Sometimes I cringe when reading homeschooling chat boards. Well, I often avoid them like the plague, unless I have a specific question or issue. They make me a little crazy. It is the same feeling I get when going into a mega-baby store - "I must be missing something. I think I need that. Oh my gosh, I am so not prepared!"
Only with many homeschool chat boards (actually, parenting boards, in general), you will eventually run across this message (more or less):
"Help! Does anyone have any suggestions? My (3-year-old/5-year-old/10-month-old), just loves Shakespeare/Tolstoy/the Bible-in-original-Hebrew-and-Greek. I need suggestions to help nourish his/her mind, are age-appropriate, yet challenging enough to keep him/her interested ."
(and you can hear the poster thinking "but not like the books your "average" children are reading, like Spongebob, Babysitter's Club, Harry Potter, and See Spot Run")
Now that I have offended many people, let me say that I have had children just like that! Really! Well, minus the Tolstoy part - I mean, come on, that is just ridiculous! Seriously, the Young Adult and Cookie Boy both taught themselves to read at the age of 4. I didn't even realize Cookie Boy could read until his pre-K Religious Ed teacher told me he did such a good job reading out loud in class, and they were all wondering how I did it, because none of their children could read like that. I looked at her, dazed, and said helplessly, "He can read?" I asked him on the drive home if he read in class, and in his Cookie Boy fashion, shrugged his shoulders and said, "yeah".
"Will you read to me at home?"
And he did. To my amazement. You have to watch out for that Cookie Boy. He is the only quiet one, and you know what they say about still waters running deep....
Romeo did not read like his brothers. He struggled with it for a while. I was a bit at a loss, because I had never had to teach one of my children to read. I found a great book (Phonics Pathways, by Dolores G. Hiskes), and after working through that during last year, he finally caught on. Boy, did he! We are doing the Half-Price books summer reading program right now and the boys have to log reading minutes. They are required to read 15 minutes a day, but Romeo logged 1021 minutes for the week! So, starting later than his brothers has been no hinderance to the boy!
I had to laugh today when the Mad Toddler brought me CS Lewis's 7th book in the Narnia series, The Last Battle. He asked me to read it to him. So I did and then he wrote an excellent essay on the symbolism as it relates to the book of Revelations. Well, I wrote it while he dictated to me, silly! He is only 2!
Actually, he enjoyed thumbing through it and finding pictures of the "lion - rraaaaaawwwrrrr"! I brought out some of the Mad Toddler's books, since I figured he was in a reading mood.
He humored me, then went and got The Last Battle again.
Okay, it is upside down, but that is just how smart he is! He can read CS Lewis upside down!
A book and a snack!
Then, CS Lewis seemed ridiculously easy to him, so the Mad Toddler brought out the big guns! Yup, Dante's Inferno.
"Hmmmm.....I find the 2nd circle of Hell to be quite surprising!"
Of course, while writing this he has abandoned his books and is attempting to jump on his older brothers, WWF style. I find myself saying to the Mad Toddler, "Do NOT jump on your brother's head!"
Ah well! Genius comes and goes!