked up reading pretty early. 4 or 5 I think. My parents used to read me stories all the time, and I guess I just learned to read by watching the book over their shoulders and picking up which words meant what.

My mom was reading me something like Ninja Turtles Eat Pizza (or something silly like that) one day and I started reading ahead of her, and she got suspicious and made me try to read it... and I did it with out second thought. Least thats how she tells it.

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Boris
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I still can't read.
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Shigosei
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That Boris is such an idiot. Also, his mother was a hamster and his father smelled of elderberries. Good thing he doesn't know what this says.
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Theca
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I was pretty good at counting and stuff and followed along (loudly) with Sesame Street but my mother tells me that she tried to make me actually sit down and formally learn to read when I was in kindergarten and the teacher called her up and told her to stop. She said I was interested in doing other things and to not push it yet. I remember being extremely active and very imaginative that year. In first grade I had a little trouble getting used to the more rigid format of real school and I struggled with the reading concepts a bit and then somehow it all clicked and I read nonstop after that. I actually remember struggling to learn to read. How...odd. I am a very fast reader usually.
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docmagik
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I just heard this story tonight. I don't remember it at all.

When I was about four, my grandmother found me sitting in the kitchen eating Captain Crunch at about five o'clock in the morning. I was reading the side of the cereal box--words like "Carbohydrates" and such.

Grandma said, "When did you learn to read?"

I said, "I always knew how to read, Grandma. I just didn't know how to talk."

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Vadon
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Hm, I don't quite remember an age, but I do remember the first word I wrote. It was Pop... I don't know why, I knew the alphabet and was throwing together random letters and I eventually spelled something. (I don't even call it pop, I call it soda... why did I spell pop as my first word?)

But reading... I remember reading the tiny little books of varying cover colors to learn. They were simple ones that got harder as you continued down the line. That was probably 5 or 6.

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Raia
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quote:
I'm told I began to read at around age 3.
Me too.
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ketchupqueen
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Me, too. And my sister. My other sister, 4. My brother, with the learning disabilities, 5.
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Taalcon
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quote:
With the help of this cute little phonics reader called A Pig Can Jig
I LOVED that book! I still have it somewhere, boxed away, falling apart.

I was also a huge fan of Dr. Seuss' There's A Wocket In My Pocket.

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J T Stryker
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I was taught to read right around my fifth birthday by a 200 lbs. bald, roady on Def Leppard's Adrenalize tour.... See, my childhood wasn't all that twisted....

Edit: but i still can't spell

[ April 11, 2005, 08:00 AM: Message edited by: J T Stryker ]

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Kama
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uhh, in preschool. or is it kindergarten?

erm, whatever comes later.

[ April 11, 2005, 08:22 AM: Message edited by: Kama ]

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SteveRogers
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quote:
When did you learn? When did your children learn?
1. when I was four ( I didn't go to preschool and I didn't start kindergarten till I was six; I taught myself)

2. I don't have any children....so I didn't teach them to read....or anything like that

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Eruve Nandiriel
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I started reading when I was about 4.
And I haven't stopped since! [Wink]
[Big Grin]

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Elizabeth
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"But reading... I remember reading the tiny little books of varying cover colors to learn. They were simple ones that got harder as you continued down the line. That was probably 5 or 6."

Bob books.

http://www.bobbooks.com/

[ April 11, 2005, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: Elizabeth ]

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Elizabeth
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A fun thing to do with little kids is to make them their own book. Very easy inthis digital age.

take pictures of people in the family. Paste the picture on a page, then make a litle flip cover for itwith stiff paper and tape as a hinge. Write the name of the person under the picture. They flip up the cover, and see the picture, and say the name. They think they are really cool, and eventualy will learn to recogniz the words.

You can make a book with pics of all their favorite things, or of their daily routines. It is fun, I tell you, fun.

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advice for robots
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I know I read pretty well in first grade.

I remember my first grade teacher telling the class that I learned to read because my family read the Bible together. And I thought, "Not the Bible, the Book of Mormon." [Smile]

I was also the only kid in the class who got to check out books in the third grade section of the library. Nobody else was allowed to, not even that bossy girl.

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Elizabeth
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"I was also the only kid in the class who got to check out books in the third grade section of the library."

Ew.

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advice for robots
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Why ew?
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amira tharani
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I started reading at about the age of 2 and a half - I wasn't three yet, so my mum tells me. Apparently when I was interviewed for montessori school they couldn't believe I could read and claimed that I'd just memorised the book. I don't remember that, though I do remember reading road signs and shop fronts when I was in the car. I think my mum did the whole flash card thing with me, though I'm not sure.
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katharina
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Kidnergarten, when it was formally taught. I actually can't remember anything from before second grade, except a few flashes of parks and parties.
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HesterGray
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I was two or three when I started reading.

My first memory of reading was when my mom read All My Toys are on the Floor to me. When she was done, she said, "I bet you could read this by yourself." So I did.

However, my dad recently told me a story that happened before that that I don't remember. He said he was reading me a book and was in a hurry so he skipped a part. I made him go back and I read to him the part that he skipped.

Edit: Italics

[ April 11, 2005, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: HesterGray ]

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no. 6
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I started reading at age three to decipher what my older sister was writing (at age 5). When I learned to read well, she moved on to cursive, and stymied me for another year. [Mad]

My son began at two. He was really reading well at three. No surprise, however. Mom & Dad were always reading novels. There must be something to that readin' stuff. [Wink]

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Altril of Dorthonion
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I don't remember not being able to read...I've got memory since I was three, so I think I learned when I was about that old.
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ketchupqueen
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Papa Moose, my grandma figured out that my dad was reading the encyclopedia at four. Who knows how long he'd actually been doing it. Anyway, when he got to kindergarten, the teacher didn't believe he could read until his mom handed him a book from the teacher's shelf-- a reference book of some sort, I believe it was-- and asked him to read from it aloud. He did. They let him skip the phonics lessons and free-read during that time.
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Primal Curve
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Oh Lord,

If ever there was a topic that would bring out the drop trou and compare one another's reading personhood, it's this.

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Elizabeth
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advice for robots,
I think it is "ew" to deny books to children because they are above their reading level.

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Fyfe
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I taught myself from Sesame Street and reading my Life Cereal box. Thus we see that television can also be good!

Jen

[ April 11, 2005, 01:07 PM: Message edited by: Fyfe ]

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ketchupqueen
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My oldest sister did learn with the help of the Electric Company and Sesame Street. But I think the rest of us learned so early because we had (an) older sibling(s) to read to us even when our parents weren't-- which wasn't often when they were home.
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Miro
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quote:
If ever there was a topic that would bring out the drop trou and compare one another's reading personhood, it's this.
Lol. Reminds me of this comic strip.
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advice for robots
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Just because you had to have your secretary type that, PC. [Big Grin]
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romanylass
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Myself- self taught at 3

Husband- self taught at 5

Matthew, 8 was self taught at 4 and reading Tolkien at 5.

Olivia-is finally reading at 6, after over a year of hard work on her's and my parts.( Can you tell I'm not a proponent of Waldorf?)

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