January 8, 2011
A Long Journey
Yes, there she stands, slacking off. Reading
of all things
instead of helping in the kitchen.
I couldn't be more pleased.
It is hard to understand the joy of this moment without understanding the journey that has brought us here...
My husband and I have created what some call a literature rich environment for our children. Partly due to my extreme love of reading and partly due to homeschooling, our home is stuffed with books. Books of all sizes and shapes and books on all sorts of topics fill our home. Fiction, nonfiction, and reference books are squeezed onto overflowing shelves, stacked on side tables, and littered across the floor. With this type of environment, and my own passion for reading, I assumed all my children would quickly and easily become avid readers.
How wrong I was.
Almost five years ago, my daughter and I embarked on a journey that would plummet us both to the depths of despair. That journey was teaching her how to read.
When she started kindergarten, I was convinced she would be reading above grade level within one or two years. This was not the case. She struggled. I struggled. We were both distraught. It was not until I humbled myself to the Lord did it change.
Once I released all my unrealistic expectations, we embarked on a more realistic path of learning. It was then we started a successful, but still challenging journey of learning to read.
By the time she was in second grade, my daughter could read, and read well. But all the effort and work of reading had stripped all the enjoyment out of it for her. She still loved listening to interesting stories and writing her own, but to read on her own for fun was out of the question.
Always responsible, she read what was required, but nothing more. No amount of gentle encouragement or subtle promptings moved her. Summer reading programs helped increase her reading time, but not the enjoyment. She continued reading and being read to in this manner for a couple years.
Then, something changed.
Nothing I did prompted the change.
Nothing in her environment changed.
But something changed.
Her love for reading blossomed.
Now, I find her reading in spare moments, reading all sorts of books, and reading EVERYWHERE and anywhere she has a chance ~ even when she had a few minutes to spare while we were cooking in the kitchen.
Posted in: Homeschool