Ok, I need someone to tell me it is ok to have an 8 year old who can't read.
I am tired of people with children who taught themselves to read age 4 telling me that my child will get there in the end. Hey, oh parent of genius, what do YOU know?
I am tired of people who say 'Oh, I know how you feel. My daughter is only just reading too.' I look at their child who is a good two years younger than mine and think If you speak to me again I will impale your eyeballs on the ends of my fingernails.
I am also tired of the smug looks from home edders who structure their child's every moment and have rigorously taught (or perhaps forced?) their child to read every day since they were an infant and now have a gloating air every time their small child has their nose in the literary equivalent of war and peace. I so hope it costs you a fortune in therapy sessions years later when your child realises their life was ruined by a control freak.
I am tired of surprised looks from people when my daughter tells them she can't read. You don't believe her so you want to ask me as well? Or are you just hard of hearing? Perhaps you'd like me to shout it so EVERYONE can hear?
And I am really fed up with the way such people raise their eyebrows at me as if to say 'Really? Can't you EVEN teach your child to read?' If a monkey like you has managed to learn to speak then obviously I'm not hooked in to the right miracles.
And today I was tired of a small sprat of a boy who was laughing at my daughter when I was encouraging her to read a couple of words from a book in the library
'That is soooo easy!' I heard him snigger to his sister as they walked off.
Be thankful small evil one that I am self-controlled. Smacking a kid in the face may not be appropriate behaviour for an adult, but I am not known for my appropriate behaviour.
And I was cross with myself that his response then triggered me sit next to my 8 year old at home and make - yes make - her read a few words from a book that she simply wanted to enjoy listening to me read. Like this is going to help. Yeah. Go on mother, take a leaf out of the BAD book. You know you want to.
Ok. So most of the time I am alright about my daughter not being able to read and with my daughter not wanting to learn to read. And I'm even more alright about it if I'm careful about the company I keep (geniuses and prospective geniuses, hot-housing parents, and smug bastards, not invited to tea).
But today I am not ok with any of it and it makes me feel crap that it matters.
Yes, I can tell myself it is not unusual for home ed children to read at their own pace. I have heard many stories of home ed children not reading until they are 11 years old. But their child is not MY child and I am not that parent. Sure, dd can read a few words (at a push) when persuaded/bribed/skewered and roasted over a spit on a slow-turn. But that's not reading. At least not the sort of reading I want to encourage in my family. I don't want to be the sort of parent who makes their child read.
Yes, I can tell myself this is a momentary loss of HE confidence and that, as usual, it will pass.
Yes, I can tell myself she will get there in the end. But truth is, nobody knows whether any child will get there in the end. I have a 12-year-old who today was struggling to orientate himself around the automated library machine, because even after all my support over the years he still has problems processing text. A 12-yr-old who struggled to read out loud a short geography question today (and who because of the difficulty in processing what he was reading, hadn't got a clue what the question was, even after reading it three times).
Truth is, I know school would not have solved the problem. I know school most likely would have made the problem worse, or caused other problems. But being a home educator, sadly THE BUCK STOPS HERE.
And it aint pleasant.