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!!