I feel so sorry for children where the school is "worried" about their progress in reading and writing, and sends them home with extra work books and flash cards and lord knows what else for the summer holidays. So the pressure never drops off.
The parents feel under pressure because their 5/6/7/whatever year old is not at the same stage in literacy as the rest of the class. First assumption: We Have Done Something Wrong As Parents. Second assumption: There is Something Wrong With Our Child (whether that is disciplinary or developmental or what). I wish more would jump to a third assumption: Our Child is Fine. He/She is Just Not on Exactly The Same Tram Tracks as the National Average.
But that's a hard business, backing off, when schools are, by definition, places in which reading and writing are so central to the daily functioning of the institution from a really early stage.
Here's what I wrote somewhere else:
Reading and writing are the most glorious human tools. I mean, really. They make so much possible in terms of knowledge creation and storage. And we can access beautiful language and stories by people who aren't living in the same place and time as us.
But different children are ready to embrace that tool at different times. Some are ready at 4. Some are ready at 5 (they are the lucky ones, because that's when the UK schools are assuming they are up for it too) and some aren't ready till 7 or 8 or 10 or even later. Nothing to do with intelligence, just to do with being ready to begin using this particular tool of human communication.
We can force our children to learn to read and write before they are ready, we can even try to persuade them that it's a marvellous tool, but until they themselves are wanting to read a particular story THEMSELF or access a certain type of information INDEPENDENTLY, or communicate in writing to someone THEMSELF, then it's all just a rather pointless circus trick really, isn't it?
The old Unschooler's 5-step method of teaching a child to read is:
1. read to them
2. read to them
3. read to them
4. read to them
5. read to them
and it sounds like you're doing that. So I'd back off, take off the pressure, try to persuade school to take off the pressure, and let your child take it at their own pace. when she's ready, you won't see her for dust.
[climbs off soap box and puts it into backpack]
The Sandra Dodd page on reading begins: "You can't make her read or write. But you can make her not want to"