Did you teach your own children to read?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by milteachwife, May 9, 2010.

  1. milteachwife

    milteachwife Rookie

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    May 9, 2010

    This is a teacher's resource website, so I feel this is a fair question. Did you teach your own children to read? I have four of my own ages 7 to 2 (in August), and I wondering now that I'm well on the path to become an elementary school teacher what other teachers are expecting of me as a parent. I did not teach my 7 year old to read. She learned at school. At home I read to her. We did art projects, practiced ABC's, and writing her name. She knew her shapes and some phonics, but did not read until the end of kindergarten. The kindergarten teacher said she struggled. I continued to work with her at home over the summer. When she started first grade her attitude changed. It is like she blossomed. Personally, I did not even like her first grade teacher. My daughter loved her. I held my tongue. She has grow tremendously over the year to include reading very well. So, I feel a little bit of a failure because I know I did not teach her to read. She would rather go to school to learn than sit down with me. My graduating kindergarten son is a different story. He loves to sit with me to learn. I just have done as much with him as I did with my daughter because I've been alone with the 4 kids for almost a year while my husband has been deployed. Between grad school, the house, and getting meals on the table I'm pressed to read to them even once or twice a week. I'm trying a little harder. I know I will be better with educating my own children when my husband returns. Aren't teacher's kids supposed to be at the head of the class? I feeling really guilty. I've got 2 more chances at this. Please offer your advice.:help:
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 9, 2010

    Parents are their children's first teachers...that doesn't mean you have to teach them to read, but you do lay the foundation for the learning they will do in school. Having a home filled with books and reading them together, playing nursery rhyme finger games, telling stories, books on tape, visiting library story times, coloring, cutting, gluing, using play dough...all of these are learning activities that support early emergent literacy skills in reading and writing.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 9, 2010

    Why should teachers' kids be at the head of the class? We're parents just like any other parent. Our kids have the same variety of skill and talent as any other kids. Kids develop at different rates. Our jobs as parents is to create a loving, safe homelife thats conducive to learning. It sounds like you've done that. Now stop worrying.

    An interesting side story....
    When I was doing my master's degree, I got to chatting with one of the professors. Now, my masters is in pure math, and this guy was one of the super genius types in the department. His wife was a physics professor. So, we were talking about our own kids, and he was lamenting that his daughter, who was a HS freshman, just failed Algebra I and would be going to summer school. He was a little frustrated with the school because they expected her to be "the best" because of who here parents were and what they did for a living. Ummmm, no. Our kids are not us. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. Putting pressure on them to be the best, just because they're teachers' kids doesn't do anybody any good.
     
  5. milteachwife

    milteachwife Rookie

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    Thank you, I needed that. I'll love them, and educate them as any parent would. I really don't need the extra pressure. We have more fun together anyway when I'm not the teacher. However, that doesn't keep my mind from wondering when we are at the zoo, beach, or museum just how the experience would fit into a lesson plan. I've just got learning on the the brain. :cool:
     
  6. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Both of my kids learned to read at school. I worked with them, read to them, drilled them, and played games with them. But I never had a formal reading lesson with either. My son learned in Kindergarten to read wonderfully. My daughter is in 1st and reads on almost 3rd grade level. I am mom, not their teacher.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 9, 2010

    As a parent, I latch onto any real life learning experiences that come up in our day to day lives. My children, who are 7, 8, and 11 in two days, can tell you a little bit about kinetic/potential energy (how does gas make a car move), negative numbers (various situations), density (why does this float and that sink), and lift (why does a plane stay up), among other things. The only reason they know those things is because I was prepared to answer their questions when they were asked. That has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a teacher. My dad did the same for me and my siblings as we were growing up, and he's an engineer.

    As for reading, they've eached progressed at their own pace. I provide a home filled with books and reading. If they ask quesitons, I do my best to answer. If they need help, I do what I can to help. My three children have had dramatically different "schedules" in learning to read. Matthew was "normal", Stuart read easily right from the start, and William has had more than his fair shair of struggles, though he's still within "normal" ranges.

    Children are individuals, with their own strengths and weaknesses. Its our job to give them a safe place to explore those strengths and weaknesses, and to support them in their efforts. It's NOT our job to have the best kids in the class. They are children, just like any other, who will grow and develop as individuals.
     
  8. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I taught each of my three children to read at age 3, using the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. They all enjoyed learning and were amazing readers by age 4.

    In school, they received nothing in the way of differentiated instruction. They were given beginning sounds worksheets along with the rest of the non-readers.

    They are all excellent, honor roll students. But who is to say they wouldn't have achieved that without the early boost? I'll never know, and sometimes I think they were bored in school in the early years, being such advanced readers.

    There are pros and cons to this, as to everything.
     
  9. milteachwife

    milteachwife Rookie

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    I'm not looking for an excuse not to do more at home. However, I'm afraid of them becoming behavior problems for their teachers because the are bored in school. That happened in pre-k for my now 7 year old. The skills that were the focus of the state run program in FL were too much of a review for my daughter. She actually lost skills I'd taught her at home and I'd get notes in her communication book that she'd was disruptive in class. She just needed more to engage her, but we both were not ready for kindergarten. I'm sure there's a balance, I've just got to find it.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Just keep doing what you're doing at home. Keep providing that loving, engaging home; that place where your children are free to explore, ask questions, mess up, and learn from their experiences. They might be bored academically, but they're getting social experiences there. Quit worrying. :)
     
  11. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    May 9, 2010

    Hooked on Phonics did it for my daughter. She read a book for her Kindergarten graduation. I made sure HOP got the credit. I helped my son because he was b4 HOP came out, and of course the teachers helped too.:D
    Rebel1
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    May 9, 2010

    I don't expect kids whose parents are teachers to come in reading, I do have an expectation that they have been read to and that their parents will follow through with home activities from the school. I also worry more about teacher's kids when their parents expect them to be the best in the class and do so much more than the other kids and/or be perfect behaviorally. Keep doing what you are adoing and try to read to them as often as possible - make 5 nights a goal if you can :)
     
  13. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I taught my 1st grader to read - because he is extremely ADHD (even on meds doesn't attend easily). He needed to one on one. He was struggling very badly and now reads great.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 9, 2010

    My parents were not teachers, nor did either have a college education. However, I entered first grade at age 5 (skipped kindergarten) knowing how to read, write, and do some math. My parents stressed the importance of learning and getting a good education. I was at the top of my class all through elementary school, and I graduated in the top 20 of my high school class.

    My college roommate's mother was a teacher, and she once talked about how her mother never taught her to read, read to her, or did much help with her homework.

    I've had many teacher's children, and they come in all abilities and levels of motivation. Some are underachievers, some are average, and some are overachievers. Sometimes they're poorly behaved, and sometimes they're well-behaved.
     
  15. MsMongoose

    MsMongoose Companion

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    May 10, 2010

    Maybe your daughter blossomed in 1st grade because she had hit the part of reading that was she was naturally good at and, with luck, she'll be good at it the rest of her life.) It kinda sounds like an internal "switch' got pushed to 'on'.

    We don't want our children to be put in the same kind of position as "preacher's kid" (PK), which can mean that everything they do is seen as a reflection of their parent. My best friend in high school was a PK, and he really resented it.
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I think it has a lot to do with the individual child. I would never assume anything about a child's abilities based on their parents' profession. I was reading before my peers in Kindergarten. I definitely learned at home and I know my mother worked with me from a very young age. I didn't go to preschool but I guess she gave me a lot of readiness activities to do. I only remember being read to a LOT. She was not a teacher and had only 1 year of community college under her belt (no education classes). Then, I went to school and she tried to get my younger brother to read. He had no desire to and she had done the same things with him that she had done with me. He ended up reading by 1st grade. All kids are different and they all develop at their own pace.
     
  17. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    May 10, 2010

    Many kids would rather be taught anything by anyone other than their parents.

    Did your parents teach you to drive? Or did someone else? Are you familiar with all the jokes about a wife trying to teach the husband how to do something, or vice versa?

    There is a level of objectivity on the teacher's part (whoever that person may be) versus a level of subjectivity on the parents' part, which the learner feels. It can make the learner very nervous.

    So, don't feel bad. It's natural. :hugs:

    And it's a very good thing that your child loves the teacher -- it will help in learning!
     
  18. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    May 10, 2010

    I sortof taught myself to read. I had the unfair advantage of a mom who is an early literacy expert, a stay-at-home dad, and two older sisters who were in middle school when I was born. Every part of our nightly routine was designed to be educational to me. I would sit in a car seat on the table while my sisters did their homework. They did their work by "playing school" and would "teach" all the concepts to me. I had educational toys and games. My sisters read to me each night. There were books everywhere! I read the newspaper to my dad each morning, at first just describing the pictures, until I really could read the paper.

    I remember one time my mom had some students and we were giving them some of my toys I had outgrown. I asked her why they needed all of my ABC toys, and she said, "They don't have any, and they need them to help them learn more at home." "Why?" "Because some parents don't understand how important that is." That conversation has stuck with me over 20 years later.
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 10, 2010

    I've tried to read to my boys almost every night since they were very young. It was easier with the older two, because they were close in age. Their brother, though, is 4 year younger than the closest brother and his siblings were usually watching a video before bed, which made it very difficult to keep his attention on his book. The two older boys have become avid readers, the younger brother loves books too, but has struggled a bit more than they did.

    So I began taking extra time during their visits with me to sit down with my youngest and have him practice his reading skills. I didn't teach him to read, but I reinforced what the lessons he was receiving at school. Within a month, his teacher could see a difference.

    I feel all three boys have enough "lesson time" at school (for the most part), so I don't make them sit down for more drills when they get home. Instead, I work on providing a loving, nurturing environment and try to gear many of their activities towards learning and development. I do still read to the boys every single night. It's hard finding something to interest all of them since two are in middle school and their brother is in 1st grade, but my aunt gave me an old series of Bible stories my grandfather gave her and these seem to work very well.
     
  20. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    May 10, 2010

    I used the same book for my middle and youngest sons (my youngest just turned four, so we've only gotten about a quarter of the way through the book). My main concern was that English is a second language, and my middle son doesn't have terrific language abilities. His first grade teacher gushed over the results of an assessment she did within the first month -- she had thought he'd be able to read maybe just a few words, but he read about 120 of 150 of the words on her assessment.

    With my oldest I didn't have the same concern about linguistic abilities, and while I'm teaching my youngest it's mostly because he enjoys it -- every time I suggest it he jumps up happily and agrees, even if he's in the middle of something else.

    All kids are different. Some take to things quickly and easily, and others take more time. Growing up is a long road, and some who don't take to things quickly initially more than make up for it later on. So, parents would be well-advised to remember they're looking at the long-range goal, and shouldn't fret if their child is not "head of the class" at one particular time. The goal shouldn't be to produce a superb third grade, or fourth grade, or eighth grade student -- it should be to help your child grow into good adults.
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 10, 2010

    I was reading by the time I was 4. I can't remember exactly mom teaching me or reading to me, but I just know I was reading before kinder. My daughter is in kinder right now. She was not reading by 4 and I thought I was doing something wrong. I read to her every night. She did know her ABC's and some numbers before she hit kinder. Now she reads to me at night, we review sight words for a few minutes. I don't think I could have taught her to read. Just like I don't think I could homeschool. We just butt heads on a lot of things (too much alike I think!). But we're 3 weeks from the end of kinder and she's reading and doing math. I don't expect her to be at the top of her class, though that would be great, but just do the best she can.
     
  22. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    May 10, 2010

    My daughter will enter K this fall, now 4 years, 9 months. I read to her every night before bedtime and she expects that as part of her routine. She isn't much of a reader, though...though she loves to draw and write letters, including her name.

    My nephew, who is about 6 months younger than my DD, is a voracious reader...pretty advanced for his age, but couldn't write to save his life.

    Kids are all a little different, but in the end, they'll get there, right?
     
  23. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

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    May 10, 2010

    I didn't "teach" my son to read, but he just learned. I mean, I'd teach him random little things and read to him (not even every night), but he just has an amazing memory and knack for it, I guess. He's reading at a second grade level in K. That said, I'm pretty sure that my youngest will not be like this--we're still working on his colors and he's 3. Kids are different and they learn differently!
     
  24. teach24iam

    teach24iam Comrade

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    May 10, 2010

    As a Kindergarten teacher, I would never "expect" a parent to teach their children how to read or teach any other academic area. I would expect they respect school so their child does, I would expect them to re-inforce what I do at school, so their child understands how important it is, and I would expect them to foster a love of school, so their child loves it. Does that all happen, of course not...but as you said, not all parents have the time to "teach" their children, but as long as they take the time to make it important and model that school is important, that is 1/2 the battle...One also has to consider that some parents just don't have the knowledge to help their children learn to read, write or other academic items....Keep doing what your doing! :)
     
  25. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    May 10, 2010

    I have read to my children since before they were born. We did use "Bob" books somewhat when they were little and very much wanted to learn to read. It was completely driven by their interest - not mine. When they decided they wanted to read other books, that is what we did.

    No teacher expected them to come in knowing how to read - regardless of the fact that I am a teacher - just as they didn't expect them to be able to add/subtract/multiply since their father is an accountant. Ha ha!!

    Just read to them, talk to them, and let them know you love them!
     

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