I was educated in the world of homeschooling to believe that my child would pick up reading when she was ready.   My twin daughters were opposite ends of the spectrum. One began reading at age 5, the other struggled until I finally got her help at age 9.  How I wish I had helped her sooner.

Those years were tough for her.  I told her that everyone was different and she would learn when she was ready. No matter how often I told her it didn’t matter, I came to find out years later that it DID matter to her.  Her self-worth really took a beating as her peers began to read and she felt left behind and stupid.

By age 10 she was reading fluently. However, three years later she is still not willing to read in public.  It’s something which causes her horrible anxiety, she is always terrified that someone will ask her to read.

I still believe the reading will come, but to me, the bigger question is, at what price?  The price we have paid for waiting is one of a child who struggles with feeling stupid. A belief that bleeds into every aspect of her life.  She is intelligent and a great leader, but unfortunately those parts of her have received such a beating, they struggle to rise to the surface.

If I had to do it all again.  I would spend whatever time it took to make sure she had the resources necessary to read fluently at the rate of her peers. The price she has paid with the loss of self-worth and feeling stupid is too high.  I still believe a child will learn to read when they are ready, but I am not willing to see a child pay that price.

-Kim Goates