June 24, 2004

Reading Is Fundamental

When I was a child I thought the world began and ended between the covers of a book. Through books I could go anywhere, do anything, exist as any being. For an hour or so I was somewhere else - and I loved to travel.

So naturally my children would also be readers right?

Well, all except the five year old are now.

But with one it was a struggle to get her to learn HOW to read.
S/he was dyslexic. Though quite verbal from a very young age, and quite bright, reading was like trying to climb a snowy hill in bedroom slippers. S/he kept falling back down. The letters kept eluding her. It was a chase to get them to stay in their right place and in their right position. S/he struggled, I struggled (we were homeschooling) I became frustrated. S/he became frustrated.

Finally I basically gave up and gave her some time.

Time is magic. A break was what s/he needed.

I read to my child, invested in a lot of story tapes/cds (Jim Weiss, thank you, thank you, thank you, for your wonderful stories and songs.)and one day, we tried and it worked.

The words, for the most part, stayed where they belonged.

S/he read a book independently. Then another, then another, each increasing in difficulty.

Now it is hard to pull my child from the pages of a book. S/he reads before school, after school, during school (when we made aliyah the children stopped homeschooling). The world of books is now at my child's command. S/he naviagates through worlds real and imaginary, frightening and adventurous.

Time was our best friend.

Too often we want something for our children so much we neglect to see the value is in the process as well as the goal, and in the child, and speed is not mandatory. They will get there. They do not have to get there first. They can even get there last. It really doesn't matter in the end; but the journey should be as pleasant as the destination.
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