Friday, September 27, 2013

Luke the Lizard; Slow and Steady

In a home with six children it should be no surprise that there is a wide spectrum of learners and learning styles.  I continue to stay true to CM methods of education for all of them.  And, honestly, like every caring parent I worry that I'm might be doing something wrong.  Especially, when one does something earlier or even later than another child.  What I'm discovering along the way is that each is learning and thriving at their own pace!  Their strengths are their own! Difficult lesson but a real one.

This week I had one of my ah ha (sigh) moments, everything is all right.  I have a particular child that has the greatest aversion to reading. He understands all the basics of reading and can read.  He just doesn't like it and is struggling with transitioning to independently reading for instruction.  All I can do with him is to continue slow and steady.  Go over the same method and get in daily practice.  There isn't anything wrong with him; that's just not a natural thing for him.  I've learned, though, that he enjoys listening to me read all the time and, oh boy, can he narrate great.  He delights in all the books and stories we read and loves to tag along with his older brother or younger brother when they are reading to me. 

My reluctant reader a year ago.
I have very fast readers and this is my first reluctant reader.  Reading for instruction has been an easy transition for all of them.  I've stuck to my gut and I haven't let their age or reading stage stop us from continuing to use the same wonderful books.  In turn, it hasn't stopped them from enjoying and absorbing all the wonder found within them.
"For the children? They must grow up upon the best.  There must never be a period in their lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy.  There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told." Charlotte Mason, Volume 2 School Education, pg263
Well, knowing these things about him, I decided that I wasn't going to push much on him...certainly not writing!  So, just like everyone else at this age, the language arts focus has been daily copy work (smaller selections for him, just a few words at a time) and oral narrations.  The idea to ask him to do more than that just wasn't even a thought.  His siblings by now have always shown an eagerness to do more; both in reading and writing.   I have tons of little story, poetry, song books all laying around that they've enjoyed working on; especially, during those let alone times.  I kept worrying that just like the reading there would be no interest in the writing either...
"If we would believe it, composition is as natural as jumping and running to children who have been allowed due use of books. They should narrate in the first place, and they will compose, later, readily enough; but they [children under ten] should not be taught 'composition'. " Charlotte Mason, Volume 1 Home Education pg247.
I should have known better and not worry so much!  Early this week, after one of our readings;  my "reluctant" boy, asked if he could get a notebook from the "notebook" drawer.  Sure, was my response.  I thought he was just going to get a sketch one for drawing/doodling like he usually does.  Minutes passed and I walked over to the counter..."I'm writing a book, is that OK?" he asked.  I'm sure my huge smile and accolades were good responses...

I've already seen about six pages to this story;   they are being done with eagerness and joy.  The reading for instruction will come, but all the other benefits of good books is already here.   I really had no idea how much our work together could produce what he is doing.  I have to keep reminding myself ... Stay true and be steady; there is no rush!