Thursday, November 03, 2011

Dash is reading, finally.

Dash, reading on his own, in bed. (Totoro photobomb!)
Dash is in first grade. At the end of Kindergarten, he still wasn't reading many words, despite having an amazing vocabulary, an incredible imagination, lots of work with flash cards, and a very book-friendly home. I tried to engage his imagination by telling him reading was like being a spy and solving secret messages, but he just wasn't interested. He loves to be read to, but reading the words himself just took too long and seemed to consider actually sounding out each word to get to the message in the story to be a chore. His generation wants immediacy! Heck, I can find a particular episode of Voltron (a cartoon series from 1984 that only lasted two seasons) on Netflix streaming within a minute, what's the point of slogging through a book?

Since he started first grade, his teacher told me initially that he would catch right up with the other kids, not a problem. That's what they do in first grade! A few weeks later, a message was sent home that he was being put in an intensive reading group to bring him up to grade-level. I'm not sure what intensive activities they're doing at school, but they've been sending home a pouch with a series of easy-reader books and we sign off every night that he's reading them to us. We are also doing our best to read 2 to 3 books of his choice to him a night. It doesn't seem like much, but since we have to wrestle books away from Rosie and she's been reading since she was four years old, I just figured that Dash would come around and pick up reading at some point. We hadn't been pushing him.

It's been over a month since Dash started coming home with that special book pouch in his backpack, but the extra work has finally paid off. Yesterday, after driving home, rushing to get Dash to karate class, rushing home to take Rosie to art class, I finally got to eat a delicious dinner (prepared with love by Monkeyrotica) around 7:30. While I was eating, I had Dash do his spelling homework next to me (homework just started this week). When he finished, I got out his book pouch and asked him to read me a few of the books. He still wanted to be read a book, but I was busy clearing the dinner dishes and putting away food before I needed to leave and pick up Rosie from art class at 8:30. I paused to put him in his pajamas and got him ready for bed. I handed him one of his favorite new books "Earth to Clunk," and suggested that he read it to himself. I returned to the kitchen and the dishes.

The door to Dash's room is right off the kitchen and his voice carries. I could easily hear him reading aloud. He's had "Earth to Clunk" read to him so many times that he may have some of it memorized, but he slowly (with a few shouted requests for help) read it all the way through! I was so thrilled that I was late picking up Rosie from class because I wanted to get a good photo of him with his book! Cheers, Dash, may you enjoy many more increasingly challenging books in years to come.


  1. This just made me smile. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Wiley! It's been a long haul. Crossing-fingers that he continues to improve! How could you not, after getting a taste of how wonderful reading is?

  3. Maybe we should get the kids comic books to exchange. In fact, I have a bunch that I got from Freecycle. I'll bring them on craft night!


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