Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Reading Victory -- Ricky Ricotta

Last summer, William decided to read through the Ricky Ricotta series.  We got through most of the first book, but it was slow and painful for me.  And while he really wanted to be reading the book, he got really frustrated as well.  

Last week, William decided to check book #1 out from the library, and since they didn't have book #2 available, he asked me to put it on hold.  I did so.  Unwillingly, I'll admit, but I did it.  I have horrible memories of going through the book last time, and I just didn't want to deal with it again.

Well, Dale promised William that he would listen to him read every night.  William finally held him to that promise this evening.  I was really freaked out, remembering our 15-20 minute sessions to get through a chapter (if you have looked at one of these books, that ought to be enough for you to know just *how* painful the process was for me) and knowing Dale was going to be very, very frustrated as he was ready for bed.  For the record, if you are *not* familiar with the books, check Amazon and you can read the entire first chapter in Look Inside.

William sat down AND READ THE CHAPTER.  Not super fast, but at a decent speed.  He struggled twice... it took him a couple attempts to sound out "Squeakyville" (but he did do it!)  Also, the last two sentences have you read "some" (he did, no problem), and a few words later is "so," which he kept seeing as "some."

That was it.  It was *maybe* two minutes to read the whole thing.  Six months ago, he would have read:  "There once was a mouse named Ricky Ricotta who..." in that same two minutes.  And that was even *after* I had read the chapter to him first, so he knew Ricotta without sounding it out.

I can't believe it.  I have felt for SO LONG like we are getting absolutely nowhere, and I just wasn't seeing progress.  This was glaringly obvious.  He has absotively, posilutely :) (no, I don't say things like that to my kids... they mess words up enough without me making it worse!) made fairly significant progress.

I want to cry.  

I am seriously thinking it might be time to pull the Sonlight 2 readers back out.  We stopped doing those to do Ricky Ricotta, and they were equally painful back then...

I'm not rushing.  He can read the entire Ricky Ricotta series first.  I know, it isn't exactly quality literature and the temptation is to stick up my nose and sniff 'twaddle' but hey, he is reading, he is enjoying it, and no matter what any of the purists think, that is worth something.  He listens to plenty of quality literature.  Ricky isn't harmful (I'm not going to say "at least he's reading" if he is choosing something that attacks his faith or morals... I mean, really, as far as kids' stories go, this character has a mother *and* a father who live together, appear to love each other and him, and the stories are pretty clear with good vs. evil... that's way more than I can say about virtually everything else out there.)

And I just checked the author's website and his cartoon format biography made me cry...

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