Taking It For Granted

boy reading fiction book while leaning against wall

I’m tripping over books as I walk around the house today, and every time I do I’m just struck by the miracle that is my boys’ reading.  I’ve mentioned in other posts that there’s been a great deal of difficulty associated with home schooling here at Earnest Parenting.  This topic will be coming up again soon, and I’ll go into more detail then.  Suffice to say, I have been waiting a looooooong time to see boys actually choose to open a book and consume the information.  It’s amazing.

There is such a thing as “normal” or at least “age-expected” for children as they develop.   Let’s face it, the Bell Curve is a real phenomenon.  Most children develop in similar ways along similar time frames.

Then there are those who do not.   Some children are developmentally delayed with anywhere from mild to severe impairment, others are simply late bloomers.  I think maybe TechnoBoy and The Mercenary are late bloomers.

Parents who have children in the “normal” developmental scheme often take that pattern for granted and find it very easy to criticize someone who’s having a different experience.  That is a mistake, and very hurtful.  I hope I haven’t done that to anyone else; if I have, I apologize from the bottom of my heart.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying my boys are abnormal or problems.  On the contrary, they are fantastic human beings who make me laugh and thank God they’ve been given to me.  We have struggled though.

Today, I’m thankful they’re developing a love for books.  And I’m not complaining about the mess.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their children to excel.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • jae December 20, 2007, 2:51 pm

    I was smiling reading this post. We have struggled similarly with my older son (age 7) and just this week I’ve caught him several times propped up against the sofa with a book by his own accord. My youngest is a late talker. He wouldn’t say a word until he was over 2 years old. He’s 2.5 now and is saying more and more each day, working his way into sentences at his own rate. We’ve worried for so long and while yes, he is definitely ‘behind’ on the curve — he is more definitely his own person with his own schedule.

    Reply
  • Milander December 21, 2007, 6:25 pm

    Yes, there is a curve bt never forget that Einstein famously didn’t start speaking until he was 4, Picasso didn’t start conversation until he was 7!!

    There is a bell curve of course but that is simply an indication of the averages not an indication of intelligence or ability. Bottom line is that if your children have any learning or intellectual problems then, if you have access to a competent doctor, they would have been detected by now.

    As a father of two boys being raised by a bi-racial family, I’m Welsh my wife is Hungarian, I’m often confronted with different expectations. In Hungary, where we live now (11 years so far) children are not expected to learn to read until they are 7 or 8. In the UK the expected reading age is around 5 or 6.

    These differences are giving me headaches but I’m learning to go with the flow. At the moment my eldest has just turned 5 and loves to sit and look at books, often he will tell me the story from his interpretation of the pictures or from what he remembers of when I last read the story to him.

    Give it time, don’t listen to what other ‘experts’ tell you and most especially do NOT believe the parenting books. According to them my first child should have been walking at 12 months, he didn’t until 18 months, my second boy was running (a very fast totter at least) by 11 months.

    Kids are all different and they all turn out OK with love, attention and nurturing.

    Reply
  • Amy December 21, 2007, 11:01 pm

    @Jae: I’m smiling that you were smiling. 🙂

    @Milander: I’m pretty familiar with the implications of the curve. 🙂 Did all the educational stats classes in college. Sooooo much fun. The difficulties that the older boys have had are real, although not dramatic enough that I ever mentioned them to a doc. My own background, education and experience w/ learning difficulties, etc. has been the basis of evaluation. The younger boys are quite a bit different, have learned faster and more intuitively and I’ve made much less effort to teach them anything after all the struggles with the older boys.

    What I have found is that if I directly explain something very concretely to them, they do fine. I frequently stop when I’m talking to them and ask “do you know what that means?” if I’ve used an abstract word. They’ve learned to trust me enough to tell me if they don’t know it (and 80% of the time they don’t), so I explain it in concrete terms and we continue. The more that I’ve done that, the more I can see them making connections…almost building little maps in their heads and connecting the dots between tidbits of information. It’s increasing faster and faster, which I find thrilling. I remain convinced that at least one of the older boys would have been diagnosed Learning Disabled if he’d gone to public school.

    It’s definitely not an intelligence issue. More of a language processing or acquisition delay.

    Ignore parenting books and experts. Check. 😉 Love and nurture. Check. I’m on it.

    Thanks for stopping by, both of you. Hope to get more input from you in the future.

    Reply
  • Robert @ reason4smile December 22, 2007, 5:56 am

    Hi Amy, that’s great, reading is really a good habit if they can start from childhood, you’ll have smart boys =)
    Encourage them more!

    Robert

    Reply
  • Naomi Dunford December 31, 2007, 10:35 pm

    Books are very, very big in this house. Before Jack got his glasses, he had one page of each book that he would study for ten, twenty minutes at a time, chatting away. Now he has the specs and he’s flipping pages and reading away to himself.

    Funnily enough, though, Michael didn’t really start reading until this year. He was categorized as gifted with his main bag being verbal development but couldn’t read his way out of a wet paper bag. When the invariable nosy relatives asked about him, we said he was too busy talking to read. Then eight happened and Holy Moly! Harry Potter, Spiderwick, Lemony Snicket, blogs, Guinness, Wikipedia… if it’s written, he’s reading it.

    We figured out that between Christmas gifts and stuff bought with Michael’s Christmas money, the boys got 50 books between them this holiday season. I’m sure that far off in the future, when they’re both seeing therapists about their lack of normalization in society, this Christmas will feature heavily in their discussions.

    Reply
  • Amy January 1, 2008, 3:08 pm

    Wow, 50 books. 🙂 That’s fantastic. Do they have the Scholastic Book Fairs at schools in Canada? It’s a portable book store that tours public schools around here. The super cool thing is they have special warehouse sales a few times a year for teachers, librarians, homeschoolers, and parent volunteers. Everything is at least 50% off retail. We went last month and the boys chose a whole lot of books to enjoy. 🙂 And some toys as well. But a good box full of books was schlepped home from the sale. We’re looking forward to the next one in May.

    Reply
  • Mainstay Ministries March 13, 2011, 10:01 pm

    My toddlers is delayed talker too, but as they said that boys are really behind though I’m not sure if its true. And Im happy as they are also fond of books.
    Mainstay Ministries´s last blog post ..Parenting Us- How God Does It

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge March 18, 2011, 9:27 pm

      Mainstay Ministries, I think if they’re fond of books then you’ve got an awfully fine start.

      Reply