Thursday, September 8, 2016

Learn with Joy: Yes, I'm Raising a Reader and I'm Not in a Hurry!



Whenever I hear some parents say, "Oh, just look at that! My toddler is already reading! I'm so happy," I get excited for them. Although sometimes it stirs me a little bit, I'm not actually worried if my love bug is not fully reading yet. In a world where the beliefs"earlier is better" and "getting ahead" are slowly creeping and becoming established, I still embrace the philosophy "better late than early" which was popularised by Dr. Robert Moore. Don't get me wrong, of course, I want my child to be able to read well but I'm not hurrying her up.

Each child is unique. 



I believe that each child is special and learns in his/her own unique way and at his/her own pace. I learned how to read at the age of 5. I was a fast reader at age 6. At age 7, I was teaching my classmates in 1st Grade how to read. My teacher would tell me to hold the fort and lead my classmates in reading exercises while she's in a meeting. That was me. My husband has a different story and so does our daughter; I acknowledge that. Yes, she loves books and she loves being read to. I am contented with that. There's no point to compare her with me because, although she's my daughter, she is still an individual who has her own personality traits, likes, dislikes and learning style. I must respect that. And I know that when she's ready to read, she is really ready.

Learning should be meaningful.



I don't want my daughter to learn how to read just because she is pressured to do so. I want it to be meaningful to her; that she'll discover the beauty of each word because she understands it and its relevance to her day-to-day life. I remember the time she learned to read the word "mom". Because she always calls me "mom", one day she just asked me how to write it. So I wrote each letter while saying the sound of each one.  And for a time since then, she would always say the sounds of the letters first before she would call me "mom". The same thing happened with "dad". 

Childhood is not a race.



When I was a kid, I felt like I need to grow up fast; that I need to understand stuff that adults or grown ups know and understand. I was in a hurry to become an adult. It's not because my parents were hurrying me up. It's just that I felt that way. Then I realised as I grew up and became a full-fledged adult, there's so much to be enjoyed in childhood; that there's no cause to be in a hurry. Childhood happens only once and a child must take pleasure in it. My daughter still loves to play not because she doesn't want to learn how to read but because she's still a child. If she chooses play before reading time with Mom, then I must give her that freedom. After all, she will not play her tea sets and blocks for a long time, but she will definitely read all her life once she learns how. An article I have read says it perfectly: "Childhood is not a dress rehearsal for adulthood, nor is it a race. It is a separate, unique, and very special phase of life. And I’m afraid that we’re essentially wiping it out of existence due to a misguided belief that earlier is better." 

Yes, I'm raising a reader and I'm not in a hurry because I believe that my daughter is unique, that a meaningful learning is more effective and that she's not in a race to speed up. How about you? Are you also raising a reader? How do you do it? I would love to hear your thoughts.

"Childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, write and count. 
It is a small window of time to learn and develop at the pace that is right for each individual child. Earlier is not better."
Magda Gerber


45 comments:

  1. Agree. Childhood is not a race. Allow kids to be kids. Let them enjoy. Do not force them. Do not hurry them up. Ganyan din ang motto ko. Although we homeschool and we inject learning thru play, I try not hurry her up. Para maging fun ang learning para sa kanya.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, momma! Thank you for dropping by. :)

      Delete
  2. I agree. We oftentimes tend to rush our kids and would want to see results agad. But with continued effort and paulit ulit na basa sa kanila, they will remember everything and one day, Magugulat ka na lang na they remember everything. Love it talaga kapag moms find time reading to their kids. Its just too sweet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Di, ba? :) Bonding moment namin ang reading together. :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you for dropping by, Momi Berlin! :)

      Delete
  3. Very true! This is why I don't worry about my son's development at all. Every child has its own developmental milestones so it's not good to compare them with others. Every child is smart and will eventually learn on their own, with the guidance of us parents, of course!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for this encouraging post, Joy :) I also firmly believe in "better late than early." I quit putting pressure on my son to learn this and that right away because I want him to have a love for learning and not to learn because he was forced to do so.

    Keep it up, Mommy Joy! God bless :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Agree, this is also my motto, childhood is not a race. I take it one step at a time and I don't compare my son to other kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kudos to you, Mommy Michi! Thank you for visiting. :)

      Delete
  6. Agree with everything here... Each and every child is unique and it isn't a race... Allow them to enjoy and grow on their own..

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, mommy! That's what I thought exactly! My husband and I agree on this 100%, we don't want to force our little girl too much, though there are "learning" times wherein my little girl would pick up her books, and would ask me to read it for her. As what Chuckie said "minsan lang sila maging bata..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Tama! Minsan lang sila maging bata, sabayan na natin! Hehehe! Thank you for visiting, Mommy Coi! :)

      Delete
  8. Agree, like you I'm not going to rash my toddler na makabasa na agad I want him to enjoy every stage of his development. But as always we should encourage them too. In the right time malalaman din nila yan katulad ko :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Following their lead is the key. Thank you for dropping by. :)

      Delete
  9. You know what, Mommy? I did not really enjoy my childhood because it was a dark phase of my life. I also felt the need to rush and learn so I can keep up with the world. I think, I matured too early because of the things I experienced during my childhood life. That's why I promised myself to make my son's childhood happy and meaningful. No rushing. No pressure. No sadness. He has to feel like a child because this phase of his life can be the most wonderful and joyful phase of his life. I'm glad that most moms are like you when it comes to raising their children. I've read something a while ago before I stumble upon your blog that your child's emotional health is way more important than his/her academic achievement. That what I believe in, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about your childhood. But I'm glad that you are doing your best for your son. That's what parents do, right? :) Yes, more than the academic excellence, we should look into the importance of the kid's emotional health. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

      Delete
  10. I agree with you,each kid is unique so stop comparing it to others. As parents we are here to mold and help them to learn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mommy Anna! :)

      Delete
  11. My parenting style, let kids be kids. Don't stress them too early. Other parents are all to worried about their kids performance at school, but me I try to take it easy on my children. I emphasize the value of education, but i let them have fun studying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, Mommy Juvy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

      Delete
  12. I agree that kids have their own unique pace and ways of learning. But I do not fully agree with the approach better late than early. I think it is still best to let the child learn according to how he/she is wired. If your child shows eagerness and aptitude to learn at a young age, then follow your child's cue. If your child likes to take it slow, follow your child's cue. Do not delay simply because of this school of thought. I didn't rush my kids. They were the ones who rushed me! hahaha But that's how they were wired by God. So, I just followed their lead. They started reading at 2 years old. :) Now, my 7 year old reads at Grade 5-6 level. I didn't get in his way. I provided for him the mental stimulation that he craved and needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mommy Teresa. I agree with you, kids are wired differently; made by God uniquely. :) As parents, we should respect their individuality. Congratulations on having children that started reading at an early age. :)

      From my understanding, the concept of "better late than early", is a reminder for parents who are pressured to hurry their children up because other children are more advanced; for those who have forgotten that each child is unique and that childhood is not a competition nor a race. There are children who are more advanced than others. As parents we have to celebrate their uniqueness; we have to guide them, lead them and provide them what they need.

      Just like you, I also follow my daughter's lead when it comes to her learning process. My daughter showed interest in books when she was 12 days old (maybe because I started reading to her since she was in my womb). I followed her cue. By the time she was 10 months old, she could read names of some stores and banks. Again, I followed her lead. I read to her all the more. By the time she's one, she's "reading on her own". It's actually more like, she's making or telling her own story while reading a book. At the time, she already knew her 123 and ABC. I followed her cue. But when I was teaching her to read through phonics, she told me she just want to be read to. I was so much tempted to "hurry her up" and say, "No sweetheart. I know you're ready to read. So, you must learn now." But I didn't. She's actually reading some sight words now, it's not because I taught them but because of our constant reading together. :)

      Thank you so much for dropping by and again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Appreciate it! :)

      Delete
  13. I don't stress about reading and writing at all, but we do practice a lot at home because these are vital skills and my son has recently shown interest in them. Last May, my 4-year old son didn't know how to read at all - he didn't even know how to hold a pencil! But with constant practice, he now knows how to write and read basic words (I tried to teach him reading through phonics but sight words opened Pandora's box).

    So my point? It's great to follow our kids' pace but we can't avoid the fact that there really are kids who learn to read and write at a much earlier age. That doesn't necessarily mean they were rushed (I thought otherwise before and thought they were raised by tiger mums haha). It's just a fact that there are late learners and there are early learners.

    (I know this^ is not the main point of your blog; it's just that I have always been bothered by the "Earlier is not better" quote.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My daughter is reading some sight words too, although I was hoping she'd learn how to read through phonics. Anyhow, I just follow her lead. :)

      I agree with you, there are early learners and there are those who take their time. It's because each child is unique and that uniqueness should be celebrated. We are wired differently; created by God fearfully and wonderfully. I believe the "better late than early" is not for parents who follow their learner's lead, rather it's a reminder or gentle nudge for those who are pressured to rush or hurry their children up because there are kids who are more advanced than theirs.

      Thank you for dropping by. Also thank you for understanding the main point of my post. Appreciate it! :)

      Delete
  14. This is beautiful. So many moms (and grandparents) are pressuring kids to do so many things at such a young age. Comparison here, comparison there. I just let the kids be kids, incorporating learning but also letting them play. They do get interested when learning new things so I take advantage of that and use those as teaching moments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mommy Cheanne. Yes, following our learner's need is the key. :)

      Delete
  15. I totally agree with you. Each child has their own pace of learning and understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes on Childhood is not a race. I always feel that with my eldest, perhaps it's because he's the one with friends and batch mates with the most connection we have? Sometimes this pressure is really from within ourselves and not really from others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, the pressure is from within sometimes. That's why "better late than early" is a gentle nudge for parents who shouldn't be pressured if other kids are more advanced than their own. Thank you for dropping by, Mommy May! :)

      Delete
  17. I agree with this. Each child's progress is different. I realized this myself with my second child. Unlike her ate, she just recently showed interest in reading. We almost made the mistake of pushing this to her buti na lang we let her enjoy playing and discovering things first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yes, following our learner's cue is the key. :)

      Delete
  18. I totally agree with you mommy. Everyone has different personalities and so our little ones. My son is 20months old and instead of giving him pressure to say a word or two, I let him explore on his own way. I'm not in a hurry anyway. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kudos to you, Mommy! Thank you for dropping by. :)

      Delete
  19. I totally agree with you mommy. Everyone has different personalities and so our little ones. My son is 20months old and instead of giving him pressure to say a word or two, I let him explore on his own way. I'm not in a hurry anyway. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love that 2nd paragraph where you noted that your daughter has a different personality. I also want to believe that my twins will take their time to read books. Until now kasi ginagawa pa din nilang eroplano ang mga books at tinatapon kung san san. I am losing my patience but not my hope. I am still hoping na mahihilig din sila sa pagbabasa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Talaga? Oo darating din ang panahon na yun. :) In the meantime, you may tell them that books are our friends so we take care of them. Thank you for visiting. :)

      Delete
  21. Having the right attitude will benefit our kids more than pressuring them to do things just because everyone else is doing the same thing. I salute you, sis! -- Maria Teresa Figuerres

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow mommy we have the same entry. I am a raising a reader too. And yes I agree, "childhood is not a race" let's enjoy our child's journey towards learning :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I couldn't agree more. Childhood is not a race. I used to be so OC when it comes to my son's milestone. I have a friend of mine and we gave birth 4 days apart. I used to compare my son's height & weight to her child before, their milestone, who crawls first, who walk first but I got fed up. Because I'm so keen to see my son progress, I didn't appreciate the things he can do. So I stopped doing that. After that, I was surprised and amazed with the little things he do. I learned not to expect too much but to appreciate more and I see he's more happy than before.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I always believe that every child is different - and I've seen that with my kids. My youngest is "more advanced" compared to my eldest, yet I never pressured any of them. Learning is pacing and it's also about taking one step at a time :)

    ReplyDelete