This little six year old just sounded out "Neapolitan", Sauerkraut", and "Liquorice"

I shared this picture in July, when reading to my daughter. She brings armfuls of picture books to me some days. Octonauts is her favourite television show, and she has every Octonauts book ever made. On this occasion, she was just looking at a big picture of a pretend menu, showing “kelp cakes” and she started sounding out the names of the flavours. I didn’t know she knew how to do that at all!

– Sarah Clark


Paths to reading

My oldest is 17 now , she particularly loved my reading books to her and was interested in letters from a very early age. She repeated words I was reading , was reading reading short words around the age of 3 , and slowly developed from there. Reading and now writing remain her passions and she went through many books reading them in whole series. She loves writing stories and enjoys reading other people’s writings on Wattpad.

My middle daughter is 15 and also loved listening to books I read to her. She always listened silently while looking at words and pictures. By the age of around 10 , having learnt the alphabet before, she started trying to read words but found confusing as soon as trying to string them together in some way.  Learning to back off, not worry , stop making suggestions was a whole challenge for me but left to herself she has learnt to read via games she enjoys, reading comments on various game related and music sites etc…  From around the age of 13 she started asking me less and less to help her with words. Not being in school has certainly avoided any feelings of ” something is wrong”.

My youngest is 12 . He showed little interest in books and reading until around the age of 9 when he found some online games he really enjoyed including Minecraft. I use to sit with him as he asked me to read what was on the screen and gradually just took over the reading. His desire to communicate with others was his driving force. By the age of 11 he was reading fluently as he expanded his vocabulary through doing Google searches and reading online etc…

In the process of learning to read naturally, they have also naturally learnt spelling, punctuation and grammar.

All three learnt to read each in their own way and very different ways and I have always had a lot of books and magazines/ newspapers around and I enjoy reading.
I think seeing each one learn at their own pace, whether walking, talking, reading really highlighted for me the importance of being able to step back from our own pre conceived ideas of how things ” should ” be happening.

Another example of learning I am always amazed at is :” typing skills”.
Learning Typing has as far as I know always required attending a course whereas now we can see that skills can be picked up naturally as I see children of various ages type so naturally and with such ease.

– Parvine


My 6 year old says he can’t read, though I’ve been seeing signs of growing literacy since 3, starting with symbols on the remote control and pictorial signs at the park. Last night we went to Pizza Express and he enthusiastically drew on and did the dot-to-dots on his children’s menu. He’s been through a phase of avoiding/seeming uncomfortable with anything literacy related, around when his same-aged friends started school. It was really nice to see him enjoy this, with no feelings of inadequacy or fears of failure.

– Anna