Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Struggle to Read

My daughter is having a hard time with her reading. She is only in first grade, but we noticed the signs in kindergarten. It took her awhile to learn all her letters and their corresponding sounds, but thankfully, the school tested her and she has no learning disabilities.

Right now, she is in the Reading Recovery program. This requires a lot of parent participation and I'm just fine with that. The only problem? It breaks my heart to see my daughter so frustrated that she cries. This is foreign territory to me. I never had a problem learning my letters or learning how to read. I largely credit Sesame Street with helping me out in the early years. And it makes it hard to know that something that I love so much - reading - is difficult for my daughter.

Last night I had a few moments where I wondered if I could have done something different in those years before she went to school. Did I go over the alphabet enough? Did I read to her enough? What didn't I do?

I've just had to realize that I did my best at the time. There's no room for regrets, only for moving forward.

We're reading every night now, going over vocabulary words, and sounding out words. I read her a bedtime story at night and that is still one of the best times of the day.


  1. My younger nephew is having the same problem - he's just six and my sis is spending a lot of time working with him. It's worse for him, because his big brother started reading at four and read Harry Potter to himself at seven.

    Sounds like you're doing all the right things and when it clicks, it will really click :-)

  2. The fact that you are putting in all this wonderful effort without a thought for anything but her proves that you are doing exactly the right thing. It can't be easy but you will both be better for it especially once she gets a little older and really into the joy of reading.

    Not that this will help at all but I was never a strong reader until I hit my twenties.

  3. That's hard. I was always an avid reader growing up which is strange since I had dyslexia and no one even figured that out until I was in my early 20s. But my sister had more of a struggle--mostly which I attribute to the fact we couldn't get her to sit still long enough to read. But everyone is different and once she gets over the biggest hurdle of learning to sound things out, etc. it will likely improve from there. At least she seems interested enough to keep trying, that's a big deal right there.

  4. You didn't do anything wrong. Some people just take longer to learn the basics. I know some people who had a terrible time reading who now love it. Keep working with her every day.

    You know what I did when I tutored kids who had trouble learning how to read? I made up funny stories about the letters and words, and that way, the shape of the letter reminded them of the funny story and then the word.

    Pretty soon, they remembered the words -- and always associated them with all the laughing we did in our tutoring sessions. We were almost kicked out of the school library ALL the time.

  5. Devon - what an awesome idea! I just might have to try that out.

    Stacy, Tess, and Kelly - Thanks for the support and advice. I know this is just a hurdle she must overcome, but we WILL overcome it! :-)


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