Ask a Waldorf Teacher: Late Reader Because of an Accident and Stress. What Do I Do?

Every Wednesday our members get to ask Waldorf teacher Diane Power questions about their homeschooling experience, Waldorf education and more. These Q & A sessions are posted on the member blog every week so you have access to all the past Q & A sessions. Become a member of Earthschooling to get your questions answered personally every week.

Question from Member: I have a 9 almost 10 year old (end of September). He is not reading on his own and has struggles here – he did have an extra piece with a concussion at 7 from a car accident and we’ve been dealing with the trauma and head injury but I don’t know how much to attribute his real aversion. He’s very artistic/creative and mathematical and is constantly creating something/building something. He loves for me to read to him, especially young books. But he “hates” (his word) when we go to the library for his older brother who reads constantly and has been reading and goes through stacks of books daily. I just started the 1st grade curriculum over as that was where the letters were introduced with reading the fairy tales over. Yesterday he cradled that book and said this is my favorite book – the fairy tales, “I love these stories so much”. My question is two-fold – do I continue to do the first grade with the fairy tales with him and work my way back up with some of the 4th grade pieces especially the Norse – he also has full on 9-year change experience and he also has adult concepts he’s more interested in girls than his 12 1/2 year old brother. I’m confused and a little as he has so much going on in his temperament. I am second guessing myself a bit with him and worry. Thanks in advance for your feedback. – S.R.

Reply from Diane: Welcome and thanks for your question! It sounds as if the last year has had a lot of changes which can bring a lot of stress to any family.

With his 9yr change happening, your son has even more going on for him. I would recommend continuing with the fairy tale stories to introduce and work with the alphabet. You could go quicker since it is a review. To meet him at his age, you could begin to slowly tell the Norse myths as bedtime reading until you feel comfortable transitioning the stories to his main lesson work.

Another option would be to use the Norse stories as main lesson work, drawing the characters and writing a simple sentence for him to copy in his main lesson book, building on the complexity and quantity of the writing as the year progresses. Then have afternoon review of the fairy tales with the letters and play with that.

Overall I’m feeling that the goal is to encourage a love of story, give him tools to better his reading skills, and with rhythm and love decrease his stress to create a space for him to heal and flourish.

S.R.: Oh this helps so much! Thank you!!

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