The Girl Can’t Read–words.
Naomi started Violin lessons over the summer. There’s a notion that most public schools don’t embrace and that is that when a child is ready for something, they’ll do it. A year ago an hour of time spent trying to teach Naomi how to tie her shoes was fruitless and frustrating. Last week I demonstrated it twice and she walked away knowing how to tie her shoes.

Back to violin. Naomi has been taking ‘music’ lessons for some time, but they were introductory and more about rhythm and getting them comfortable with looking at notes, hearing tones, etc. Now, though we weren’t sure until she began, Naomi is ready to play violin. She picked it up, and can even read music after only a few months–it’s amazing. I expected to suffer through months, if not years of cat-fight-sounding screeches, but most of what she plays is actually pleasant. Not to say it’s all on key, or that she’s some sort of prodigy, I am just very pleased with her ability to enjoy it so quickly. The groundwork was laid and now she will be able to progress, not without instruction, but it’s coming very naturally to her–like with the shoe-tying.

I’m not embarrassed to say that Naomi can’t read. She’ll be 7 in a few weeks and though at times it’s been difficult not to feel like we’re doing something wrong by NOT forcing it, I really feel that we’re still in the foundation-laying time. Drew and I both read, we read to her constantly; her vocabulary is huge and her comprehension fantastic. When the time is right we will be ready for her readiness; but now, as always, I remind myself that late readers are often the ones who enjoy reading the most (according to a recent article I read), and what are we trying to prove anyway? I’d rather she know how to be kind, so I’ll force that learning on her instead for now…


  • MamaWestWind Posted September 14, 2011 6:46 pm

    I know what you mean about about the difficulty of feeling wrong by not forcing reading. I've gone through the same and even had to have more than a few conversations with our Papa for him to understand why.

    We live in this society that says the earlier the better. But is that really the best thing? So many kids start their elementary years knowing how to read in Kindy but then they get sick of school so young. Their attitude changes from eager learning to feeling weary in learning.

    It helps to read others experiences. My son also has a big vocabulary, loves to listen to us read, comprehension better than mine most days. He also looks at books constantly. That eagerness to learn, the excitement to hear the next chapter, this is so precious! I'm willing to wait and see it unfold.


  • Joy Posted September 15, 2011 12:30 am

    You're so right, Lacey. Finn has shown varying amounts of interest in reading so I just try to follow his lead. Amazingly, kids really seem to show interest in what is right for them at any given time. The picture of Naomi playing is just adorable. 🙂

  • Anonymous Posted September 15, 2011 5:47 am

    You know, the thing which struck me about this post? This one sentence gave me a physical reaction:

    "I am just very pleased with her ability … to enjoy it so quickly".

    That was not how I expected that sentence to end, and I didn't realise it until I finished the sentence. I wondered why I had a feeling of dread quickly followed by a feeling of relief and then joy.

    I learnt to play violin. It was an awful experience of many dreadful teachers coupled with my own parents' expectations that I should do it well, not caring whether I enjoyed it, wanted to do it, or even understood the basics to make playing well possible. 🙁 My violin in the corner of the spare room fills me with many emotions, all negative.

    I'm glad you're able to be pleased with your daughter's enjoyment instead of pulling towards the next achievement goal. It gives me hope that I can be a different parent than what was modelled for me.

    – Tanja.

  • angwat Posted September 16, 2011 2:19 am

    umm…Naomi can read, she read me Dick and Jane…just ask her 🙂

  • Kallie Posted September 16, 2011 2:51 am

    I can vouch for the whole late reader thing. Elijah eats books. I have never seen a kid that loves to read as much as him and he didn't really read until he was 7…just trust the process and you are right, it is better that all children learn to be kind first. I can't wait to hear her play! Very exciting.

  • school house oils Posted September 16, 2011 1:18 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments, they're all really nice to read. And Ange, even Dick & Jane she's put aside and she doesn't want to try with anymore–I thought she'd made a breakthrough, but it was temporary and she isn't interested in trying with that anymore…

  • Freedom Three Posted September 16, 2011 9:26 pm

    i totally agree with not pushing them. they're going to learn to read. what's the rush? my daughter loves to write her letters and even sound letters out, but she's nowhere near being able to read. i am happy just letting her do what she likes as far as that is concerned. why frustrate her?

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