October 11, 2005

Reading With His Eyes Closed

Bones reads to us twice a day, once in the morning going to school, in the car with my husband and once in the afternoon while the boys do their homework. Every day, the story of the week is read. It can be torturous at times as he truly is struggling to learn how to read, but I continue to tell him how great he’s doing even though I want to pull my hair out and scream when he misses the word ‘was’ for the umpteenth time.

Yeah, ‘tis good I did not become a teacher. I have not the patience.

So this evening we sat down and he read this week’s story to me. He read the first line to me and said, “Umm, Mom. Do you want me to read this to you with my eyes open or closed?

(Big Frickin’ Pause from me.) Me: What?!!

Bones: You know, do you want me to read it with my eyes open or closed?

Me: Peeeeople don’t read with their eyes cloooosed!

Bones: Sure they do. I do it all the time when I read to Dad in the car on the way to school.

Me: NOOoo they can’t. Show me. Show me this reading with your eyes closed.

Bones: (closes his eyes, puts his hand on the page and recites the 2 sentences on the page.)

Me: (aghast) That’s not reading! That’s called having the page memorized. Do you have this entire story memorized?

Bones: Yeah. I’ve read it so many times…

GRRR. It is making sense now why his reading is not improving. Bones has a verbal memory. He can remember anything he hears, once maybe twice. He can quote movies, with full voice inflection and hand motions should the character require it. He knows ALL of his Catholic prayers, something most kids don’t learn until 2nd grade.

So he’s reading this story a couple times out loud, listening to it over and over as the kids read out loud to the teacher and by day 3, TOPS, he’s repeating it from memory. No wonder it sounds like it’s flowing so much better. It is. Flowing from his memory.

This kind of explains some of the attention problems they’re having with him during reading. He has attention problems in general, but the kid is bored out of his frickin’ mind having memorized The Bugs and the Bath on Day 2.

I’m changing our reading strategy now. Heh. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some REAL improvement.

Posted by Boudicca at October 11, 2005 09:11 PM | TrackBack

Ol' Bones was probably a Druid in a distant past life. It's in his genetic memory.

Posted by: The Druid at October 11, 2005 09:18 PM

hope that works well! i know what it's like to have things memorized after hearing them just once or twice, but i was fortunate enough to not have problems with reading

Posted by: amelie at October 12, 2005 02:52 AM

Uh oh. Good luck.

Posted by: vw bug at October 12, 2005 07:32 AM

So... gonna get him something that's too tough to memorize?

Posted by: Harvey at October 12, 2005 08:14 AM

Sounds like some trips to the library are in your future.

Posted by: caltechgirl at October 12, 2005 01:40 PM

Bones just needs to be reading something no one else is reading. Not only will he learn to read it but then he can brag about it to his classsmates and tell them "I read Lady Chatterly" or something like that.

Posted by: GUYK at October 12, 2005 08:15 PM

We pretty much live at the library, so it looks like we'll be getting him some simple readers from there.

GuyK- No Lady Chatterly!!!

Posted by: Bou at October 12, 2005 09:21 PM

I read this today, and some bells started going off in my head. You see, I'm married to a woman who loves to teach elementary children how to read -- in fact she's been doing it for 25 years now. For the last five years, she has been teaching dyslexic kids how to read. Along with a sizable bill from SMU, she has acquired Academic Language Therapy certification . . .

Okay. Back to the bells. Because my wife and I share a lot about our professional lives with each other, I have been slowly learning some things about dyslexia. As I read your post, it seemed to me that Bones was exhibiting dyslexic characteristics. So I asked her to read your post and tell me what she thought.

She thinks your son is showing classic signs of dyslexia. She spent years teaching first grade, and with her experience teaching children that age to read, she thinks that since he is very bright, he must be fidgeting and having attention problems during reading times at school because reading is difficult for him.

Problems reading words like "was", "and", "are", and the like also are indicators. Memorization is one way kids learn to deal with dyslexia, but they really aren't learning to read.

She suggests that you visit the International Dyslexia Association website, and SchwabLearning.org for more information. You can also contact her directly by email.

Posted by: Dave at October 12, 2005 09:38 PM

Dave- I just sent you an e-mail...

Posted by: Bou at October 12, 2005 09:57 PM