Reading, writing, ‘rithmatic Or: Why I don’t care if my 3.5 year old can’t read

Henry can identify exactly one letter of the alphabet: O. HE’s been able to do it since he was very little. We don’t know how he figured it out, where he learned it or what, but he always points out O and says it out loud. I find it adorable.

Some kids around his age are able to write their names and read a few words. I think those kids are super clever. But, for some strange reason, I’m so not bothered to try and teach Henry to read or write unless he asks me. And this is why I don’t care if Henry can’t read right now: he hasn’t asked.

My little guy is super imaginative and makes up stories every time he plays. He creates scenarios, sets everything up and asks us to play along in specified roles. He’s working out his world when we do this, and I love being bossed around by the little dude.

Henry is also very physical. He loves running and climbing and jumping. He loves listening to stories, he loves reading comic books with his dad and he loves listening to music really REALLY loud.

I dunno. Sometimes, I hear about these super kids who could read at three, who know how to spell their names and who can sing the alphabet backwards and I feel inadequate. Like I’m not doing what’s right for my kids by not asking him to memorize the way letters look. Or numbers.

Then I remember that he’s just a toddler. Three and a half. He’s got the rest of his life to learn how to do things. I’m trying to be chill about stuff like this. I also need to remember that Henry may not be able to read, but he has a load of empathy, is brave, is kind and is very verbal.

How about you? Do you worry about your kids reading? When did your kid learn how to read?

  • Natalie Romero

    I really stressed with my first. Now he’s six and I see how amazing he’s doing at reading, learning new languages and all the other things he’s learning in school. I realize that they all learn at their own pace and they all have their strengths. Now with my daughter who just turned 4 I don’t stress about it. We read every single day together but I’m not going to stress myself about how old she is when she’s able to read on her own. It will come when she’s ready.

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