Parenting 101 is a series about my journey in parenting. It documents all the highs and lows of our life showing parents everywhere they are not alone in the crazy world of raising kids.
I never had to deal with reading issues until Colin started learning to read. He just didn’t like it. He wanted to run, play, and do anything other than reading. Which was hard for me to understand because, growing up, I adored reading. And Kendall loves to read and always has. For her, reading just fell into place while with Colin, reading has been a battle.
And the thing is, I don’t blame him for not liking it. It’s something he doesn’t like to do and something that frustrates him when he gets a word or two wrong. I like to compare it to me ironing. I hate ironing. I’m really bad at ironing, so I don’t want to do. And doing it puts me in a bad mood. It’s the same thing with Colin and reading.
But he thrives in every other subject. So to hear the school talking about holding him back a grade because of reading is really frustrating and heartbreaking because of how well he does in everything else. And as his mom, I feel like I’ve failed him.
His teacher is amazing and has gone above and beyond. And the school is doing everything they can to help him learn and grow as a student. But the school and his teacher can only do so much.
I think a lot of times it’s easier to blame behavior issues and learning issues on the school or the teacher or both. When our kids are behind and we have those parent-teacher conferences, it’s really easy to go in there defensive and placing blame on the why instead of focusing on how to get our kids performing where they need to be. But if we, as parents, aren’t helping them further their education at home, then we the parents are to blame.
So if your child is behind in any subject at school, you’re not alone. And I know, trying to get kids to do homework is hard enough….then we have to throw in extra work to get them where they need to be. But while they (and you) may have to work really hard at it, one day something just clicks and things get easier.
Colin moved up 3 reading levels in a few weeks and has grown leaps and bounds. He is finally seeing all his hard work pay off, and knows that it’s his hard work that’s making him better. It’s hasn’t been easy for him and there have been plenty of tears, but he’s done it.
So here are some tips I have to help get your child reading better:
- Work with their teacher- Super important. The teacher is there every day and knows what’s going on better than we do. So talk to their teacher and come up with a plan together that you both can work on through the school year.
- Read to them every day-Kendall always loved me reading to her and Connor does too but Colin was never a fan so I skipped a bit with him. Guys…read to your kid every night. Just take 20-30 minutes and read together.
- Make reading fun-There are TONS of online resources to help your child to read better. ABCMouse.com is a good one. One that Colin LOVES is Teach your monster to read. And again, talk to the teacher. There may be online resources the schools uses that they can give you the log-in information for so your child can continue to use it at home.
- Sight words-Every grade has certain words the kids have to know by the end of the year. Go over them with your child. The more sight words they know, the faster and easier it will be for them to read. We go over them twice a day right now and it’s hard but the results have been amazing.
- PRAISE. Sing your child’s praises when they read. Or when they do good things. All they hear is that they’re behind or all the see are bad grades because they’re behind. Talk to them and make sure they know that you believe in them. The power of positive thinking can be more powerful than any of us believe.