Awhile ago, an online friend of mine who happened to work with Dyslexia children gave me this idea for an activity to use with my daughter. My daughter really works hard at reading but it is not something that is coming easy, perhaps she simply is not ready. Being interested in reading and being ready to read are really 2 different things. However I figured if this idea may help her along and make it easier for her to learn while finding it fun and enjoyable why not?
So the idea is to write out words but write the vowels in a different color than the rest of the word. We are just doing a simple notebook and am starting by going through the alphabet writing down 8 or 9 new vocab words a day. While writing the vowels in different colors DID indeed seem to help a lot, Corin asked if I would write out different colors by the syllables rather than vowels. So we tried it and for Corin writing syllables in different colors really helped by leaps and bounds.
Whether it is helping her to slow down, or making it easier for her to break up the words, or just the different colors are helping send the messages in clearer images to her brain, not sure. What I do know is that she is really really enjoying this activity and it IS making reading words much easier for her! Once we go through the new day's vocab words, she likes to then work backwards going over each page again!
I have never pressured her to read and have always taken a relaxed approach with her, being very patient helping her sound out words when she wanted help. It has been a very natural process, a natural process her brother seemed to be able to do over night when one day at 8 years old it simply clicked for him and he knew how. For Corin, it has been a much longer journey, one she has gotten frustrated with many of times for how difficult it seemed to her. Is she Dyslexic? maybe, she has aunts that are, I suppose it may depend on how you look at learning disabilities and the labels that are used for them.
Regardless of the reasons she is only beginning to grasp how to read at 10, I am confident that when she is ready, she will read. I am confident that many other unschoolers report their children learning to read at 10, 12 and sometimes even as late as 14 and that when they do, you do not see a gap. I am confident that while one child is ready to learn to read by age 8 that another child is not ready and that is perfectly okay, that forces the issue may cause much more harm than good. I am confident that as my daughter has struggled in this area for quite a while now, that the way we have allowed it to develop naturally, with no pressure, crying or shouting, that she still LOVES to read and has a deep love for books. I am happy to have found an activity that she finds really fun and that is making a difficult task, easier and more enjoyable for her.