Friday, May 4, 2012

Ready to Read? Not!

I ran across a fascinating blog article a week or so ago, in which the blogger discussed the correlation between a kindergartener's ability to "draw a man" and his "reading readiness." She says:
".... one of the "tests" they gave the kids was exactly what I had learned about in college. It was called "Draw a Man." They gave the kiddos a piece of paper and a pencil or crayon and asked them to draw a man. (or person) Then they repeated that test at the end of the year. Was it an art test? Nope. It's a reading readiness assessment.... What I learned in college certainly held true in that Pre-K classroom. 
"Basically the research shows that how much detail a child puts in their drawing of a person is an indicator of how ready they are to tackle the skill of reading. For example, if a child just has a big face with eyes, nose, and mouth? Not so ready. When they start adding details such as the correct number of fingers, eyebrows, etc....then they are ready. Also, the presence of a "baseline" is an indicator. That is when they draw a "floor" under their person instead of just drawing them floating on the page."
I have always suspected that our son, while ridiculously bright, is not really ready for academia. This has been revealed in a number of ways - his reluctance to write or draw, his disinterest in academic subjects, etc. With that in mind, I was eager to try the test mentioned above!

And so I did. I gave him markers and a piece of paper, and told him to "draw a man." I didn't give any other directions, other than to do his best and to use whatever colors he liked. Here is the result:

This picture was drawn last week - our son's age is about 5y10m.

I think my gut feelings were confirmed! This child is really not reading-ready. Though, I must tell you, I was extremely impressed with this picture. A year ago, it would have been a single line scrawled across the page. His progress has been immense - though needless to say, our son has never been the least interested in drawing!

So, with this in mind, I am continuing on our present trajectory - starting school, but taking things slowly and not stressing (too much) about our progress. We will get there, and I think he is going to be brilliant in some subjects - but the early years are going to be slow going. In all honesty, I think he could easily be a "wait till eight" student.... but my ability to withstand societal pressures is not that strong. We'll just take it slowly and incorporate lots of "life learning" (reading, playing, social activities, LEGOs, etc.).

'Night, all! Have an awesome weekend!


  1. Diana I love it! What a cute man and I know it's just research--but how fascinating to see his new picture in 9 months or a year! I bet it will blow your socks off! I would have NEVER bet that my 2nd child wouldn't have been reading until 8 years old b/c she's SO smart. But smart doesn't really have anything to do with ready I guess. And yes, we did start instruction when she was 5, but--and like you said the pressure was hard to deal with--we just swallowed hard and didn't worry. (much). :) And it may mean he hates drawing and he might read in 2 months' time. Who knows? Hope you'll share the next picture with me!

  2. Thanks, Brenda! You're so sweet! I'll definitely post later when I redo the test. Thanks again for your blog - I always enjoy reading it!! I love your blog's theme - praying for God to lead your family where He wants it to go and then experiencing the journey - we're basically doing the same thing! It's a crazy ride!! :)

  3. I remember reading about an old mother who said school for boys before seven was a waste of everybody's time

  4. Janie - I completely agree!!! :)


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