Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Struggling Readers

I just did something totally outside my comfort zone.

I had an article "published" by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine in their "Spotlight on 5" this month.


Struggling Readers.  Anyone who reads my blog knows I have two of them.  It isn't something I remotely try to hide.

But yikes, I feel so totally inadequate to address the whole issue on such a big scale.  I'm just a mom, you know?  William and Thomas still struggle, though thanks to Read Live, Thomas is getting really close to reading at grade level, and William has made huge strides.

I wanted to write something encouraging.  I wanted to reassure moms of struggling readers that it isn't their fault.  I wanted to encourage them to figure out something they can start doing now and to just be consistent.

What I really wanted was to take them all out for a cup of coffee and give them a hug.  Society -- and other homeschool moms -- make us feel like such failures for not accomplishing something so basic as reading.  Parents who don't have struggling readers offer so many magic bullet solutions that heap on the guilt.

I'm lucky.  I have three kids who learned (or are learning) to read without so much (or any!) effort on my part, so I know clearly that this isn't all my fault.  It doesn't stop the "if only" talk in my head.
  • If only I had tried xyz program
  • If only I had been more consistent when he was younger
  • If only I had recognized the issues earlier
  • If only I was perfect and never made mistakes...
If you have struggling readers, you aren't alone.  And I'd be happy to meet up with you and tell you to your face that you are a wonderful mom...


Karen in Rhode Island said...

Kudos for taking the risk! I received the newsletter in my inbox just now and it was a very touching, honest, and encouraging article. It was great to receive it this morning, and you've got a new reader because of it. My only child struggles with reading, and the pressure from the world is intense - but as you pointed out, the confusion and guilt from within is just as bad. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Debra said...

It is great to meet you, Karen!

And thanks for the kind words. Somehow, writing the article for The Old Schoolhouse to blast out there to everyone ended up freaking me out a bit.

I'm glad I did. I think. LOL

i cant decide said...

Oh, I know all about if only. I'm trying to put that energy into being positive with my struggling reader and to think of how far she has come. I also have less guilt as I see that she does like to read even though it is difficult.

Pebblekeeper ~ Angie said...

Is that a promise to come over and give me a hug? Awesome.