Friday, April 09, 2010

Reading Is Fundamental

Trying to teach Mini-Me to read is driving me batty.

I usually have the patience of a saint, but when it comes to helping him with his reading and reading comprehension, I do believe that I’m getting ready to just drink the poison Kool-Aid and give up.

It’s so odd. He is excelling by leaps and bounds with his Math, but getting him to read and write is harder than launching the damn Space Shuttle.

He continues to do two things in particular that just drive me up a wall and frustrate the HELL outta me:

1) He is too lazy to attempt to sound out a word, so if he sees a word and he doesn’t instantly recognize it, he just looks at the first letter and then takes a wild guess.

So, “Schoolhouse”, might very well become “Seashells”, “Soccer”, or even “Sarah Michele Geller” by the time he’s done with it.

The worst part is that he just continues to plow through the sentence till he gets to the end, knowing that what he just read has made absolutely ZERO sense to him.

2) This one is PARTICULARLY annoying. He has apparently decided that he’d just rather not deal with the whole “punctuation” thing. He just chooses to ignore it. When he gets to the end of a line, he just inserts his own period there, and continues bright and new on the next line as the start of a new sentence.

So, this:

“Sally decided to go to the
beach. She saw many seagulls there.”

Becomes this:

“Sally decided to go to the.”
“Beach she saw many seagulls there.”

It’s painful to watch. After he reads the first sentence, he looks at me with a quizzical look like it didn’t make any sense to him. So, I stare at him, trying to use my Jedi Mind Powers on him to catch his mistake and fix it, but in the end, he without fail decides the best (and quickest) course of action is to just plow on, so he reads the next sentence and then finally looks at me and says “Daddy, I don’t get it”.

Folks, I have A LOT of patience when it comes to the wee-one, but watching him do this over and over each night just pushes me from 0 to Boiling in no time flat.

What should I do? (And don’t tell me to exchange him for a different kid. I tried that already and they won’t take him back. I lost the receipt.)


2abes said...

Drink! Then do reading home work.

Shania said...

Ahahaha! the ad at the bottom of the post is for 'your baby can read'. Silas looks at me with a glare every time that commercial comes on and berates me for not getting it for him when he was a baby cause 'I'd be reading just fine by now!'.

I'd offer to trade you kids, but mine does the exact. same. thing. I honestly don't know what to do about it. I figure I pay a lot of money for his tuition, let his teacher deal with it. Mother of the Year right here, bishes.

Slyde said...

shania: really? it actually makes me feel better hearing that other kids are doing this too.

i dont think i did it as a kid, but then again, im awesome.

Verdant Earl said...

That photo of Bush with the book is a famous photo-shopped image.

Still funny though.

Nat said...

Maybe try getting him to read words in comic books....worked for a friend!

Heff said...

I DO think K-Mart has a pretty good return policy....

Be varied patientable with.
Mini-Me becall in.
due time he'll catch.

The Invisible Seductress said...

I am laughing with you....Man I feel the frustration....Been there...The math homework is what frustrates me..I want to slit my wrists when I see that damn workbook come out!!!

..Hugs Dad..You are doing just fine....

now : Take the square root of infinity + PI - 3 apples grown on a farm in Nevada that had a 4 hour trip from the train station where one train was going in the opposite direction at 75 mph and a plane flew overhead at 2am and divide it by 100 and.....What was the proper botanical name of the apples???

meleah rebeccah said...

Sadly I dont have any advice for you. I am the opposite of your child. Math is a complete mystery to me, but reading and words are HEAVEN!

sybil law said...

Oh, man - I know that pain all too well. They do get better with it, eventually. That's all I have - sorry!!
(Also, crack comes in handy.)
I don't need your dirty jokes about crack. I mean crack rock.
Not that I smoke it or anything.
Holy hell I can really eff myself in a simple comment.
Happy Friday!

blondie1 said...

Hi from NZ having looked after and cared for 13 children from babies to school age and now working as A Teacher Aide in reading spelling and maths, here is what we do.

COMPOUND words like seashells (sea and shells ) get broken into their SINGLE words sea and shells with accompanying pictures and used as flash cards they sight Sea and then Shells see it, say it, commit to memory. Then you cover the picture and they attempt to say the words singularly then try putting it together, for single words of things (ie Beach, bike, sun,tree,etc etc) try flash cards of the picture then with word underneath.
We then do the boring "and" band,hand,land,sand, "it",hit,lit,mit, "in" bin,din,fin,sin,tin "at" bat,cat,fat,hat etc etc etc but THEY write that down and then in the columns underneath add ONE letter to the front of it and say, write, see it say it. IT IS labourious work and tedious and HAIRPULLING but perseverance WILL PAY OFF. I wish you all the patience of the Saints and hope your hair lasts from the hairpulling!

mo.stoneskin said...

Surely having your kid see a schoolhouse as Buffy is a good thing?! Like father like son huh?!

GiGi said...

Oh son is only 4, and I almost had to bribe him, okay I DID bribe him, with gum to do his homework. I knew that was setting a bad precedent, but WTH. He is only 4, and already complains about his 'homework'!! It will get better I am sure, once he get the hang of it. Good luck with your son, he'll get there!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I personally think phonics is the way to go. I was reading at the college level by 2nd grade. My son is reading at the college level in 6th grade.

Real Live Lesbian said...

#1 reason that I have are hard.

I'm laughing my ass off at Heff. Damn, that's funny.

Chris H said...

I have had to go through this with *8* kids ... * I tell ya!
I HATE IT... it drives me completly nuts...
and there is nothing you can do about it... except get your wife to do it!
I make Stew do it now.

Griffin (8) is dyslexic AND dysgraphic (google it)... so he is by far the worst to try and teach to read and write. NUTS... I am.

As you are only having to do it with ONE child... I have little sympathy for you mate. Try 8...

Susan Higgins said...

I could make you a hypnosis recording that would help him to relax.

Sometimes when I get uptight with my mother she gets nervous and forgets how to do really simple things.

I wonder if it's the same with a kid?

Maybe your energy is making him nervous.

terri said...

I wish I knew the answer. I have 2 kids who just picked up everything academic as if it was the easiest thing in the world. The other one, I had to push and prod and help and beg and plead and monitor, from Kindergarten through graduation.

All I can say is keep trying, try hard to be patient and don't get mad at him. It might not be that he's just being lazy. His brain probably has a really difficult time processing the logic that goes along with reading and comprehension. Express your concerns to his teacher and figure out what can be done to make this work better for him.

Faiqa said...

People take the ability to read for granted. It is an extremely difficult skill to master.

Maybe you should take a course on speaking and writing Chinese, Arabic or Japanese in order to get an idea of how much of a paradigm shift your child is going through... that sounded bitchy, but, come on, ease up on the kid. He'll get it soon enough.

blondie1 said...

I should have expanded on that a little too. When children GRASP the basic 2 letter and 3 letter words they THEN FEEL confident to try, attempt other words in my opinion it is repetition and READING the same book (that he loves OVER AND OVER), so he commits to memory then get him to read it my now 13 year old started on the LITTLE YELLOW DIGGER BOOKS because he loved the story SOOOOOO much. Every day I did the spell it, in, at and added letters if I was pushing him on the swing, or driving in the car, or in the bath just everywhere. Then it became a TIME GAME how fast can you say or read all these words? ALL kids are competitive and like to SEE how fast at anything they can become I'm sure.

Lifeofkaylen said...

Is reading really necessary at that age?
No it's.
My son seemed to be.
Born with natural reading.
Skills so I have no real.
Advice to offer. I think.
It will just come to.
Him in time.

Tamara said...

I used to tutor kids to make extra cash when I was at varsity and lots of them struggled with reading and had the same sort of problems. But the more fun you make it, the more likely they are to keep trying. I used to get books that would appeal to the kid I was working with and then put on different accents for each character (which they found hilarious).
Bribery also does wonders. For example, my mom used to get my brother a new part of the Lego kit he wanted for every book completed.
Also, take turns reading pages or read the words together. This gives your kid a break and also makes the experience a bit more enjoyable for you.
And read books taht appeal to Mini-Me. If he's anythign like you, he'd probably enjoy comic books too.
Here's a useful link:

Marie said...

Start with a Hustler or Playboy and my guess is he will be reading better in no time.


Neither you or he will care much about punctuation. Or spelling. Or grammer.

Anonymous said...

He maight not be lazy. Might be he is distracted or unfocused. Is he thinking about what you two will be doing next?


Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm late on this - How old is Minime? That would probably be very helpful w/ the advice i'm about to offer.

Anyways - if he is in school I would let the school do their thing w/ teaching him about the punctuation and sounding out words. All I would do at home is read out loud to him. As much as possible and of the coolest books possible.

I think getting him interested in reading is the key to making him care to take the time to understand WHAT he is actually reading.

I only say this because my Mom read to me from an infant until at least seven or eight every single night. Chapter books as I got older.

I did the exact same thing w/ my daughter. I am a voracious reader and so is my daughter.

Unless the school is saying he's behind, I'd start there. The Love of Reading is the most amazing gift you can possess. I know that is super corny but seriously, I am so thankful my daughter has it.

Slyde said...


its not corny at all. much appreciated.

to answer your question, he is 7.

And since he was about 2, i have read to him for anywhere between 15 min to an hour every night. Ive been pretty consistant with this.

He loves to listen to me read, but reading things himself isnt going too well.

Nej said...

He'll get over it. I mean, he knows that it doesn't make sense, right? I've heard friends complain about the same sort of thing.