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CBeasy
10-23-2006, 07:47 AM
I was reading the "What author started it all?" thread and got inspired to post this one.

I can't really remember a time when I couldn't read, and at least write in some rudimentary fashion. According to my parents it was somewhere around 5 or earlier, before I started elementary school. Reading has been a huge part of my life ever since. My heavy reading, in turn, inspired me to write. As a result, writing professionally is really the only profession I've ever really aspired to. It was always the answer I gave to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" when I was little. I just wanted to see what age everyone learned to read, and how soon after did it inspire you to write?

Mandy-Jane
10-23-2006, 10:51 AM
I never remember not reading. My parents tell me I used to read the newspaper before I started school (but I think I was just looking at the pictures!) I always got chosen to read my stories out to the class in Creative Writing at school. It gave me confidence, as I was absolutely clueless when it came to maths, science and art. I guess that was when I knew I'd always be writing.

Nakhlasmoke
10-23-2006, 12:18 PM
I know I could read before I started school, but I have no idea what age I was - younger thann five, obviously.

I do remember that the school librarian wouldn't let me take boks out of the "big Sedtion" when I was in Sub A (first year of school) until my mommy came and gave her what-for. *grin* I love my mommy.

Vincent
10-23-2006, 12:53 PM
I was one of the last in my class to learn to read. But when I got the hang of it, I realised books weren't that bad afterall.

aadams73
10-23-2006, 01:39 PM
I was three the first time I read "Goldilocks" aloud on my own. I haven't stopped since :D

(only now I don't even move my lips ;) )

Oddsocks
10-23-2006, 01:44 PM
I was a pretty late reader, and even later as an enthusiatic one. I remember struggling with it and hating it...which is really weird, considering how much I love reading now.

Puma
10-23-2006, 01:56 PM
At Christmas when I was 3-1/2, I got a pair of red boots. I turned them over and read from the bottom "Made in Czechoslovakia". Floored my parents.

At eight I wrote a story in school that was something of a takeoff on the Song of Bernadette and had the teacher in a tizzy. Puma

KTC
10-23-2006, 02:57 PM
I was already reading prior to entering the school system...but it was probably just prior.

Moonfish
10-23-2006, 03:05 PM
I could do an ABC-puzzle when I was just under the age of 3 (and said I as "frustrated" when I couldn't find a pice) but read comic books and such at the age of five.

smiley10000
10-23-2006, 03:25 PM
My first memory of reading is from Senior Kindergarten. I had the most amazing teacher in the world (YAY Ms. Jones :hooray:). She would take us aside and teach us to read one on one while the rest of the class played. I still remember sounding out "See Spot" books.

My grandmother used to always tell me about a story I wrote in grade two about a bunny rabbit. She was always so proud of me and that bunny rabbit. I do not have any recollection of the story though...

In grade four we had a school project where we had to write a picture book. The teacher had them bound and laminated and we read them out loud to kids in a grade one class. I still have that book to this day.

It was great to have teachers that really encouraged a love of reading and books.

:Hug2: 10000

Thomma Lyn
10-23-2006, 06:23 PM
My first memory of reading is from Senior Kindergarten. I had the most amazing teacher in the world (YAY Ms. Jones :hooray:). She would take us aside and teach us to read one on one while the rest of the class played. I still remember sounding out "See Spot" books.

My grandmother used to always tell me about a story I wrote in grade two about a bunny rabbit. She was always so proud of me and that bunny rabbit. I do not have any recollection of the story though...

LOL -- I started reading around age two-and-a-half and wrote my first little story when I was three, and it was about a family of bunny rabbits! Mom and Dad probably still have it somewhere. What is it, anyway, with kids and bunny rabbits? :D

I had a wonderful kindergarten teacher, too, who encouraged me, about once a week, to read to the class in her stead. I was a very shy little kid, and having me read to the class was her way of gently encouraging me to be more confident.

stormie
10-23-2006, 06:31 PM
I was the youngest of four and always saw my parents and sisters reading. Newspapers, magazines, books, even cereal boxes at the breakfast table. I know I went into Kindegarten reading. So maybe I was three? Four? No one remembers iin my family. Just that there are photos of me as toddler usually with a picture book or upside-down magazine in my hands. (Probably why I've always been good at reading things upside-down. lol!)

Pat~
10-23-2006, 06:44 PM
Not sure when I began, but the earliest pictures of me reading are when I was three. I can't remember not being able to read. I do remember getting in trouble at school for 'reading ahead' in reading group, and for taking my reading book home at the beginning of school. Later on I remember suffering through tedious "reading enrichment" classes in upper elementary school; fortunately, my love for reading survived all the misguided efforts of the public school system, and I am a book addict to this day.

CBeasy
10-23-2006, 07:58 PM
My second grade teacher called me a liar when I tried to write out Book-It slips - said no seven-year-old could possibly have read all the books I had in such a short period of time (The Secret Garden, Caddie Woodlawn, The Great Brain). I was so humiliated I didn't tell my mom. Now, as an adult, I know my mother would have given that evil lady what for!

Alas, I too was a victum of what I like to call "Evil Teacher Book-It Envy". My teacher was obviously jealous of the fact that I had earned all the stars on my Book-It pin in the space of a week, and real books to boot. Well, I assume it was jealousy. What other reason could a person have for telling a small child that they were lying about an accomplishment, of which they were very proud of? Fortunately, I was a confident child (perhaps overly so) and I told the teacher what for. Of course, that resulted in a detention. Of course, that resulted in my mom coming down and telling the teacher that I did indeed read all those books. The teacher, feeling like an ***, canceled the detention.


From all accounts, I was 3 when I started reading. I'm the youngest of 5 kids, so my siblings taught me everything way ahead of school.....

Yeah, I was also the youngest, and I definately say that was to my advantage as far as pre-school education is concerned. I can still remember my sister reading books like Bambi to me, even though I could read at the time. We would talk about each chapter after she finished. In retrospect, that really gave me an incredible grasp of stuff like plot and character development at a very young age.

veinglory
10-23-2006, 08:05 PM
There are many beliefs about writers and their differences that I think threads like this feed into. How many people will leap in and say they learned to read late? Many who did were quick to forget it.

I, personally, was in the slow readers group (called, appallingly, the donkeys) and could not read at any functional level (see spot run etc) until around the age of 7. I was even slower to become numerate and these days my inability to tell 6s from 9s what probably be called dyslexic but it came right with time.

People develop at different rates. I sit here now with a non-fiction book in progress in one window and a GLM statistical anaylsis in the other.

jbal
10-23-2006, 08:06 PM
I was four. Started writing soon after, before I quit for a really long time.

spike
10-23-2006, 08:27 PM
My mother taught me to read at 2. She used some "system" that was popular in the 60's.

CBeasy
10-23-2006, 08:51 PM
There are many beliefs about writers and their differences that I think threads like this feed into. How many people will leap in and say they learned to read late? Many who did were quick to forget it.

I, personally, was in the slow readers group (called, appallingly, the donkeys) and could not read at any functional level (see spot run etc) until around the age of 7. I was even slower to become numerate and these days my inability to tell 6s from 9s what probably be called dyslexic but it came right with time.

People develop at different rates. I sit here now with a non-fiction book in progress in one window and a GLM statistical anaylsis in the other.

I didn't mean for the thread to chastise people who learned late. I was actually curious to see how many late readers went on to become writers. Honestly, I think it's circumstances and environment that determine when you learn to read more than intelligence or creativity. It's cool to see that people turned a challenge in early life into a life's passion later on.

Shadow_Ferret
10-23-2006, 11:53 PM
I believe I was 10 or 11 when I first was taught to read. It was shortly after humans discovered me living among wolves.

allion
10-24-2006, 03:16 AM
I learned from watching Sesame Street when I was 3 or 4. I know I could read and print in kindergarten, and I started there at age 4 (the November birthday thing).

Thank you, Big Bird.

Karen

September skies
10-24-2006, 03:26 AM
I don't remember how old I was, but I do know that by age 4, when my family registered me for kindergarten, I could read already. I think it had to do with my father being blind. We read a lot in my family. And, I remember reading Readers Digest stories to him when I was 6.

As a result, I've always loved reading (read a book in one to two days) and so do my daughters. When my girls started kindergarten - both were reading first-grade level.

TrainofThought
10-24-2006, 04:22 AM
I probably started around six (best guess). Then junior high and high school got in the way, actually, I became interested in other things. I started reading again in my late teens until present, but I did not get inspired until years later. I was a late bloomer and wanted to accomplish other things first.

Gary
10-24-2006, 04:33 AM
I guess I was 4 or 5, but I cheated.

My school was a one-room country school with never more than 10 students scattered across grades 1 through 8. The school teacher boarded at my grandparents place, which was across the road from us and I would spend time with her pretending I was in school.

My mother was also a substitute teacher and when she taught, I would stay in school with her. I started doing that at age 2, when we moved to the farm, so I was exposed to school earlier than most.

victoriastrauss
10-24-2006, 04:49 AM
I was 5 or 6. I remember finishing the first book I ever read all by myself, and realizing that I'd never be bored again. It was a life-changing moment!

- Victoria

sammyig
10-24-2006, 07:05 AM
I taught myself to read when I was 3 by looking at the TV Guide. I wanted to know when the Jeffersons was coming on.

Southern_girl29
10-24-2006, 08:56 AM
I don't remember not being able to read, either. I think I was probably around three when I learned. My older cousins and I stayed with my Granny, and when they came home from school, they taught me what they learned that day.

I had a great kindergarten teacher, too, who knew I was bored. She didn't believe in letting students skip grades, so she did things with me on a higher level. Like another poster, she let me read to the class. She was a wonderful teacher.

My first chapter book was Little House in the Big Woods in, I think, second grade. It's the first one I remember reading anyway. I was just thinking about this the other day, and it could have been in first. I still see the school librarian on occassion, and I remember her telling me that I was reading chapter books in the first grade.

I believe I was in the first or second grade when I wrote my first story. We had to take our spelling words and write a story from them. I was always invited to read my stories to the class. In the seventh grade, I won a school-wide writing contest.

travelgal
10-24-2006, 12:12 PM
There are many beliefs about writers and their differences that I think threads like this feed into. How many people will leap in and say they learned to read late? Many who did were quick to forget it.

I, personally, was in the slow readers group (called, appallingly, the donkeys) and could not read at any functional level (see spot run etc) until around the age of 7. I was even slower to become numerate and these days my inability to tell 6s from 9s what probably be called dyslexic but it came right with time.

People develop at different rates. I sit here now with a non-fiction book in progress in one window and a GLM statistical anaylsis in the other.

Good for you, mate. Developing or maturing late doesn't mean you're dumb. It took me a looong time to learn that lesson. I'm one of the slowcoaches on here, so veinglory, you have company.:)

I was so slow I had to stay down in Grade One. I didn't understand a single thing; not words, not numbers, not the teacher's instructions, nothing that she read, not anything my classmates said, nothing. Zilch. Nada. Ditto. No sponge was I. I was a brick. I didn't even know how to speak properly.

The summer before my second year of Grade One, my grandma took me to her farm so I could learn to speak and read in a calm environment. There, I began to understand what people were saying. I started to speak in sentences. I began to understand that those squiggly black things that weren't pictures actually meant something. Thanks to my grandma, I learnt the alphabet.:) I was seven.

From my grandma, I picked up enough phonic skills to bluff my way through Grade One, second year. I was determined NOT to stay down again. At eight, I could only read very easy books, like "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back." Thanks to Dr Suess, I learnt those squiggly black things on the pages that weren't pictures didn't just have sound and some sembence of meaning, they had rhythm.

Listening to teachers read helped. From them, I learnt words had cadence and books had "voice".

I went through Grade Two and Three using my imagination to bluff my way through; so determined was I NOT to stay down again. It was bad enough I had to go through speech therapy, and worse, being the oldest kid in the class.

In Grade Four, I finally got it how those squiggly things on the page that weren't pictures took me places without a teacher having to read it to me, and I could learn stuff without having to rely on adults. For the first time, I could read with ease. For the first time, I didn't have to bluff. I was twelve.

By Grade Six, I was the kid who had mastered grammar, punctuation and got full marks on maths tests. Then again, I was fourteen, I was the oldest, so I considered that I ought to know this stuff by now.

I have some idea where dyslexics come from. Leaning to read was hell, but reading lots of the Bible, Greek myths, aboringinal myths, some Shakespeare, science, history, geography and astronomy made me learn stuff a whole lot faster than I would otherwise had done. It was reading loads that enabled me to scrape through secondary school. Guess there's some good in being a nerd.:D I failed maths, though.

I got into more trouble in university. I entered a profession where all my weaknesses were exposed, and few of my strengths utilised. But I wanted to be a teacher, so I could travel.

Even before I could read properly, I wanted to write. Figure that one out.

I still can't read out loud properly. If ever I get published (big wish here), I'll never read from my book. I read in a Dalek drone. But as a teacher, I'm sure I'll think up a lively way to entice readers, heehee.

stormie
10-24-2006, 05:08 PM
I still can't read out loud properly. If ever I get published (big wish here), I'll never read from my book. I read in a Dalek drone. But as a teacher, I'm sure I'll think up a lively way to entice readers, heehee.
First of all, you must have (or had) a wonderful, understanding and loving grandma.

As for aspiring to be a teacher, as you said, you'd probably have a lively way to entice the children to read. You'd also have empathy which is so important in educating children. You would understand those who struggle. And you never know--you could be published someday. Make those dreams your goals.

My best to you!

Julie Worth
10-24-2006, 05:19 PM
I don’t remember the age, but I do remember thinking I was the first kid who had ever learned to read, and before that, the first kid who had ever learned to walk. Sure, I saw the adults lumbering around, but I didn’t consider them to be related to kids in any way. They were merely idiots who served kids in a generally unreliable fashion.

CaroGirl
10-24-2006, 05:32 PM
I was a precocious reader and began at age 3. I could read chapter books by age 5. I was writing by then, too. I have a copy of my elementary school yearbook when I was in kindergarten and printed in it is a story I wrote.

SeanDSchaffer
10-24-2006, 06:44 PM
I was reading the "What author started it all?" thread and got inspired to post this one.

I can't really remember a time when I couldn't read, and at least write in some rudimentary fashion. According to my parents it was somewhere around 5 or earlier, before I started elementary school. Reading has been a huge part of my life ever since. My heavy reading, in turn, inspired me to write. As a result, writing professionally is really the only profession I've ever really aspired to. It was always the answer I gave to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" when I was little. I just wanted to see what age everyone learned to read, and how soon after did it inspire you to write?


I believe I was reading for myself right around the age of four years. My Mom has told me in the past that I was speaking college-level at the time, but my reading, I believe, was very basic comparitively to my speaking level. I read books such as the Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat books at the time.

I don't think I read a real novella until I was roughly seven or eight years of age. I was fond of Judy Blume at that time, as well as another author I cannot remember the name of. (I can remember the name of the book, though, that I enjoyed by the said unnamed author: Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade.)

I believe I took about five years before someone ever told me that I could be a good writer professionally (at the age of 9). I did not begin to aspire to such things until I was 11 years old. So I would say it took me 7 years from first learning how to read and enjoying reading, to finally aspiring to be a writer.

One thing: I noticed the question "What do you want to do when you grow up?". I don't think I ever told anyone I wanted to be a writer, because every time I said what I wanted to do, I was given the, "Oh, you are not capable of that when you grow up" line. So I never told anyone I wanted to be a writer; I just wrote. That much I am definitely thankful for.

Maprilynne
10-24-2006, 07:01 PM
I was five when I started really reading on my own, but my daughter started reading and spelling just before she turned 3 and a half. (I'm so proud.:)) She can read two-three- and most four letter words.

Maprilynne

Shadow_Ferret
10-24-2006, 07:14 PM
I, personally, was in the slow readers group (called, appallingly, the donkeys) and could not read at any functional level (see spot run etc) until around the age of 7.

I believe I was in special remedial reading classes when I was in like 2 or 3rd grade. I had fooled everyone into THINKING I could read. And when they discovered I couldn't I was put in those special classes.

I didn't start reading voraciously until high school when I discovered stories about Conan and Tarzan.

But I'm still a SLOW reader. Even today. I've never learned how to speed read. In fact, as I read, I pronounce each word in my head. All I don't do is move my lips.

Momento Mori
10-24-2006, 07:38 PM
My mum still tells the story of how I went to a friend's 5th birthday party and instead of playing 'pass the parcel' with all the other guests, I was curled up in the corner with a copy of the Encylopaedia Britannica. So basically, I was an early starter, but then my earliest memories are of my parents reading to me at night and I grew up surrounded by books and magazines.

bookgeek
10-25-2006, 06:50 AM
First grade? All I remember is being desperate to unlock the code and know what the little black letters said when you put them together. My mother said I was so desperate to learn to read, I would read anything (which explains my love of reading cereal boxes to this day).

When I first started to read, I read the Wall Street Journal, which my father bought every Saturday. It was a Saturday morning ritual to read the stock reports: I found all the words like the, and, of, it, go, to, from, is...and he picked all the stocks that consistently dead ended. So somewhere between Seseame Street and Wall Street, I became a reader. Yay for big yellow birds! Yay for Corporate America bulls!

travelgal
10-25-2006, 08:26 AM
First of all, you must have (or had) a wonderful, understanding and loving grandma.

As for aspiring to be a teacher, as you said, you'd probably have a lively way to entice the children to read. You'd also have empathy which is so important in educating children. You would understand those who struggle. And you never know--you could be published someday. Make those dreams your goals.

My best to you!

Thanks! I had the best grandma in the world.

I qualified as a secondary teacher but did teach kiddies to read here in Korea. It was wonderful to see how they progressed from tots who knew not a smigdeon of English to tots who could read English. I did lots and lots of vocab and reading games. I felt sorry for the slower ones though; I didn't have enough time to help them out because the 'curriculum' (it was a private institute) didn't allow it. I'd say; hey, this kid isn't ready, he needs another year; but the boss didn't give a damn. Still, most of the slower kids did have a sembence of reading skill before they moved on.

They need a patient, understanding, loving grandma like I did.:)

Miss
10-25-2006, 02:42 PM
I was three. I taught myself while watching "The Electric Company." My mother made me read into a tape recorder because she thought I was amazing. Thus far, the rest of the world remains unconvinced.

CBeasy
10-28-2006, 06:18 AM
I just learned from my mom that she taught me to read at the age of three, with The Cat in the Hat. Apparently it was earlier than I suspected, but unfortunately, I have no memory what so ever of that happening. I do remember always loving Dr. Seuss though. Also, the Berenstain Bears.

aliajohnson
10-28-2006, 06:30 AM
Yeah, I was also the youngest, and I definately say that was to my advantage as far as pre-school education is concerned. I can still remember my sister reading books like Bambi to me, even though I could read at the time. We would talk about each chapter after she finished. In retrospect, that really gave me an incredible grasp of stuff like plot and character development at a very young age.

Where did I go wrong? I read to my little brother (okay he's like 6'1, still little to me dammit) a lot. My older sister read to my little brother. My mom read to my little brother. Even my Dad and older brother (not big readers) read to my little brother.
Getting my little brother to step foot in a library and/or book store is like pulling teeth. What's with that?

Actual topic of the thread--my first concrete memory is of sitting in our attic and reading Madeline LEngle, at about age five. I remember not quite understanding what was going on, but really, really wanting a horse with wings.

icerose
10-29-2006, 02:49 AM
I think I was a rather well rounded child. I had lots of fun exploring the yard and making up stories as quickly as my imagination could produce them.

My mother and older brothers and sisters read to me quite often and I attended college with my eldest sister when I was 3 and 4. (She was babysitting me and I was a good girl. ;) )

I remember first reading when I was in kindergarten and writing my first stories in first grade.

I don't think it really matters when you learn as long as the passion and understanding and willingness to work and put forth the effort is there.

Arisa81
10-30-2006, 07:48 AM
I don't know how old I was exactly, but I was somewhat "slow" in school. I was awful at reading and writing and was always placed in the "slow" learners reading groups. Looking back I don't know what the problem was. I would sit in my room and read for hours, but when it came to school it was like I couldn't function. Doing those assigments where you read a really short story and then answer multiple choice questions, I would get like 2/20 correct. It still frusterates me to this day trying to figure out why. I was not "dumb." It probably didn't help that my teachers would tell my parents I was slow and needed to work harder and the parents got even harder on me.

icerose
10-30-2006, 08:35 AM
I don't know how old I was exactly, but I was somewhat "slow" in school. I was awful at reading and writing and was always placed in the "slow" learners reading groups. Looking back I don't know what the problem was. I would sit in my room and read for hours, but when it came to school it was like I couldn't function. Doing those assigments where you read a really short story and then answer multiple choice questions, I would get like 2/20 correct. It still frusterates me to this day trying to figure out why. I was not "dumb." It probably didn't help that my teachers would tell my parents I was slow and needed to work harder and the parents got even harder on me.

You probably were afraid of performing in front of others. There are many who are afraid of tests so that even if they know the material they freeze up and can't answer anything correctly despite the fact that they know it.

They are recently acknowledging this as an actual fear and have ways to combat it.

Allie
10-30-2006, 08:39 AM
I started to read just before I entered first grade because my mom, an elementary school teacher, taught me because my teacher, an old friend of hers, had over 30 kids in the class at the Catholic school, which was mother was guilt tripped into sending me.

So I read a bit earlier than average, because my mother knew how to teach kids to read and she had a horrible guilt complex.

LeslieB
10-31-2006, 01:19 AM
First grade? All I remember is being desperate to unlock the code and know what the little black letters said when you put them together.

Oh, how I remember that feeling. I didn't learn to read until first grade because my parents deliberately didn't teach me. Not because they were cruel or not avid readers themselves, but because of our school system. At the time, there was a massive war going on over different teaching systems for reading. Mom was worried that if she taught me the "wrong" way, it would cause problems for me when I started school. I remember flipping through books because I knew those black marks were words, and that there were stories buried in there somewhere.

When we started teaching my oldest daughter to read, she fought us tooth and nail. We finally got her to tell us that she was afraid that if she learned how to read herself, we would stop reading her stories at bedtime. After we reassured her, she picked it up right away. My younger daughter taught herself, probably from the tons of educational software we have around the house. She's a little geek girl like her mom.

PinkUnicorn
01-30-2008, 11:22 AM
my parents read to me constantly, since I was a baby. I read my first book on my own without help, at age three; it was Dr Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham; I started writing later that same year. I learned to write by copying the words fro Green Eggs and Ham over and over and over again.

Thomma Lyn
01-30-2008, 11:57 AM
Taught myself to read at age two-and-a-half. But I kept it as my special little secret -- I must have thought I'd cracked a fabulous secret code.

I have a clear memory of being age three or thereabouts, reading The Wizard of Oz, and Mom watching the movement of my eyes (to ascertain I wasn't just looking at the book) then hollering for my dad: "Oh, my God... she's READING!"

(Dang, I thought. BUSTED! :D)

DaddyCat
01-30-2008, 12:34 PM
I've been reading as long as I can remember, and once I entered school I was always reading at least two grade levels ahead. Oddly enough, I was pretty slow at the other developmental milestones (walking and talking.)

This thread is particularly interesting to me since I've been writing proposals to fund an early literacy program.

Tasmin21
01-30-2008, 04:02 PM
I'm not sure when I started reading, but I know I was three when the daycare informed my mother that I was already reading to the other children. I read The Hobbit in the 1st grade (the actual book, not a kid's version of it) which set me on my path of fantasy ever since. ;)

caromora
01-30-2008, 04:39 PM
I was around four, from what my mum tells me.

wildcatter67
01-30-2008, 04:51 PM
I taught myself to read at an early age.

I have no idea at what age my youngest son learned to read. I caught him staring at the pages of "The Lost World" by Michael Crichton, for hours at a time, at the age of 6. At the time his speech was delayed (at least around adults) and I'd never heard him read aloud even a cereal box. I knew he was an unusual child who actively hid his abilities from adults, so I had no idea what was up.

Other children were often better judges of his abilities than adults because he sometimes allowed some of them to see his abilities. His older brother was making fun of him and demanding that he read some of it aloud, which he wouldn't do.

I still don't know if he was reading that book for certain :-0 When he read "Jurassic Park" and made a diorama for a 4th grade book report, he talked about "The Lost World" with some knowledge :-0

When he was in high school I pleaded with him to let me know what his true abilities were, so that I could help him pick a proper college and help him plan his future. He told me that no one will ever know what he is capable of, laughed and walked away. Soon after I gave up homeschooling him, had him take the GED, and threw his butt in a junior college. I didn't know what else to do with him :-0 I was so tired of his games!

Albedo
01-30-2008, 04:53 PM
I taught myself at around age 3. In kindergarten they thought I was developmentally retarded and were going to put me in a program until the teacher finally noticed after 6 months that the reason I wasn't eating Play-Doh like the other kids was because I was quietly reading novels in the corner.

K1P1
01-30-2008, 05:25 PM
Six. I whipped through all the Dick and Jane books in the classroom in the first few weeks of first grade, although I can't remember reading before going to school. After that, they let me work my way independently through the "advanced" books, which went from first grade level on the bottom shelf to high school level on the top shelf.

RickN
01-30-2008, 06:59 PM
I started first grade when I was 5 and I was reading by then.

My earliest reading/writing memory is from the first spelling test Mrs. Rawls gave the class in first grade, September, 1968. She read out a word, used it in a sentence, and asked us to write down the word. I was writing the entire sentence, realized I was doing it wrong, and erased every extra word while trying to keep up with the new words she was reading.

Probably would have gotten extra credit.

maestrowork
01-30-2008, 07:09 PM
I started to learn to read when I was fairly young, probably around 3. I don't remember actually reading any books until maybe about 4 or 5.

HeronW
01-30-2008, 07:26 PM
I was 4 or 5, lay atop the newspapers getting dirty reading the comics, though I prefered my Dad to read them to me. Went through Dr Seuss and insisted on reading aloud a Golden Book on Zorro while I had laryngitis at age 6.

Monkey
01-30-2008, 07:37 PM
There are many beliefs about writers and their differences that I think threads like this feed into. How many people will leap in and say they learned to read late? Many who did were quick to forget it.

I, personally, was in the slow readers group (called, appallingly, the donkeys) and could not read at any functional level (see spot run etc) until around the age of 7. I was even slower to become numerate and these days my inability to tell 6s from 9s what probably be called dyslexic but it came right with time.

People develop at different rates. I sit here now with a non-fiction book in progress in one window and a GLM statistical anaylsis in the other.

Veinglory is right. Learning to do something early doesn't necessarily mean that you will go on to do it better than your peers.

We all learn to walk at different ages, but late walkers aren't necessarily clumsier or slower than earlier ones. We all learn to speak at early ages, but we can't use the age at which someone learned to speak to identify those destined to become great orators. My 3-year-old son plays on a soccer team...but just starting out earlier than most everyone else doesn't mean that I can count on him going pro.

My husband and I both had parents that read to us and showed us that they loved reading, but didn't actually teach us to read. We both learned it in school. He graduated Valedvictorian and went on to teach English; I stay at home and write. I don't believe that we were at all hampered by not starting earlier.

SadieCass
01-30-2008, 09:25 PM
I started reading basic books at 2. My first memory of a nightmare was from when I was 2.5...the nightmare? That I'd ripped up my favorite book!! I still remember the nightmare, and the book...but not the name of the book. Something about a circus bear escaping and trying to live in the woods...all while riding on his ball.

Anyway. Dad says at 3 I picked up the Readers Digest every month and read cover to cover...AND at 3 I remember clearly stealing the Little House books from my brother (My wonderfully coocoo Nana gave them to HIM for some reason...he never touched them)...and I devoured those. MANY times.

So, I started reading basic words and books at 2...was reading more heavily by 3.

aka eraser
01-30-2008, 09:34 PM
Don't recall precisely but I could read before I went to school. I went from 1st to 3rd grade at least partly because I read so well and so quickly.

donroc
01-30-2008, 10:15 PM
Between 3&4.

Zelenka
01-30-2008, 10:21 PM
I don't know, to be honest, but I know I was reading by age 4 as I remember my mother sitting down with books from her school, textbook things, and we used to go over them together. I must've started before that, but I don't remember much from earlier.

WendyNYC
01-30-2008, 10:23 PM
According to my mom, when I was 3. I don't remember. She always had trouble in school (she needed glasses, apparently, long before anyone noticed she couldn't see) and wanted to be sure I was never behind the curve. She read to me when I was just a baby.

III
01-30-2008, 10:24 PM
I was 5. I even remember the moment it clicked while being helped to read Tom, Dick, and Jane.

NicoleMD
01-30-2008, 11:56 PM
Superfudge!

I think I was about in the third grade. A boy I really liked let me borrow his copy. I'm pretty sure this isn't the first book I read, but it's the first I remember fondly and it also taught me that reading could be fun.

Nicole

Paichka
01-31-2008, 12:02 AM
I don't quite remember. Between 2 and 3 -- I learned to read from "Where the Wild Things Are". I still have that book by heart to this day.

It drove my teachers bonkers in Kindergarten. The teacher (Miss McVey, bless her heart) would be trying to get all the kids to learn to spell "Egg" or "Cat" or "Dog" or whatever, and I'd be off in the corner reading "Ramona Quimby, Age 8".

But for every kid like me who was reading at a high school level in elementary school, there's a kid who's not so great at reading but a mathematical whiz. Like my brother, who's a friggin' computer genius. I'm hopeless at math, and I can barely turn on anything electronic. Numbers give me headaches. How I got through calculus in HS I've not a clue.

Stormhawk
01-31-2008, 12:18 AM
Very young...I don't remember when I starting reading, all I know is that I was reading Enid Blyton before I started school (only needing help on the "big" words).

I was so bored in first grade - example, we were given a little book to trace letters and circle the a, or the b or whatever, and I finished the entire thing while the class was still on the "a" page - that I would basically start being a brat. >_< They put me up a grade and I was happy.

Cam6959
01-31-2008, 05:12 AM
I don't remember when I started to read, but I remember the story that caught my fancy....The story of Rikki Tikki Tavi from the Jungle Book... Gosh after that I was an avid reader.

Danger Jane
01-31-2008, 05:27 AM
Uuh, I don't remember. Around five, I guess. I don't even remember what book it was that got me reading...I think it was just everything. If I finished a book on the way somewhere, I read the labels on the stuff in the first aid kit in the car or billboards on the side of the road to keep myself busy.

Weird, cos it's not like I had no imagination. CONSTANT STIMULATION.

honeycomb
01-31-2008, 07:54 AM
Believe five. Really became a hobby when I was 12. Had surgery and I believe, but can't swear to it, that Harlequin used to send out sample books. Anyway, I read my first full fiction novel, and been reading every since.

You know the bad thing? A 12-year-old shouldn't read Harlequins, it distorted my view of love and dating. I started dreaming about my night and shining armor, his money, and how he would ride up on his white horse, blah, blah, blah... Unfortunately, they didn't allow horses in the 'hood unless a police was riding on it. BTW, my first date showed up in a hoopty that broke down on the way to the movies, so we caught the bus home.

To this day, I hate romances.

Ervin
01-31-2008, 09:15 AM
Hmm, I learned to read and write at only around age 4-5, but from then on I began to read from time to time.

Hobbes
02-01-2008, 12:52 AM
Last Tuesday.


Just kidding! Sheesh. :)

nerds
02-01-2008, 01:14 AM
Age three. But I was read to all the time from infancy, and everyone around me in the house was always reading in their free time. I think these were vital factors, vital examples set.

Plus my parents, like most of that era, had a horror of sending any of their children off to school for the first time unable to read. Schools were not, at that time, expected to teach basic reading, parents were. You were expected to have at very least some command when you got to first grade or kindergarten, whichever came first. (K not being the start grade in my time, First was. K didn't exist then in our school system. 1962.)

WerenCole
02-01-2008, 08:03 AM
I believe I was 26.

Chasing the Horizon
02-01-2008, 08:10 AM
I used to think I was born knowing how to read. I remember when I was two or three crawling over to the shelves where my Mom kept the kids books and picking one out to read. That must've been the first book I ever read on my own, because I remember pulling it off the shelf, starting to read it, and thinking 'This is so easy! Why do all the grown-ups act like doing this is a big deal?'. I suspect now that I actually learned to read over my mother's shoulder. She would lay on the bed and read to me, and I was probably looking at the words with her from the time I was an infant. I know in preschool (ages 3-4) I would spend all the playtime sitting in the 'time out' corner reading the picture books. I would throw a fit if one of the other kids got put on time out, because then I had to move, lol.

Despite how easily I learned to read, I actually always struggled with English (and still do, to some degree). I think it was because I learned to read instinctually, rather than having it taught to me. I had absolutely no grasp of grammar, sentence structure, spelling, or phonetics. This was made worse by the fact I absolutely could not learn the motor skill of writing writing with a pen. There was no way for me to write down anything until I was seven or so and learned to type. To this day, I struggle with handwriting anything beyond my signature (even something as simple as a name and phone number).

I started writing poetry when I was 12 or so, then stopped when I was 16 and didn't write anything else until I started my first novel at age 19. I firmly believed writing was boring and I hated it until I woke up one day and realized the fifty-thousand word 'paper game' on my computer was half a novel. People always told me I should write because I loved making up characters, worlds, and stories (in that order, and plot being my least favorite part hasn't changed), but the act of putting the story down on paper so others would see the same images as were in my head was so impossible and tedious I knew I would never be a writer. When I realized I'd written half a novel and started actually learning how to write effectively, it came so incredibly easily (almost as easily as reading) that I couldn't (and still can't) believe I ever thought I couldn't do it. I went from knowing absolutely nothing about even basic sentence structure and grammar and writing scenes which wouldn't have been acceptable for a high school creative writing class to writing at close to my current level (which must be pretty good to get agents requesting partials on my old MS) in less than six months. I never read any books or really studied the craft either. I just browsed this forum and wrote A LOT.

I've come to the realization that I excel at whatever interests me, and fail at whatever doesn't. I recently decided I wanted to repair computers as my 'other' job (besides writing). I used to be horrible on computers (I had the magic touch, meaning everything I touched crashed), and had improved some, but was far from an expert. Then one day I was looking at my laptop and decided I wanted to learn how to refurbish them. In less than a month I was building Apple computers from the logic board up (and yes, they work when I'm done).

I believe the only reason there's anything I'm truly horrible at now (like handwriting, math, and finances) is because people tried to force me to learn it when I was young. If people just leave me alone and let me master a skill when I choose, I can probably be excellent at anything. Everyone thought I had a severe lack of fine motor skills because I couldn't handwrite, yet when I was 14 I decided I wanted to learn to draw and did just fine at it. In fact, my best skill was gothic, celtic, and other forms of elaborate lettering. If I'd gone to public school I would probably hate all skills and be bad at everything, but I was home schooled so there's only a few things I'm ruined for. Basically, I hate being taught. Give me a text book or an internet search engine and leave me the hell alone.

Hillary
02-01-2008, 08:28 AM
I used to get irritated that my parents read the newspaper at the breakfast table instead of paying attention to me. I wanted to see what was SO much more important than watching me play with Cheerios, so I was an obnoxious brat until my mother gave up and taught me to read. I was three. By the time I was ready for kindergarten, I was too advanced and they wouldn't let me into class. I got to sit at home for a year under the enlightened instruction of the school system, which said, "Don't teach her anything else."

Moral of the story - teaching kids to read is apparently very bad.

Chickenscratch
02-01-2008, 09:09 AM
Nobody knows. My parents were fairly oblivious. My older sister and I apparently hijacked the "Hooked on Phonics" and taught ourselves.

On the first day of first grade, I tote a thick book of stories and sit at my desk, quietly reading so I don't have to deal with any of the other children.

One boy turns around and says, "Stop pretending to read. You can't read."
"Yes I can."
"No you can't."
"Yes I can!"

Teacher interrupts. Figures out that I can read at a fifth grade level. Sends me to the principal's office for a week of intensive testing to determine whether I'm a genius, idiot savant or worse. They are ready to have me skip first grade until the math test.

Uhhhh, maybe she's not so bright after all.

GeorgieB
02-01-2008, 05:47 PM
I'm told by my older sisters that I started reading very early (perhaps 3), and that got me into all sorts of trouble when I started thinking about what I was reading, and questioning everything.

Shady Lane
02-01-2008, 06:12 PM
3, like a lot of you...my sis (5 at the time) had just learned and she's a natural teacher.