If I didn’t already know how rewarding this was I would have a really hard time pressing on! My second son is just now beginning to learn to read. It is just barely beginning to take hold in his mind but he is still at the point where he will forget what the the letter “n” says two seconds after going through a whole page and pointing out every “n” and saying its sound when he points at it. It is very frustrating. Not to mention that he has the attention span of a gnat and when he gets frustrated his immediate response is to want to contort his body into a pretzel and shake his head like a wet dog.
I remember this phase with my first son, who admittedly is a different animal altogether. When he was frustrated he would just break down bawling but he was determined. He really wanted to read. This guy needs me to constantly remind him that if he wants to drive a Mustang when he grows up that first he has to learn how to drive and that he can’t do that without knowing how to read and then he has to have a job that can make him enough money to pay for it and he can’t do that without knowing how to read. Or he has to see his three year old brother wanting to learn phonics too and thus be reminded that if he would like to be ahead of his little brother in school he had better get a move on.
He needs motivation other than just learning to read in other words. At this point he really couldn’t care less if he never learns how to read but never being allowed to drive?! At five years old this is already quite the motivation!
Teaching your child to read has got to be one of the more difficult parts of early homeschooling, and yet one of the most rewarding parts. Once the lights come on and their little brains take off with rocket boosters propelling them forward, you feel like you have gone and given them the moon with all of the blood, sweat and tears you put into it (okay… no blood!) With my first son I think I broke down crying a few times a week also until it finally really took hold.
Junior Circus performer here, who would probably prefer to learn to read while riding a unicycle and screaming like a banshee, all the while juggling red hot swords if he could, just ends up making me mad! I would give up now I think if I didn’t already know that this too shall pass and that when all is said and done, he will have a more powerful vehicle than any souped up Mustang, one that will take him to places I can’t even imagine right now — the power to read!
My 7 year old just reminded me of this fact by exhaling a deservedly self-satisfied sigh of accomplishment as he finished reading the last page of his third book in The Chronicles of Narnia. I look back to our times on the couch, where we cried together and vowed to not give up until he had this thing learned and think how amazing it is that he now informs me of things that he has read about so that I am learning from this child that I taught to read.
All of this to say… if you are in this boat with me, remember, never give up! (And please re-remind me of this often as well!) For the satisfaction and the reward we will reap from all of this torturous effort will not return void. Once we are over this first enormous hurtle we can then just enjoy the learning journey that we are on together.
It’s funny because my husband and I are excited by the prospect of, within a year and a half’s time having 0 children in diapers. After 7 years straight of at least one in diapers, this is a concept that we revel in. And now I have already found the milestone in our lives that will replace the dreams of being a diaperless family… being a whole family of readers… ((sigh)) It’s a beautiful thought!