I've been trying to teach Sierra without teaching her. This is not as easy as it sounds. I consider it an advanced form of stealth teaching. It involves making her want to learn by acting completely nonchalant about the entire learning process. For example, today I wanted her to write, but I knew she would buck if I said, "Sierra, let's do some writing." Instead, I pulled out the cursive writing placemat and offered to show her how to do fancy writing. She traced all the lower case letters with me offering some pointers about where to start and how to loop.
She's been doing pretty well at teaching herself to read. Between using Starfall and practicing with easy readers, I really think she's getting it. It's gotten me thinking about my own experiences with reading. I have a memory of reading to my mother and getting stuck on a word. After sounding it out a few times, I deciphered the word and continued. My mother interrupted saying, "That was very good." I remember feeling so proud of myself for figuring it out, especially because my mom noticed. I'm trying to use these memories to nurture my homeschoolers. I'm trying to hold my breath instead of quickly supplying a word Sierra is stuck on. I praise her when she figures out a passage without help. We don't often realize how important these words of encouragement are. An unexpected compliment means a lot when we deciphering new skills.
I hope there comes a time when Sierra will allow me to blatantly teach her. Until then, I will settle for teaching her through praise.