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.


  1. Oh How I love reading too!!!!

  2. Your story could be my story with my eldest son who is now nearly 12. Those two innocuous words: 'unrealistic' and 'expectation' are evil when combined. Thankfully, when I removed the pressure I released a reader. Lesson learned.

    And oh the joy of seeing them read just because they want to. Bliss.

  3. What a blessing that your little girl is choosing to read and finding joy in it!

  4. Awwww. That is so nice! :)

  5. I found my way here via a friend over at "Growing Your Homeschool" and just wanted you to know what an encouragement this post is for me. My second son has struggled and struggled and struggled. He was diagnosed with dyslexia last year, which has enabled me to readjust my expectations and make a new plan. The changes in him have been magnificent just since understanding himself that he learns differently. I have such hope for a day like this when time passes. He is beginning third grade now. I wish you a wonderful school year!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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