10 Reasons Why Homeschooling Is Perfect for Late Readers

“To a very great degree, school is a place where children learn to be stupid.”

-John Holt, former teacher and education reformer; late author of How Children Learn

Homeschooling is the ideal atmoshere for children who are "behind" in reading.

In a society that touts early literacy as the be all and end all of a good education, children who aren’t following the arbitrary timelines created by educational bureaucrats are often left as feeling “less than.” 

I’m dumb because I can’t read.

My teacher says I might have to be held back because I can’t read. Doesn’t that mean flunking?

I get so embarrassed having to get pulled out of class everyday when all my friends get to stay together. 

What’s wrong with me?

I always get laughed at when the teacher picks me to read aloud. 

Millions of children each year end up with feelings such as these simply because they are progressing at a different level than their peers. This feeling of inadequacy often follows these children far beyond their school years.

There is an answer for kids such as these.

10 Reasons to Consider Homeschooling Your Late Reader


#1- They can develop at their own pace.

Free from the restrictive rules brought on by school, homeschooled children have the advantage of taking their time in order to develop on their own timeline- not the school’s.


#2- They’re not labeled and categorized.

This one hits very close to home with me. My son was “labeled” for his difficulties with reading comprehension. After about a year, his troubles cleared up, but this insecurity has remained with him even now- seven years later. He still has moments when he insists that he’s stupid. No amount of reassurance from me will take away the shame he felt during that time in school.


#3- They can develop confidence.

A child who is not in school being teased for not reading well is far less likely to feel inadequate. In fact, children who have never been in school often don’t even realize that, according to the educational system, they would be considered “late readers” because they haven’t been exposed to that nonsense.


#4- There are no arbitrary guidelines to follow.

I once read in a John Holt book that a reading specialist in Chicago once came up with 500 separate skills that children have to master before reading. 500. Thankfully, that number was dramatically decreased, but even so, most of the rules taught for reading in the classroom do more damage than good by confusing the children, especially those children who are “behind” to begin with.


#5- They can learn in a way that suits them.

Children aren’t clones. They weren’t developed on an assembly line, although schools like to think they were. Not all children learn things the same way. Some kids do well with phonics. Others hate phonics and prefer the whole language approach. Still others do best without any formal instruction at all and seem to learn by osmosis. There is no one right way to learn how to read.


#6- They can choose books that interest them.

Elementary readers- not the children, but the books used to teach reading- are boring. They are simplistic and seem to have no real meaning. Some kids do okay with them, but others just can’t pay enough attention to them in order for them to be helpful because they’re just not interested in them. When my son was in school, his learning support teacher once told me that he had better comprehension when she let him pick out his own books. I remember thinking, You actually got paid to tell me that?


#7- There is no shame in reading late.

This ties in closely with #3. In addition to not feeling embarrassed in front of peers, there are no threats about being held back a grade. Stress like this is nothing but a hindrance in helping a child to learn.


#8- They will learn to read because they recognize a need for it, not because they were forced to do it for a letter grade or out of the fear of being retained.

Children who are coerced into doing something they are not developmentally ready for will have a more difficult time than those who are given the freedom to take their time and see why a certain skill is necessary in their lives. A child who wants to learn to read to help with his favorite game or read his favorite comic book will be infinitely more motivated to learn than a child who is doing it because “my teacher said so.”


#9- They will have a better chance of actually enjoying to read.

Children who aren’t rushed and nagged to achieve literacy are more likely to read for pleasure. Even adults don’t like to do things they’re forced to do.


#10- They can learn in a more natural and relaxing atmosphere.

Sometimes sitting in a parent’s lap while being read to, enjoying the intimacy and comfort of the moment is the greatest remedy for reading difficulties. Some children love to be read to again and again and again. Many of these children begin to read by following along with their parent’s voice while reading a familiar book together. Any type of reading instruction (including formal reading lessons) done in a relaxed, loving way will be much more beneficial in the end.


Your child is one of the most precious gifts you’ll ever be given. If homeschooling will prevent your child from being torured in school everyday, at least consider it. Don’t let your child’s individuality be stifled. Nurture it. 

You won’t be sorry.




Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

27 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why Homeschooling Is Perfect for Late Readers”

  1. My son was labeled, “behind” in first grade. As long as he was in school, he felt like something was wrong with him. No child should feel that way. He was only 6! I pulled him out and started spending relaxed days with him at the library and curled up together reading. In 4-months time he was reading on his own with only a minimal of help and no formal lessons. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having kids that were both homeschooled and traditionally schooled, I have an appreciation for both scenarios. Also, understanding that not all homeschool situations are healthy just like not all traditional school situations are good, is a reality. It is easy to say how great homeschool is when you have the passion, desire and support to do so. As for reading, my kids all learned at an early age. They were in school and a program called Kumon. Not to mention, I reinforced teaching them at home. Reading at age 4 to 5 yrs old was the norm at their private schools. If kids weren’t reading efficiently by the end of 1st grade they were pretty much left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As with all things, yes, there are extremes in every situation, and there are some families who shouldn’t homeschool. Thankfully, the vast majority of families aren’t like that. I always write under the assumption that if someone is going to bother reading a blog like this, then they ARE the type of parent who could homeschool just fine, because a parent who just doesn’t care won’t bother reading stuff like this anyway. I’ve never heard of Kumon, but that’s really sad that kids who couldn’t read by the end of 1st grade were “left behind.” They’re still so little, and it’s that sort of thing that prompted this post in the first place! Thank you for always leaving such thought-provoking comments. 🙂


  3. Thank you for the wonderful information. I believe not all children lean at the same pace and it’s wonderful that you can homeschool your children. My son doesn’t have problems with learning in school but he does have autism and he has trouble with socializing with his piers because of this he developed social anxiety. One year I tried to homeschool him and I was not good at it. Between working at night and the homeschooling it was hard and I also didn’t know what I was doing. I decided to put him back in school but I have been very active and proactive to make sure the school provided the extra help he needed and with all of us working together for him it has helped him become more confident in himself. He is going to high school next year and I am a little nervous about it. Again thanks for the info.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know how scary it can be when you first begin homeschooling, especially if you don’t know any other families who do it. That’s one of the main reasons I started this blog- because I’ve been there, too, and want to encourage people that they can do it! We moms often come down too hard on ourselves about how well we do or don’t do things- we’re all our own worst critics, right? I’m glad your son seems to be doing better. If you ever do decide to try this path again, I urge you to keep this one thing in mind- homeschooling does not have to look anything like school. I learned that the hard way. I also would highly recommend that you read some books by John Holt, like How Children Learn, Teach Your Own, and Learning All the Time. His books forever changed the way we homeschool. 🙂 I wish you and your son the best!


  4. Ten times yes! And I think homeschooling is also great for early readers, because they can just take off and go with it! I’ve had one of each, and am very thankful to have had the option of homeschooling my crew.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree. I love encouraging all children to develop at their own pace, even when I worked in schools as a librarian. Now my daughter attends public school. I was blessed because she learned to read on time and is flourishing. I know, however, other parents are not as fortunate. Homeschooling is a great option for all. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. AMEN! This is so excellent. I am a retired school teacher and children’s librarian. I now tutor the primary-aged child one to one because they have not caught onto reading. They are frustrated and have little confidence in themselves! Not only is my job as their tutor to teach them to read, but to love them back to wholeness so they can feel capable. Not just capable of reading but everything. I love working with these children but I so want to see them succeed. If I had children, I would homeschool in a heartbeat! Funny, I never had children of my own, but I have hundreds of students in my memory bank. I am grateful that for most of my teaching career, I was able to teach with creativity, had time to touch each child individually and love them all. Thank you for sharing such vital information. Maybe some won’t be so afraid to homeschool when it would be for their child’s good.
    I read John Holt when I was in college many, many years ago!
    ~ linda @ The Reader and the Book – https://thereaderandthebookreviews.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel like I’ve said this before, but it was always so heartbreaking to watch a child being put into “tier 3” intervention groups for this very reason. Did it make a difference for some kids? Absolutely. But did it also mean that tons of kids were being labeled (not to mention, missing out on absolutely everything that was fun for them about school) and demoralized, when they just needed more time? Definitely. So happy you’re out there sharing what’s in my brain for me once again, Shelly! #FridayFrivolity

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think some of these points are quite valid, but there are other situations in which a supportive, cognizant school can be the best place for a struggling reader. My child has dyslexia–this isn’t a “label”–it’s a fact that describes how her brain works and learns. Despite my very best efforts, numerous curriculum changes, various tutors, and lots of cheerleading and tears, she was not learning to read well into elementary school.
    We placed in her a school that uses a dyslexic-friendly curriculum and has staff members with intensive training and years of experience with dyslexic students, and it has changed her life. She is confident now in the way that God made her, and she finally loves reading and even reads above grade level. However, this required a huge amount of specialized knowledge and instruction that I didn’t have the experience to be able to provide.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: