To Read or Not to Read?

downloadHopefully, you know the answer to this question! I have to admit though, I am not an avid reader. As a matter of fact, I am terrible at taking the time to soak in a good book. As a child, I would read some, but it wasn’t my first choice. My mom was a kindergarten teacher, so I was read to before I was born, but it has never been my thing.  I am a mover. I don’t sit well, and reading requires me to quit moving. And if I am going to quit moving I would rather write or draw, because at least I can move my hands.

For me, it is not too big of a deal. However, when trying to raise kids to love reading…it becomes a bit of a problem! Add to it that my husband isn’t a big reader either, 2 of my 3 kids have been diagnosed with dyslexia, and testing is pending with my 3rd, the reasons to skip reading mount up. Whether it was my thing or not, I did read to these 3 while still in the womb and we read many, many, (MANY) books when they were smaller. They are at the point now where most kids read to themselves. Mine need more help, though. I’ve researched all of the different tests they do these days. How to measure fluency, comprehension, and speed. In addition to reading a certain amount, we are looking at each book to determine its AR (Accelerated Reading) score and making sure we read a specific amount of time so enough AR points are earned. For kids that love reading and are great at it, this is awesome! For kids (and their parents) who have amazing gifts that aren’t quite as measurable in this way, this is pure H-E- double hockey sticks!!

But it doesn’t have to be! I have been working on a study that asks me to choose one thing about myself on which to concentrate for the whole year and to see how this transforms throughout the year. My word is CHOICE. In all things I have a CHOICE to have a positive or negative perception. I have a CHOICE to complain about something I may not like about the school or be thankful that we have amazing teachers bending over backwards to help us figure out how to help our kids to reach their potentials. I have a CHOICE to see this situation as a setback or an opportunity.

With my 1st daughter, I thought I was going to lose my mind! I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to get through the smallest of books with her. I had read to her since conception. I ate healthy while I was pregnant and fed her organic food as she was able to eat from the table. She was exposed to tons of sensory expanding activities and loved beyond measure. She had always done amazing in preschool and Parents As Teachers. She more than excelled! She could write, cut, and do just about anything with not only one hand, but equally well with both. She was learning Sign Language and Spanish, and had her own art and reading room under the stairs. Her own personal hideout. Why couldn’t she read the smallest of words?Why did she skip all over the place in books?  Why did she write her letters backwards and have barely legible handwriting? Was she just being stubborn? What did we do wrong? What didn’t we do for her? Wow! The torture we put ourselves through.

In second grade, we moved her from a small private school to our public school that has many more resources and teachers trained in this type of thing. I won’t lie, it was hard and time consuming. Especially with two younger than her at home while we were building a house. But, we got so much time together and I slowly learned it wasn’t our fault and she was doing the best she could. We worked with doctors, did vision and primitive reflex therapy, played with reading tools, and we read and we read and we read. She went from a sweet, and overly timid 2nd grader who could barely read or spell to a vibrant 4th grader that loved life and brought home nearly all A’s. She went from living in shame and embarrassment because she couldn’t keep up with her peers to donning a huge braces-clad grin and holding her shoulders back and standing tall with confidence. I still believe it is a confidence that she gained because she learned to overcome. She learned what happens when you work hard to get past adversity and how to listen to people put in your path to guide you through difficulty.

She learned to READ!

There are some things in life you really need to learn to do; reading being a huge one! You have to read to do so many things! To quote Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more that you’ll know. The more that you know, the more places you’ll go.” It was unplanned for all of us, but my daughter’s journey to learn this necessary skill taught our family to trust our gut, the rewards of perseverance, that some of the most amazing talents aren’t measurable, and a person can shine brightest when faced with difficult situations.

Now, I will make the CHOICE to not only relish the time to take in a good book with my kids, but to hold on to these lessons as we guide our next two through similar trials. I am so excited to watch their lights shine!

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Happy Reading!!

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P.S. Click on these images below to find more fun posts on reading!!!

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