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How did you learn how to read?

  • I taught myself how to read.

    Votes: 9 19.6%
  • I learned to read in school.

    Votes: 13 28.3%
  • My parents taught me how to read.

    Votes: 24 52.2%
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Discussion Starter #1
I always hear stories about people who learned how to read and write by themselves (like Matilda from Roald Dahl's "Matilda"). My friend always brags about having learned to read all by herself (...why am I friends with these people...). She always tells stories about how, in kindergarten, the teacher made her go to the library instead of making her sit in class.
However, I learned how to read and write in school...just at an accelerated pace, compared to my classmates. When I was a toddler, I didn't spend my time reading books, I spent more time just thinking, playing, and exploring.
So, did you learn how to read by yourself, or did you just learn how to in school?
 

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How can people teach themselves how to read? They'd need some help, surely. Otherwise, how do they know which symbol corresponds to each sound? It really doesn't make sense that people learn entirely by themselves. I suppose you can pick it up from other people without them actively teaching it to you. Seems unlikely though. Since Matilda is fictional, she doesn't count.

My mum taught me how to read. I could read small things when I was 2 (like the alphabet and numbers and "you" and "me" and "go" and "am") and I could read books when I was 3. Not War and Peace or anything, but books. Children's books. I read the first Harry Potter book when I was five or six. I remember being so proud that I was reading a book without pictures in it. I don't recall even liking picture books. They distracted from the story.

I liked being able to read, but my mum stopped reading to me when I could do it myself. I always loved it when she read to me.
 

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I don't really remember much from that age, but from what my parents have told me they taught me to read. I never went to preschool or wherever you're supposed to learn to read. I started kindergarten when I was... 4? I think?
 

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I learned how to read by looking at words while stories (mainly Harry Potter) were being read aloud to me, then I practiced reading by looking at road signs.
By kindergarten I was reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. My parents laugh at this, seeing a tiny little kid carrying such a big book.

EDIT: Guess I should clear up how I learned the letters. My parents taught me the letters, then I took it from there.
 

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I looked at books -- lots of them -- and also had a little record player and some books that had records accompanying them. My parents didn't realize I knew how to read until the kindergarten teacher called them and asked them if they knew I could.

I don't remember it being difficult. It was the same as learning to use computers. It just seemed to sync up to my brain. I'm really good at pattern-matching and figuring out how to do things even without understanding all the details.
 
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Apparently I was able to read at a year old. There is no explanation of how or why I was able to do so at such an early age, but I'll take it.
 

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I never remembered learning how to read being difficult either. I remember being read stories and wanting to take the books away from my parents so I could read myself. I also remember loving to read aloud like an orator and make up different voices while reading. haha. This got me in trouble in elementary school many times and I think the teachers stopped calling on me to read after a while. I definitely didn't learn how to read by myself. Fuck if I know how I learned to read; I don't even remember what I ate for breakfast this morning.
 

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A little I taught myself how to read, and a little from my parents. I had to get so much help from my parents because I only read because I had an interest in whatever I was reading. Learning the rest of the structure of reading and the English language was so alien to me, that I constantly would reject it. My parents thought I might be one of those kids who'd be way behind in English.
 

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I guess in school when I was 3... I don't remember finding it in anyway 'hard'... rather I'd say it seemed 'natural'. I kept wondering why others kept going A-P-P-L-E apple,whereas I could easily read it in my mind. Was I SUPPOSED to say it out loud? o_O

Though I didn't get much into books till I had access to them... around when I was 9.
 

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I'm sure I learned before school but my memory is foggy.
I was read to a lot. Lots of Dr Seuss, then Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter. The first book I hated was Amelia Bedelia. I really have no idea how she kept her job because she was a really shitty maid.
 

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I taught myself how to read. It was not difficult. By 3 I knew the alphabet and the sounds the letters made. At one point I remember seeing the word "cat" or something, and putting two and two together. I could read before kindergarten. Not chapter books or anything, but I could definitely sound out words and read cereal boxes and stuff.
 

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does the ability to read at an early age distinguish between the prodigies vs. the normal kids?

or does it only show that the child is a fast learner compared to the other children?
 

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To tell the truth... I don't remember.
I just know that before I started kindergarten I was reading so... I can only assume my parents taught me.
 

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I don't recall when exactly I started, but I was taught by my parents, grandmother, and a neighbor of hers from a very, very young age. I went to preschool for a year longer than is usually allowed (irrelevant information), but by the time I reached kindergarten, I was already reading at a noticeably higher level. And yet, we were only allowed to read from the designated "kindergarten levels." It was pretty frustrating for me. And in first grade, we had "reading buddies," which was one of the fifth graders, and we had to read through a series of books which increased in difficulty with each one. Of course, we weren't allowed to move on until we "passed" the current level, but I was breezing through them, and eventually, they had nothing more for me to read... Meh.
 

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My mom taught me how to read in Vietnamese, and my [step]dad taught me how to read in English. I was bilingual by the time I was four. I don't remember a lot of it, but at some point I just.. knew. When we moved to America, they put me in the ESL program and I was out within a week because I was already reading at three grade levels above mine. I was never really interested in reading in my childhood, though. It might've been because the library at my old school was pathetic and the public library was worse. By the time I moved to a different school in fourth grade, though, I was reading everything I could get my hands on.
 

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I remember during "reading" period in class I got to go listen to tapes on headphones and/or go to a reading group with older kids in another classroom.

I also went to speech class for a year because I didn't talk so good... I had a lisp or some kind of speech issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How can people teach themselves how to read? They'd need some help, surely. Otherwise, how do they know which symbol corresponds to each sound? It really doesn't make sense that people learn entirely by themselves. I suppose you can pick it up from other people without them actively teaching it to you. Seems unlikely though. Since Matilda is fictional, she doesn't count.

My mum taught me how to read. I could read small things when I was 2 (like the alphabet and numbers and "you" and "me" and "go" and "am") and I could read books when I was 3. Not War and Peace or anything, but books. Children's books. I read the first Harry Potter book when I was five or six. I remember being so proud that I was reading a book without pictures in it. I don't recall even liking picture books. They distracted from the story.

I liked being able to read, but my mum stopped reading to me when I could do it myself. I always loved it when she read to me.
I gave Matilda as an example because I was too lazy to look up any real child prodigies, and I just meant like how she was able to read. I didn't mean to say that she was real.
And it seems rather impossible that someone would be able to just learn by themselves, although more possible if they were able to see the page while someone else read to them. Perhaps I could have learned to read in that fashion, had I bothered to look at the page. I too loved having someone read to me.

I guess in school when I was 3... I don't remember finding it in anyway 'hard'... rather I'd say it seemed 'natural'. I kept wondering why others kept going A-P-P-L-E apple,whereas I could easily read it in my mind. Was I SUPPOSED to say it out loud? o_O

Though I didn't get much into books till I had access to them... around when I was 9.
I didn't find it particularly challenging. But I didn't have any motivation to read, because my mom was always readily available and I was a lazy child. Still am, ehehehe...

does the ability to read at an early age distinguish between the prodigies vs. the normal kids?

or does it only show that the child is a fast learner compared to the other children?
Hmm, the term prodigy probably isn't the best term, because my friend is definitely no prodigy.
Probably just a high IQ, and motivation.

My mom taught me how to read in Vietnamese, and my [step]dad taught me how to read in English. I was bilingual by the time I was four. I don't remember a lot of it, but at some point I just.. knew. When we moved to America, they put me in the ESL program and I was out within a week because I was already reading at three grade levels above mine. I was never really interested in reading in my childhood, though. It might've been because the library at my old school was pathetic and the public library was worse. By the time I moved to a different school in fourth grade, though, I was reading everything I could get my hands on.
I wasn't motivated to read until I was in first grade, when I finally had access to non-picture books and prizes were given to those who read the most XD
 

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I was the top of my class in reading and math until fifth grade. Then I failed bible and stopped caring. I usually did pretty well if I cared about the class after that but was mostly a 'c' student until the end of college.
 
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