Wednesday, November 7, 2012

and then, there was reassurance

A superhero, indeed.

  Hayden woke up today and suddenly could read.  I mean, he could read before, but he wasn't retaining words very well and would have to sometimes sound out everything including sight words he already knows.  That was really messing with his reading comprehension so often I would read what he had just read back to him so that he could follow the story.  He would often get bored with the story and just not want to read it because it was overstimulating.  I don't suspect dyslexia or any other attention or learning problems with Hayden, but he did have touches of issues in some places that would make you consider it now and then.  He is 6 and 1/2 years old. 

  (I often forget that Hayden is only 6 and 1/2.  He is exceptionally tall for his age and very independent. He can work most electronics without assistance, he teaches me things sometimes, lol.  He helps me with Jude so much and even helps Dylan, especially when his shoes are on the wrong feet or his clothes are on backwards.  I always tell people it seems like Hayden should be like, 9 or 10 or something.)

  I decided last week that we were done with phonics worksheets and all that busy work.  My kids know the letters, know the sounds they make, know about consonant blends and long and short vowels... so all there is left to do is just read. Read everyday.  Read everything.  So I took them to the library and they picked out readers that contained stories that they were interested in.  Hayden got a Spiderman book and Dylan a Thomas book.  Dylan still didn't care much about his, but Hayden!  Hayden wanted to read me that book all day.  He even took it with us to Jackson for Dylan's appointment.  It was like, suddenly, when the subject matter was interesting, rather than generic sentences off of worksheets and random short stories, the words would come together and make sense.  Today he has read me 4 chapters out of a book we got from the library.  It is an early reader, but there are many words in it that he doesn't know, and he is sounding them out if he doesn't know them and following along awesomely.  It's like a light went off in his head or something.

  I'm coming to realize that school doesn't have to mean busy work and lessons and all of that.  My kids are learning how to read... and HOLY CRAP, I taught them. 

  Lately I've been feeling like I just don't know what I'm doing anymore.  The decision to lessen the worksheet load and learn by real life wasn't easy for me to come to.  What about what everyone will think, when they know my kids don't do pen and paper school work like public school kids do?  Well, who cares.  My kids are reading, telling time (Hayden consistently correctly and Dylan sometimes switches the hands around, but he has the right idea) and counting money... like they should be doing.  They aren't doing worksheets about it, we are using real money.  We learned to skip count with M&Ms.  And we read, read, read, read every single day. 

  And today, I realized that in fact, I am doing a pretty good job.

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