I hate it when children are labelled “Late Readers”, by whose timeline are they late?
Main stream schools have always dictated by what age a child should have reached the reading milestone, but they are always changing the goal posts depending on what latest study is trending in government.
Our daughter did not learn to read until just before her twelfth birthday. It took a lot of trust and there were days I had my doubts. The first year we started home educating, we followed a Steiner Waldorf curriculum as our daughter had been in a Steiner and I was a former Steiner teacher. We also did phonics workbooks and flashcards, but I noticed our daughter was losing interest in learning to read so I dropped it. I did not tell anyone I had made this decision, I did not want the flack I knew we would get. We just let her play.
A few months before her twelfth birthday, our daughter had a friend for a sleep over. The friend brought with her the book, “The Worst Witch” by Jill Murphy. When, I went to say goodnight I found both girls lying on the bed with noses in book. The visiting friend was reading to our daughter.
The next day, our daughter asked if we could visit the library to find the whole “Worst Witch” series. She left with arms piled high with books. She then spent the next few weeks in her room just reading and when she came out, she could read! She had found a reason to want to read and with determination, taught herself. This is not to say, I do not believe us creating a rich environment full of stories and words did not have any effect, but I have my doubts about the early phonics. Workbooks and Flash cards feel dry and dead. Silly fridge magnets, daft poetry and Ronald Dahl audio books feel alive.
Our son is now eight years old and is showing no signs of “getting” reading. He has done Reading Eggs for about a year, because his dad thought he might enjoy it and wants him to be able to read. Our son did enjoy it, but now he is bored and as far as I can tell, it has not helped his reading. So, he has stopped.
Our son and daughter are not “Late Readers”, they are just themselves.