20 July 2011

Summer Reading Blues

We are continuing to work on Isaac's reading this summer. It is a frustrating process. Finding books that he is interested in and willing to read that are on his reading level is not as easy as I thought it would be when summer began. Storytime often turns in to struggle-time of late -- it is a struggle to keep Isaac focused, to keep him motivated, and to keep a hold on both our tempers. His friend from school is working with a tutor this summer to improve her reading skills. I wonder if we should have tried a similar arrangement. But I should be able to do this. My job isn't actually to teach reading, but to make sure books are available to students at all reading levels. But I feel that I should be the one to work with Isaac on this or I will have failed in some way, as a teacher and a parent.

One series that I am trying to get Isaac to read is Biscuit by Alyssa Capucilli. They are geared toward beginning readers. These books about a rambunctious puppy are just the right reading level for where Isaac is right now -- he should know most of the words, with a couple of challenging ones thrown in. In the right frame of mind, Isaac does well with them. When he is not in the right frame of mind, you would think he had never seen letters before.

Another series that I thought Isaac would find fun is Max Spaniel by David Catrow. Again, these books are the right reading level. We had a bit more success with this book than we did with Biscuit, because Catrow's exaggerated pictures bring in a level of humor to otherwise dry text.

Matt worked with Isaac on reading Itchy, Itchy Chicken Pox by Grace MacCarone last night. It is well within his reading level, but you would have thought the poor boy was being tortured. I believe that if we can hit on the right books, Isaac will take to this reading thing. Unfortunately, they haven't written a series of beginning readers featuring Spider-man or Batman.

We will continue to persevere as summer begins to wind down. My hope is that Isaac will at least not have regressed when he is assessed at the beginning of first grade. Improvement would be ideal, but holding the line will have to do. Right now, survival is my ultimate goal.

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