What happens at the start of another school year? The measuring stick comes out and we compare our kids against others.
My 5-year-old can write his name well enough that it’s recognizable. He can recognize letters, and he knows his alphabet, but he has no desire to learn. We talk about it, try to sound it out, but there’s no real eagerness on his end to learn to read.
His new best friend from school came over for some weekend fun, and he picked up a book on the coffee table and said “Thomas in Trouble,” flipped it open and started to read out loud.
Woah, I thought. This kid is 4 months younger than my son and blasting through the pages whereas my 5-year-old has no interest in reading.
We’re hoping school solves that issue, but in an era of Tiger moms, redshirting, and helicoptering home schoolers, a part of me wonders: is my son already falling behind?
You can compare yourself to other kids, but really it boils down to me, my wife, my son, and his teachers.
At the first parent teacher interviews last month I brought up the issue and asked when reading would be part of the curriculum.
Not until Grade 1, they said. There is some letter sounding and recognizing in kindergarten, but phonics don’t come into play until next year.
My niece entered grade 1 this year, already reading at a grade 3 level. Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, are already favourites. She’s not learning to read, she’s a reader. My son isn’t.
Now while I have a small pang of worry in a corner of my mind, the rational brain has taken over and understands the the fact my son can’t read in kindergarten is not a big issue.
Kids have time. Who really cares if your kid rolled over at 3 months and was reading at 2? Things even out in the long run, this school and growing thing our kids go through is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be things they speed through, and other areas where they will lag.
We’ll continue to talk to him about reading, we’ll continue to help him sound out words when we see them on signs, and he’ll get there – eventually.