We couldn’t wait for the day when we would be able to hear E.B. read books to us. As a mom, it was a parenting milestone I looked forward to. As a librarian, I know how important establishing good reading habits early on can make all the difference in a child’s reading success. When E.B. came home with his word lists this past year in Kindergarten, we diligently went over them each night, and many tears were shed on his part. I knew it was all new and frustrating to him, so I empathized with him. I cheered him on. By the end of the year, he was reading, and reading well. The child reads beautifully and speaks so fluidly and with such enunciation that it makes me so proud.
This summer we have been working through a summer reading list. The books on the list were only suggestions, so I purposely picked out books on his reading level and with subject matter that I knew he would be interested in. And yet, the tears still flow and I am resigned to the fact.
I have a reluctant reader.
I deal with reluctant readers at work more often than not. I can count on one hand the students in the entire school who are so enthusiastic about reading that they make me hold books for them in a series so they can immediately check it out when they finish the previous one. Naturally, I had visions of my own son being one of these children.
He’s not, and he is one of two children I have ever dealt with that fought reading and the frustration of it to the point of tears. My heart hurts for any child that struggles with reading this much. He puzzles me, though, because once he starts reading, he does a great job.
Now that he is starting first grade, I know we have a long road ahead of us. I’m brushing up on ways to help reluctant readers, not just for him, but for my own students. I will be patient with them all and try to incorporate some out of the box ideas to spark their interests. I will keep trying to instill in them all the confidence they need to believe they can conquer any reading obstacles and actually enjoy a book.
It’s more than just my day job now.
*My friend Beth at The Angel Forever is currently holding a giveaway of some great books to help reluctant readers. If you have a child struggling with reading, stop by and check out her post. (Giveaway ends July 31)