Fairy was not keen on reading. She had struggled a little when at School and watching her peers surge ahead with the reading Scheme knocked her confidence and completely turned her off the idea.
She left School at the end of Year 3 and was a very reluctant reader and certainly not fluent. She had not reached free reader stage at School when we de-registered.
I used to blog hop in those early days and wonder how we could get from where we were to having an enthusiastic reader. There were beautiful pictures around the web of home educated children curled up somewhere comfy with their nose in a book. Fairy though just wasn’t interested, she wasn’t bothered with being read to either. It really just wasn’t her thing.
So what did we do and what happened? Well slowly we came to accept that maybe she would never be keen on reading, after all we can’t all like everything can we? However we continued to visit the library on a weekly basis and Fairy would happily choose books to take home, some I would read aloud, some she would flick through, most sat untouched until they returned to the library. We would listen to audiobooks in the car, some we would abandon midway through (Wind in the Willows). Others were enjoyed -David Walliams. We would trial magazines. We offered, we strewed, we would try out books recommended by other home educators. We would read the same books over and over again (Daisy and the trouble with… books). Sometimes it felt a bit in vein but we persevered and continued to offer a literature rich environment. Very slowly and without us really noticing things began to change.
In fact it was only last week that I took stock and realised what had happened. We missed our weekly library trip, Fairy asked me to take her later that week as she had finished her book. We made the trip but our library was closed – Fairy was disappointed. We went the following day and Fairy checked out two books. I discovered tonight that she has finished one book and enjoyed it ( and has requested other titles in the series for Christmas) and has started the other. My reluctant reader now reads every night before going to sleep……for fun! She is also accurate, fluent and reads with lovely expression. We had long since given up on Toe by Toe but we tried out the last page for fun some time ago and she had no difficulty at all.