Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Big Day For Jack

I guess I should say it was a big day for both of us.  He read his first book today.  An actual book that sits on a shelf and has pictures in it.  As in a book that is not part of his reading lesson from his 100 Easy Lessons.  I have to say that in August when we cracked open to lesson 1 I had my doubts about ever seeing what I saw today.

When we began that first day I was sure we would be sounding out... mm and ss for a very long time. Each time we came to the word RAT he would painfully sound out each sound..R...A....T.  I would sit next to him wanting to SHOUT.."IT SAYS RAT...JUST LIKE IT DID 2 SECONDS AGO WHEN YOU SOUNDED IT OUT!" Some days I would not be proud of the impatience I showed him.  But my little guy always kept at it, never giving up.

I started out this year with great intentions of working this really easy going plan with Jack.  I would just be sure to sit down everyday and do a reading lesson at least.  Anything else that he did would be GREAT but not highly sought after.  He is kind of a young 5 so I was not going to drive us both crazy.
But here's the thing about Jack..He is an EXTREMELY hard worker.  He works hard at everything he does.  He will always be the first one to offer his help and you can really count on him to get it done right.  He likes to work. And school was no different.  He liked doing the work.  Sometimes it was me that did not want to do the work. 

So as the time went on this year there were periods when I thought we were not getting ANYWHERE.  Would we ever come to a word that he just knew ..not because he sounded it out?  Is this working?  But everyday we sat and sat and sat sounding out every single sound known to man very s...l...o....w...l.....y.  And everyday I would feel like I needed a vacation after we were done.  It was always very intense for me to keep my cool and not SCREAM at sitting still for how ever long it took to help him through the stories. No matter what throughout this year I have always been so proud at how hard he was working.   But finally, we did it....

Over the last 2 weeks or so I have noticed him getting much better.  He was having a lot less trouble with simple words.  He was not making as many mistakes.  He was not taking as long to get through the stories and I was suddenly struck with the realization that it had clicked..he was reading.  He can do it!!  He can read.  Don't get me wrong..he is still working out lots of kinks, but the boy read Sheep in a Jeep and a Three Little Pigs book today.  And I was sitting next to him smiling EAR to Ear feeling so proud and just a little ashamed at myself for ever doubting this hard working little boy.  Of course he would get it.  On his own time.  At his own pace.  Not the pace of his sisters.  Jack's way.

After he was done I think he was as shocked as I was that he was actually reading from real books.  I wanted to show him just how proud I was so I did what  I knew would thrill him to no end..I gave him a dollar! He said, "Are you paying me to read?" 

"Yeah, I guess I am!"

I got that little feeling today..the little thrill that says this is why I am doing this.  I want to be the one to feel the joy with him when he finally gets it.  I want to know how hard he worked and get to be see how far he came. I want to realize that I accomplished something too...I did it everyday even when it was hard.  I did not skip because it was no fun.  I sometimes doubt my ability to do this thing called home schooling but with small successes like this I am reminded that if I keep at it, don't give up then great things can happen. 

Today..it was good.  And when you home school sometimes the good is hard to measure. Not because it does not exist, but because there is nothing to compare it to.  But today when Jack read, "I will huff and puff and blow your house down!" I knew it was all good!!


  1. Oh.my.goodness...you have no idea how encouraging this is to me. Finn and I started 100 easy lessons back last summer and got to lesson 30 then started over from scratch after a vacation, then got to lesson 56 then I stopped it altogether. He HATED it by that point, and I wasn't enjoying it anymore either. It's going so much better now that I'm making word families (like bug, rug, tug, dug or fit, sit, hit, bit) out of movable alphabet letters and we have a box of sight words that we review every day. Only about once a week do we read the story part of a lesson or another simple book. He's so much happier with this system. I know one day he will get it, just like Jack. And I look forward to that. :)

    1. Joy, Not stopping is the key. Keep doing something everyday. I felt like pulling my hair out most days and I would tell Pete at the end of the day, "It seems like the lights are on but NOBODY is home." I kept thinking I must be not doing enough. But somehow in the midst of all my own worry and frustration he was getting something...
      Keep working it. He would get frustrated with the story but I made sure we kept doing it. I truly never thought he was going to get it. Good Luck my dear blogging friend. And just to let you know with 100 easy lessons, once they take away the markings that helps them say the sounds..around lesson 60 it takes awhile for them to catch on and that time is SUPER hard to get through..but you will get through it.

    2. Oh, I totally agree. We definitely do something with reading every day. We just loosened up on the 100 lessons. Finn's newest favorite reading work is this Park the Car activity I found on pinterest. He *loves* it. Jack might like it too. :)

  2. Yeah for Jack! He sounds like such a honey. It looks like he is doing so well for his age. You have a right to be proud!

  3. Congratulations!...to you both!

    Have a lovely day!

  4. Woo hoo!! John Stephen hit the same milestone yesterday too! He is just beside himself with excitement, so I can imagine the fun at your house! Isn't it amazing! Go Jack!!

  5. I'm so happy for you! I understand the struggle with patience and having to help through the same word they have read 10 times already in the book. I get sooo frustrated. I feel we have also had a "clicking" moment with my daughter recently. I also am smiling because of your pictures. As I'm reading this post, my daughter is writing poetry from the same book in the same notebook. (She's copying "Where Go the Boats?" though.)