Today, something happened that many parents of 8 year olds would not think twice about; my daughter read words off a page correctly. Three letter words like; rig, pig, cab. There were three rows of words, and she took her time and read them all correct. But this isn’t even the best part, it was her reaction!
We started the Barton reading program last year after years of failed curriculum, including a short stint at our local public school. My daughter had started to feel like she would never learn how to read. She told me wished she was not dyslexic, and at her worst, she told me she “wasn’t smart”. Words that break a mother’s heart to hear.
Today, things changed. After many months of painstakingly learning the sounds for each letter in a way she could understand it, and then using tiles with letters on them to sound out words; she actually read them off a paper.
At first she took one look at the paper filled with words and she turned away and said “no way, I’m not doing it!” I encouraged her, reassured her, and promised I would help her as needed. She cautiously started with the first word, and she got it! As she went slowly down the first list, I could see her confidence rising. I could literally see the stress melt off her face, and joy finally creep in.
Halfway through the second list she looked at me and joyfully said, “I’m really on a roll!”
Wow. THAT was what I had been waiting for since she was 5 years old. That moment that things click, and she feels confidence in herself. I wanted to cry then and there, but I held it back.
I gave her the biggest, proudest, high-five ever when she finished! I have a feeling that the next time I hand her a sheet of words (which will soon be short sentences), her first reaction won’t be “no, I can’t do it”.
One of the difficulties of homeschooling is sticking things out when it’s really hard. It’s searching for the right learning style and curriculum when your child is struggling. It’s trusting your gut as a mother, that you know your child better than anyone else. But this, THIS, is the payoff. You are the one who is sitting with them when those connections are made, and you witness life-changing learning unfold for your own child.
I could not be happier.
(p.s seriously look into Barton if your child (or you) has dyslexia.)