We're nearing the end of Mason's seventh year, and it's looking like he may turn seven before he learns how to read. I say this with much trepidation, because it's such a taboo subject. Most people who go through this with their children don't usually talk about it until years later when their children finally do begin to read. And you can bet I'm feeling the pressure from all sides to get him reading. Nowadays it seems like children who aren't reading by the end of kindergarten are considered 'slow,' and are considered late readers. And children who can't read by the end of first grade? Sign them up for every. tutor. available.
Add homeschooling on top of that, and things get even more pressing. Many people expect homeschooled children to be either super advanced, or extremely unfortunate. I fell for the super advanced spiel before I knew any better, and exhausted myself last year trying to get Mason to read. Language arts has always been my best subject, so I thought it was a given that it would be Mason's, too. Unlike teaching math, I never even considered that LA would be something I would have trouble teaching. Then I ended up trying SO many different methods throughout the year trying to find the one that clicked for him. And you know what? I exhausted him, too.
At the end of the year after one particularly trying lesson that ended in tears, both of us yelling, and time-out (for us both) I threw in the towel. I decided he would learn when he learns...even if it isn't until he's nine (read below). Though I sincerely hope it's earlier than that. *crosses fingers*
It wasn't until a month later, when I was planning our next school year, that I remembered something about Mason: he is extremely stubborn. So stubborn that I'm sure he literally does it unconsciously. He's the boy who would NOT use the big boy potty, no matter how hard I tried to get him to. He was almost four when I finally showed him the last diaper in the box, and told him I wouldn't be buying another box. He used that last diaper, and never once wet his pants or the bed after that. Even just a few months later after multiple brain surgeries when he woke up and screamed to have his catheter taken out, so he could pee like a big boy. Even during long nights in the hospital. He took that step when he was ready, just like he has done in so many other areas of his life.
We're only a week into our school year for first grade, and if I'm being honest, I am worried. But, as he's shown me before, Mason runs on his own schedule. This year I'm providing him with short, no-pressure lessons (and have vowed to never again make him cry over school). When he's ready, he'll do the rest. And I'll be SURE to let you know when that happens. :)
Note: I DO plan to make sure there isn't an underlying problem here. He shows a few signs of dyslexia, but those are the same signs that come after having brain surgery, and are also long-effects of chemo and radiation. Soooo there's a lot there that could be causing this. Rest assured, I plan to get these ruled out (or confirmed) before too long!