Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thrilled! A Breakthrough.

I truly believed we'd get here.  I just thought it might happen before now...but I'll take it.                             
Prince Go-for-It learning to throw pots
on the wheel from Princess Bossy
When I started homeschooling, I read, "The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook," and other books by famous homeschool pioneers, Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, who, with much educational experience and research behind them, believe that children orient a lot of their learning around play and work, and that education through activity and social means is much preferable to formal methods at the younger ages.   I want my children to be enthusiastic, lifelong readers and learners, not just people with the ability to read but with no passion for it, and that was the Moores' goal, too.                                                           
I have remembered all these years, the story of one of their sons who was later than the rest in reading on his own. They did a lot of reading aloud to their kids, choosing books that particularly interested them, and one day (at age 9 or 11) their son took off with the book and started reading because he 'just had to know what happened next.'   Their children rose to great heights in their educational and professional careers, so obviously, this late start did their son no damage in that way.                                                                                                       
"See, Mom?  This one is called
 a Red-Legged Frog"
Prince Go-for-It (13) has always been quite social, and eager to learn...about certain things.  He identified frogs in our yard, and figured out the gender of snakes by age 4 or 5.  At age 10, he was finding out what flies to use to catch what fish, and tying his own.  If we entertained Hubby's colleagues, the other kids would huddle upstairs, but Go-for-It was joining in conversations with the adults.  He's athletic and is loved and valued on his baseball team.  But schoolwork discouraged him and dampened an otherwise joyful spirit, due mostly to challenges with reading.  I worked hard to find him other means of learning, and tried to find the books that would connect to his interests.  He was OK with books on fishing, in which he could find little bits of information to answer specific questions, but with books he'd need to read from start to finish, he was having trouble.  He often couldn't remember what he'd read by the time he fought through a page or two.

Making Wooden Fishing Lures: Carving and Painting Techniques that Really Catch Fish
Making Wooden
Fishing Lures
For Christmas every year, we get the kids books.  Meeting the needs those who are not naturally passionate readers can be a dilemma, but I searched diligently for choices that will engage him.  For Prince Go-for-It this year, I chose 2 books that might appeal to him in different ways.  One was "Making Wooden Fishing Lures," trying to relate to his interest in fishing and hands-on projects, hoping the photos and focus would entice him to read the words.  The other was "Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back" by Josh Hamilton. I had been interested in this book after hearing the compelling testimony he shared as a guest on Family Life Today's radio broadcast...But Prince Go-for-It held him in high esteem after his heroic performance in the playoffs and World Series this past baseball season.  I wasn't sure, though, when it came, if it was the 'right' book to give.  It had a lot of pages and was written in a small print...The types of things that discourage the hesitant reader.  But the Christian role-model/baseball hero combination was strong and seemed so perfect, so I prayed, hoped, and wrapped the books.
Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back
Beyond Belief:
Finding the Strength to Come Back

When we've discussed doing projects for school, I've asked Prince Go-for-It about the wooden lures book, and I get a cool response, saying he's looked at it some, but otherwise shrugs it off.  He's been continuing his typical habit of disappearing upstairs as soon as he's completed the minimal amounts of required Math and Language Arts schoolwork.  Usually that means I'll go up to discover he's messing with fishing tackle, playing with the radio, or other task that's distracting him from chores or further studies.  
--But this time, he's been running up to continue reading the Josh Hamilton book!  
He talks about it at dinner...
He tells his dad about it when he comes in from work...
He can cite stats and tell stories he remembers from his reading...
He is amazed that a book can be so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!

I could cry.  Thank you, Lord, that this wonderful boy has discovered the joys of reading.  I am confident this will make such a positive difference in his life.  Now to help him find that next great book...

Further information on Dr Raymond and Dorothy Moore, and "The Moore Formula":
Moore Formula on
Better Late than Early on
The Moore Formula on

Books by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore:
Better Late Than Early
Home Grown Kids
The Successful Homeschool Handbook 
Home-Style Teaching for Parents and Teachers
Homeschool Burnout
School Can Wait
Minding Your Own Business

Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's EducationHome Grown KidsThe Successful Homeschool Family HandbookHome School Burnout: What It Is. What Causes It. and How to Overcome ItSchool Can WaitMinding Your Own Business: A Common Sense Guide to Home Management and Industry


  1. Congratulations on finding a book he's excited to read! I remember what a struggle it was to get WD to read anything. I finally gave up for a little while and subscribed to a few magazines for him. It's great that your little one is so excited about reading about such a great role model.

  2. Not so little at 13 and taller than I am! :-) But thanks. He's already thinking about what book might be as interesting to read next.

  3. Your perserverance paid off! Good for you for sticking with it. I tried for more than 10 years to go DH to read a book. I finally gave up. His mother should have caught him early like you did for your son! ;)

  4. My hubby wasn't encouraged to read or helped much, but enjoys books and wishes he could read better/faster...So he's been a big cheerleader for the kids being able to approach it more positively and read more easily. I think there's a big difference in being taught that reading is a 'have to' instead of a fun choice...and homeschooling helps us make that possible. Our son wasn't subject to anyone else's timeline or peer pressure, so didn't have to feel as bad about being behind...although even siblings can create some peer pressure.

  5. Thanks for this inspiring post! My son (7) is a slow reader and late scholastic bloomer in general. Daughter (5) inherited my poor fine motor skills and bad handwriting. I don't want to say "there is hope!" because I don't want to sound like my kids have to become something they are not or achieve in a particular way....but it is nice hearing the story of another late bloomer.

  6. If you read any of the info in the links, you'll see that it's completely normal for boys to be slower at these things...and I wouldn't worry at 5 either. I'm just not a hurrier. You can tell your kids are bright, and they have many years to soak in and absorb things.

  7. I'm still taller than my 14yo so I can still call him little one. This probably won't be for too much longer, though - his feet are already the same size as DH's. I love how you could keep the pressure off and let him come along at his own pace with the homeschooling.

  8. This particular prince outgrew his dad's shoes by at least a full size, and shot up past me by a few inches all in the last year! He used to be a little stocky, but not now.


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