Elazar is 7, in 2nd grade. He recently picked up the aleph bina again and asked me to review the nekudos. He remembered most of them. I started the page with the kamatz with each letter of the aleph beis with a kamatz underneath it. He immediately grasped the concept of blending and zipped through the page. He forgot about 4 of the letters, which I told him. Over the next couple of days, he did the patach and the tzeirei very easily. He still needed reminders of the kaf/chaf and the pey today.
Elazar wants a laptop for a siyum present and asked what can he learn in order to get it. He asked if he can learn to read. I said I'll teach you to read, but a siyum is for limud Torah.
Regarding his English reading, he plays some board game and has been reading some of the cards.
Jack will be 5 next month. He's been asking to write recently. He's been writing his name and other things. He mainly writes at night during bedtime, but he's recently started writing during the day a bit. Ari took Jack and Elazar to Avos U'Banim learning on Motzei Shabbos and said Jack knew the aleph beis better than Elazar. Jack still needs to learn the sofises before his siyum. The siyum will be a selection of candy from Oh Nuts to share with the neighbors (also homeschoolers).
Aharon is 3. The book by his bed is Aleph to Tav by Yaffa Ganz. I bought it many years ago when Sarah was young. We were just reading it every night when I realized that Aharon knew the aleph, so I tried teaching him the next letter. He is now up to zayin.
This is unschooling and I only do "schoolwork" with them when they ask. Months and months can go by with no reading or writing. Elazar is on a reading streak now, but I can't even remember the last time he was interested. (Actually, I can probably check this blog. In July he did some English writing and in June he did a bit of English reading. The last time he did Hebrew reading was May, which was 6 months ago. And the time before that was... hey, last November. About a year ago.) So he learned the nekudos for about an hour almost a year ago. Then 6 months ago he reviewed. Then last week he became interested again. And now he can read Hebrew (though at this point we've done only 3 of the nekudos officially). So far he is still doing one letter + vowel sound. I'm going to go through the book in order unless he requests otherwise (let's say, he might bring me a bentcher or a Chumash and ask me to help him read from there). When I spoke to unschooling boys who were grown up about their limudei kodesh experiences, they assured me that when the time came to get ready for their bar mitzvas, they were interested in learning to read and to leyn and to daven. In our family, I guess it isn't really left completely alone, insofar as we have lots of aleph beis games and puzzles and some posters up around the house. And whenever the kids ask to go to the candy store I always say, "Sure! As soon as you learn your aleph beis we will have a siyum from there." (#~AlfieKohn)