Both of my girls went to school at one time.
Private Christian and public.
Dede started off a ferocious reader devouring every book she could get her hands on, and still does (reads college level textbooks for fun). She learned with Abeka’s program. I really love that program and its probably the only thing I like about them.
Kiki on the other hand didn’t do very well at first.
So this is Kiki’s story.
Kiki didn’t learn to read directly through homeschool or unschooling, this is more about her progression and how no pressure homeschooling helped her grow into a great reader.
She started out in a public school in kindergarten, in AZ. She didn’t adapt well at all. Half way through the school year, we moved back to Ohio, and we put both the girls back in to the Christian School that Dede had started out in, Liberty Bible Academy (click to go to their site. We so loved this school, but a lot has changed since they were there.)
When Kiki started her second half of kindergarten at LBA, she could not read while all the other kids were reading short word books. What I didn’t know or realize at the time is she just wasn’t ready, yes we all kept pushing her and she was frustrated and hated reading because of it. She did get tutoring, and LBA uses Abeka, and that helped her. But she still was fighting reading.
She struggled with reading over the next few years. We put her in our local public school in Ohio, that is a really good top notch public school. She still needed reading tutoring because she was still fighting it.
Then we moved to NC. We put her in public school here and they still gave her reading tutoring. This was 3rd grade.
Over Christmas break we decided to give homeschooling a try. We took the girls out and they never went back after Christmas break.
The our extended family were eager to see how it was going to turn out.
I didn’t push Kiki into reading a lot. I did encourage her and we tried lots of different curriculum, which we just didn’t like.
But here it comes, the big finale:
The next Christmas my in laws came to visit. Kiki was reading to them. Later my mom in law told us she could tell a huge difference in Kiki’s reading. I didn’t notice, or was I not paying attention, that she was reading up to speed. Not a lot of stuttering or stammering. She would try and sound words out instead of skipping over them.
Her reading now is almost as good as her sisters, who in 6th grade tested at a 9th grade level in reading and comprehension. Kiki can now, at age 12, can read high school level books and understand them.
We are so proud of her. She has taken charge of her own learning, including reading.
We didn’t push her, just encouraged her to read to me during the day. She likes to make me happy so she would read to me. It paid off, she reads like a pro now. She loves to read her bible out loud to us during family bible time, we can’t seem to stop her some times. It might have something to do with her just loving to here her self talk also 🙂
I really contribute her success in reading to letting her be ready to do it. When I stopped pushing her to do it, she did it on her own when she was emotionally ready to do it. I no longer want to force education on them. They learn it when they are ready too and when their minds can handle it in a positive way, not forced.
Kiki loves the April Grace series of books right now, see HERE! (not affilate, just sharing)
We really just started this unschooling adventure full time. This past school year was hard for me to adjust to not having any curriculum (long story read about it HERE).
But it seemed to benefit the girls a lot. They have learned a lot more willingly, because they wanted to.
They have also started cooking and baking a lot more, Kiki wants to be a Chef and Missionary and Dede wants to own a bakery. And they learn all they can about that, not to mention they love science and in their own way they love to learn history. We talk more and they ask questions more now about things then ever before.
This is working out for us after all. And God is blessing us!