Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two Big Breakthroughs!!

Yesterday was a banner day here at crazyacres.

First, after dinner I told the "baby" (three year old) to go get ready for bed. And....

she did!!

She came running into the kitchen, arms over her head at a "V" angle, hands open wide, a wide stance with her legs, "TA DA"! she hollered.

She had even remembered a pull-up, and to put her discarded clothes in the hamper.

A happy, sad moment for me. A very exciting moment for her.

Next, my 9 year old son has been struggling with reading for 3 years. He is still reading at a first grade level, and although he is constantly making progress it is s-l-o-w. We both have fought with discouragement, but what else can you do but keep going?

So, last night, my husband showed my son a favorite book from his childhood, "Little Bear". They read it together, alternating pages, and you could almost hear the "CLICK" when it happened. All of a sudden, out of the blue, my son read the story. And he kept on reading, and kept on reading. He finished the entire story, on his own, and right this very minute, is reading the next one in the book. Up til now, the only book he had ever read is "Hop on Pop", and that was just a few weeks ago.

I can not tell you how much this means to me, to his dad, and to my son. The look on his face when he said, "Mom, can I read you a story?" was simply delicious.


Blogger Ginger said...

Oh my WORD!!!! Do you know what a miracle that is for your son? I got goose bumps just reading about it. If you could ask him a few lightly put questions and figure out if he knows what made it click, I'd love to have you share that here. As a former elementary teacher and teacher educator, these moments are rare and we need to learn all we can from our kids who go through them.


December 20, 2007  
Blogger Mimi said...

Whohoooooooooooo! Both AWESOME things! Congratulations to all.

December 20, 2007  
Blogger Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

That is so GREAT! I hope you are celebrating both those accomplishments today!

I love it when you see that "lightbulb" go on :)

December 20, 2007  
Blogger Renee said...


I asked him a little, and he said he just started looking at the words instead of the letters. It seems as if the pieces that entered his brain were word sized pieces instead of letter size pieces. Lately he has finally started seeing words everywhere and trying to figure them out. He said that many of the words he has memorized, like says, was, here, what, and others that don't follow the "rules" he had learned. He said that he thought at first that was cheating, and I told him no, that is reading.

Does that help any?

He has an amazing memory (probably from having to navigate the world as a non-reader for this long), so if he hears a story once, and then reads it, he can attack the words much better than just reading a story cold. I was suspicious that he wasn't really reading, just reciting the book from memory, but when I would ask him from time to time where he was on the page, he pointed to the word each time.

We still have a ways to go in his fluency and diffiulty level to get him to his age level, but I am so much more optimistic now!!

December 20, 2007  
Blogger Renee said...

Oh, and Ginger, something else I noticed with him that was different from my other children was that he didn't go through the drawing constantly phase at 5-6 years old. He never really drew pictures. Then, just a few months ago, he began to draw pictures all day. They started out very immature, but became quite skilled quickly (did you see the owl picture he painted? I posted it last month, I think).

This is the same child that didn't walk til 18 months (and ran at 18 1/2 months), didn't talk until 3 years old (and was up to speed with his peers in a few weeks). He can take things apart and put them together, can fix things and loves to use his body, rather than just his hands. To learn his sounds I would write the letters or phonograms on a piece of paper, put them on the floor around him in circle, and have him jump on the proper piece of paper when I said the sound.

He is a very kinesthetic child. What helped him write was doing lots of mazes and dot-dots, and lots of copy work.

He now does beginner spelling tests, and aces them.

Anyway, it seems as if it is all finally coming together.

That, and lot's of praying. Lots.

December 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The first time Rosie read, she got scared and started bawling. ;o)

December 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when you hear the CLICK! And see the understanding in the eyes and the wonder of "Did I just do that?" That is one of the main reasons I love homeschooling. How much we would miss if they weren't at home with us! ~Heidi

December 21, 2007  
Blogger MKHKKH said...

Yah-hoo for your excellent day! Seeing that lightbulb come on is a one in a million feeling! What a delightful Christmas gift. The joy AND ability to read! I am sure all your hard work as paid off into this one glorious moment!

Merry Christmas if I don't make it back before then and thank you for stopping by my blog :)

December 21, 2007  
Blogger Hope said...

I got all teared up reading this. My youngest learned to read at 12. I so wanted him to love reading (like his siblings who read at ages 5 and 9) that I just didn't push it although I did read to them every night.

My son is an avid reader today at age 19. In fact his Christmas list was just as much books as other things. And I know he'll be thrilled to get the books he's getting.

My other kids are readers, too but the anxiety of his late blooming in this area was so great and in the end I had nothing to worry about.

December 21, 2007  
Blogger Allison said...

My heartstrings tugged for your milestone moment! How wonderful! Bravo to your son!

December 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yay! I teared up reading this too. My little ones are dressing themselves (well, not my 1 year old or 12 week old, but 3 years and up are all "big kids" in that respect. And my 2 oldest are reading (8 & 7). My 6 year old son LOVES numbers and Math but still doesn't understand that letters are not the same as numbers and can't figure out why "A" is not "less than" "B" for example. But he has been my most enthusiastic pupil so far, despite this challenge!

December 22, 2007  
Blogger Maryellen said...

What a marvelous victory! I'm so happy for you and your 9 yr. old.

This is a wonderful story and you drew us a very clear word picture.

I didn't get teary-eyed, but JOY leaped out at me.

Make that 2 great milestones.

December 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Renee.
I hope 2008 brings many blessings to you and your family.

God bless,

December 23, 2007  
Blogger ukok said...

All possible best wishes to you, my friend. May the blessing of God be upon you and yours this Christmas!


December 24, 2007  
Blogger Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Brilliant news indeed about his reading !
You and he must be so very thrilled :-)

December 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great moment

I hope to have that moment with my 7 year odl slightly autistic son in the near future I like how you analyse how your son does things


January 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had (so far only) one late reader. It seems like a long road, but your 9 yo will catch up fast, I know from experience. I'm clapping and yahooing from over here for your daughter and your son!

January 25, 2008  

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