The Late Reader (and why that's OK)
May 1, 2019
In This Issue:
Mercy Every Minute  
Remembering the Goal

Half of my children were early readers and half were late readers. There were struggles that we pushed through. Some tears were dried. But in the end, with consistent day by day help and encouragement, they are all good readers now. One needed vision help; one needed help for dyslexia—some needed more time. We read aloud, listened to audio books, had the children read aloud to me, and made progress in due time. 

Dianne Craft answers the questions of what to think when reading doesn’t start easily. Specifically, if you wait, will it be too late? Here is an excerpt:

“My son is 7 ½ and isn’t reading yet. It was so easy for my other children! Should I wait and let him grow into it, or is something else going on?” – Concerned homeschooling parent

What if your child is the same age as your other children were when they were eagerly reading, but is either not interested in learning to read, or is having great difficulty learning to read? Do you panic? Do you have this child tested? Do you wait? Will the reading just “click” at some point, if you wait long enough? How does a mother know if this is a “maturity issue” or if this difficulty is a sign of a learning disability? . . . These are the “red flags” I look for in a seven and a half year old who is either avoiding or struggling with reading. Click here to read the rest.

The most important reason we learn to read is to understand and obey God’s Word. That is our goal in learning to read and our goal for all of life as we obediently keep our children Home Where They Belong.

 “ And he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God” Deuteronomy 17:19.

Speaking of reading struggles, I will be speaking at the  SCOPE Conference  June 7-8 on  Reading Struggles and Overcoming Obstacles . I would love to see my CA friends there! Also coming up in June, my daughter, Hannah Wuehler, will be taking a group of high school and college-aged students on a West Coast pro-life tour. If you have young adults who would like to be trained in Biblical ethics, apologetics, and pro-life evangelism, this would be a great opportunity for them. Space is limited, so email Hannah soon at  for more information.

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Early or Late...It Doesn't Matter
Nothing stirs empathy in my soul like you homeschool moms do. You're all so afraid of . . . everything. Will your child ever learn their letters, the sounds they make, and the magic of putting them together into words and sentences?

It doesn't help when some of our children (or worse yet, someone else's) learn to read early and easily. "Isn't it amazing that their five year old has read the entire Lord of the Rings saga . . . and is now working through the G.A. Henty volumes?"

Distressed moms come up to my table at countless homeschool conventions and whisper, "My ten-year-old son is still not reading." I can tell from the look in their eyes that it carries the same gravity as if their child had grown a trunk in place of a nose.

The look of distress, worry, and “What am I going to do with this child?” is all over their faces. What's worse is that their children see the look and know it's not good and that they're the problem to be fixed.

Mom, please hear this. It doesn't matter when your children learn to read. If you have a twelve year old who still isn't getting it . . . that's OK. Just keep plugging away and smiling at your child. And whatever you do, get off of Facebook. Those other posts about early reading children are poisoning your heart.

Also, you might want to listen to our Smiling Homeschooler Podcast interview with Dianne Craft. It's going to encourage your socks off.

Be real,
Be challenged and encouraged as you explore the courageous lives of the Christian Heroes and Heroes of History! Website:
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We offer a unique in-person or online private school that is differentiated to meet your student’s needs.

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We Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

There are all kinds of people and intelligences. Some people excel academically, others athletically, and others in the arts. I am so glad that we are unique and individual! We all have different ways of sharing love and different emotional responses and dreams. Personalities are many, and no two of us humans are alike. 

So why do we expect all of us to learn at the same time in the same way? I am a visual learner and still remember my kindergarten phonics flash cards. Visual learners are usually the first ones to pick up written language. 

My second son was a kinesthetic learner. He was a dead shot with any ball, dart, or projectile he could find. Teaching him phonics involved card games, folder games, letter wheels, etc. He read well by age seven. 

My auditory learner didn’t pick up the written letters until he was seven. At five he could tell you that boat started with a “B,” but he did not connect the written figure with the sound. His first grade Sunday school teacher pulled me aside and said not to worry. She had never met another 6 year old who was an abstract learner like Aaron. She would tell a story, and he would relate it (or an event or story from his life or a book) correctly. He did his school work in high school and got a bachelor’s degree by going to class and discussing topics with his peers and professors. He is now 27 and earning his Master’s degree in physical therapy. Who knew?

My twins started reading at age 5 but were really not ready. I wish I had waited. I pushed ahead and in eighth grade had to take them through Brain Integration Therapy. At age 19, one of them also went through Readright, a program for dyslexics. I am convinced that if I had waited until they were ready, they would have been better readers.

So, don’t worry. Know your child. Let them lead you in knowing when they are ready to read. You are not a failure if your child is a late reader. Their brains are just busy learning other things in other ways! Compensate for them by reading as many books on as many subjects as you can. Vocabulary, history, science, and life can be learned orally.

Dara Halydier is an author, speaker, and mom of five grown boys! She homeschooled for twenty-one wonderful years and is now encouraging other homeschooling families. She is the executive director of Abiding Truth Ministry and the author of the Practical Proverbs series and other books. Dara has learned life’s lessons the hard way—experience! The lessons she shares come from truths that she has learned from dealing with chronic pain, having moved thirty-three times, having four boys with learning disabilities, and having overcome a past of abuse to proclaim God’s grace, forgiveness, and freedom. Find out more at .
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Reading Is Key

One of the things that our family loves about homeschooling is that we can teach to strengths, take our time, and love our kids where they're at. I do feel, though, that reading is the primary building block of learning. Being able to read well (and often) is vital for our kids and for our homeschools.

I've taught six children to read.

Two were my husband's (and are now my heart kids). We received custody when they were 8 and 10 years old, out of a high risk situation. Neither one knew the alphabet, and both were old enough at that time to doubt their ability to read. Would that have been different if they were homeschooled at that point? I don't know. I think they still would have come in contact with younger children who could read. By the time the kids were in 3rd and 5th grade, teaching them to read came with significant emotional hurdles. They simply didn't think they were capable. They'd never had to apply themselves to the discipline of reading. Additionally, their delayed reading led to significant delays in many academic areas. After all, not reading really affects every subject.

Our second set of kids (our bio-boys) learned to read early. One of our boys loved reading and read everything he could get his hands on. In fact, he read C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia at the age of five. Another one of our boys disliked early reader fiction but found that he loved maps. He would read anything as long as it talked about cities, rivers, or mountains. With our boys, we introduced letters and phonics early, played reading games, and watched movies about phonics. I read aloud frequently, and we emphasized the joy of reading. It was low pressure, fun, and effective.

I also had two wonderful little girls in my home during the week for a couple of years. I introduced letters, games, and phonics the same way I did for my boys. The girls were excited to have one-on-one time practicing reading with early readers. They loved the knowledge and power that came along with being able to read the road signs on the way home. Both enjoyed picking up a book and reading to each other.

I've read the research on teaching kids to read late, and I know wonderful families who've done that successfully. My experience has been different, and I wouldn't choose that path willingly. I just thought you might want to know.

Danika Cooley is an award-winning  children's author and the developer of the popular Bible Road Trip™ curriculum. Grab your free  Sample Pack here .
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Look What’s Happening This Month!

Florida Parent Educators Association is hosting the FPEA Annual Florida Homeschool Convention – Wild Florida – Live Free on May 23-25, 2019 at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, FL. Contact for more details and visit to register online by May 3.

Look What’s Happening This Month!

Homeschoolers of Maine is hosting a Used Curriculum Sale and Expo on May 18, 2019 at Augusta Armory in Augusta, Maine. For more information contact Carolyn Simonds, or visit   
Are you trying to figure out how to assign separate classes to each of your students within ? Watch this  tutorial  to learn how to use the great Bookmark feature to organize course assignments!

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Every child is different, which is why you’ll find completely customizable reading helps in your membership to Our Literacy Center has 101 steps to teach your child to read, but you can work through them at ANY pace. You aren’t locked into a schedule or a plan. If you need to take a few extra weeks on a skill, that’s exactly what you can do. We encourage you to go at whatever speed fits your student’s needs. In addition to the Literacy Center, you’ll find a huge library of reading resources in Reading Remedies. This course has material for struggling readers of all ages (so your older struggling readers have something at their grade level to help them improve their reading skills and not the same material as your littles). We hope you’ll check it out and that these resources will be a blessing to your family. 

If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us, let us know. You can email me at Discover the wealth of materials available right at your fingertips at 

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