All children are not alike. My 4 are proof of that. My two oldest kids learned to read by the ages of 3 and 4. My youngest two are just now learning to read small words at the ages of 6 and 7. My 7 year old boy though has struggled with his speech ever since he started talking. There are just certain letter sounds that he has struggled with. While he has proved tremendously over the past few years, we still work daily on pronouncing words while reading books.
Since my youngest son was struggling with reading, going to the library was not fun for him. He hated to pick out books. He hated for me to pick out books. Even if I told him I would read the books to him, he still did not like reading at all. This is where this momma started praying. I mean, I love reading. Our whole family loves reading. Books are a favorite downtime for our family. To have a child that did not like books or to read, it really sadden me a lot. I knew it was because he struggled to read.
We continued our Hooked on Phonics, as well as Bob Jones Phonics and English. I also continue on praying. I hated seeing my son get frustrated and upset not being able to read and figure words out. Then one day as we visited the library, like I do every time before we leave, I told the kids to go choose some books to check out. Low and behold, my son picked out some books all on his own. I couldn’t believe it.
The books are written and illustrated by Jim Arnosky. The books are all about nature and animals. Mr. Arnosky will go out and actually film animals to take home and study. He has written over 80 books and has won many awards for the books. I have to be honest, I have never heard of Mr. Arnosky until my son just went and picked up 3 of his books. They were Little Lions, Raccoon On His Own and Rattlesnake Dance.
When we got home from the library that day, he immediately wanted to read all three of the books. We sat down and I read the books to him. I was so proud of him and told him so. We read those books and he looked through those books over the next two weeks that we had them. When we got to the library, my son wanted to read the books one last time. I said okay and we sat down on one of the love-seats. To my surprise, he wanted to read the books to me!!
I was so thrilled and happy! I literally was sitting there with tears in my eyes. I was so proud of my boy. He did need help on a few of the larger words, but for the most part, he read slowly, the whole book. When he finished, you ought to have seen the look on his face. It was priceless. He was so happy! His confidence level skyrocketed after that day.
Now, he will happily go into the library and choose a variety of books when I tell them it is time to go. However, it never fails, he will come home with a couple of Jim Arnosky books. I have to say, I can’t blame him one bit. They hold a special meaning in my heart as well.
So mom, if you have a son who is a struggling reader. Don’t give up on him. Before you know it, your son will be reading. Just keep reading to him and letting him choose books that interest him. It may not be the readers that come with your special curriculum. It may be a random book just pulled off a shelf at the library.
Do you remember the very first book that your child(ren) read to you?