One of Michael's birthday gifts from his grandparents was a reading class. This class was designed to help to review the concepts learned in kindergarten as well as introduce the students to words and phonics used in first grade. The class met once a week on Sundays for 5 consecutive weeks. Each class was 2 hours long. The first hour involved interaction between the students, teacher and parents. The second hour involved the students working independently. It also included the teacher reading a story and having the kids act it out or write their own story.
To be honest, Michael was less than thrilled when he found out that he was going to be in the reading class. After the first session, he said that part of it was actually fun. His favorite part was the second hour of the class because the teacher did her best to make it engaging for the kids. Michael also really enjoyed doing the worksheets in the workbook. I stayed with him during the second hour for the first few weeks and then he did it on his own for the last few weeks. The teacher did a great job of picking out stories that were interesting to this age group.
One of the most important things taught in this class was techniques for me to help Michael to be a successful reader. I learned about assisted reading, as well as independent reading with varying levels of support. I found that it is much more important to help Michael with words that he is struggling on to keep him from getting frustrated than for him to read it correctly by himself the first time. I can see the confidence emerging in his reading when he is a willing participant (about 50% of the time). For the first time, I saw him open up a book and sit down and read all of the words on the page. That is something I haven't seen him do before.
I understand that it's going to take time for him to read and to enjoy it and that the journey may take a little longer than expected. I love to read so much and I want to give him this most wonderful gift: to learn to love to read!!