Thursday, May 25, 2017

When He Reads

I don't have as many years experience as a parent as some people out there.  But from my experience, I can tell you that I learn something new about my kids almost every day.
Both of my boys took a little longer to start talking when they were little.  And both of my boys did not pronounce letter sounds correctly.  With my older son, we worked and worked at it.  By the time he started school, he spoke correctly.  With my younger son, I missed the mark.  I didn't carve out that time to work with him.  And he started school not pronouncing some letters correctly.  I wish I would have made the time back then.
The school worked with him.  And he is now, at the end of 3rd grade, pronouncing his letters all correctly.  That is wonderful!
I noticed last year that his reading was suffering because of his speech.  The letters on the page were not the sounds that he heard for the words.  He didn't just speak the letter sounds incorrectly, he comprehended them incorrectly.  That would make reading very difficult.  If he says "woad" for "road" - well that is one thing.  But if he actually thinks that the word is "woad" . . well then reading the word "road" wouldn't really click as the thing the cars drive on.  And of course with reading, there is also writing.  Yep . . .
He hasn't wanted to try in these areas at all.  And I get it.  I really do.  He is a very smart boy.  And these things make him feel dumb.  He takes longer than the other kids.  And that frustrates him.
So, he and I had a heart to heart talk about this.  We talked about why he isn't trying.  We talked about why he isn't "getting it", like the other kids.  And we worked out a plan!
This summer's Mom School already has a curriculum!  In years past, I start looking at Mom School after several weeks of summer vacation.  But this summer, oh this summer we have a big task ahead of us!  My boy wants to be up to par with the other kids in his class.  And he is very much capable of this goal!
Step #1, we are taking a step back.  We aren't going to worry about the mechanics of reading and writing at this point.  There is no use dissecting something that isn't functioning correctly anyway.  It'd be like greasing the bearings on a flat tire.  We're going to fix the tire first.  We're going to make the words make sense.  Then we'll move on.
It is awesome to watch him already!  Just breaking this down to the root of the problem and setting up a game plan to work on it has made him feel empowered!  That was visible tonight when he WILLINGLY read to me while we drove home.  It was just he and I in the car.  It was quiet and safe.  And he read me a story out loud from cover to cover.  It was wonderful!
Tonight I am thankful for a plan!  Mom School starts early this year!  Let's Go!

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