Our third born son was the easiest baby, toddler, and preschooler. He played contentedly and never gave us much trouble except when we brought the fourth baby home. When I was busy, he smeared Fast Orange all over himself.
I did a lot of reading to the first two. Number three listened and at a young age answered questions about what I had read. He seemed really smart.
Imagine then my frustration when I had a lot of trouble teaching him to read. I had already taught the other two. This one didn’t respond to the same things. For one thing, he couldn’t remember the words from one day to the next. I taught him the sounds but they didn’t seem to stick in his head. To compensate, I read his other subjects to him, doing oral reviews and tests.
After trying a few other reading programs, I purchased the Sing, Spell, Read, and Write which is very auditory. From a learning consultant and a homeschool convention speaker, I learned about brain dominance. I made him wear a patch over his left eye to change his visual dominance to match his other areas: hearing, hand, and foot. He did this until his right eye became dominant which only took part of one school year. He did not have peers who made fun of him. In fact, he really never knew he was far behind.The summer he turned eleven, he had a different swimming instructor. Her insistence on him moving correctly fit in with what I have learned about “patterning.” Gross motor skills are very important for brain development. That school year is the year that he learned to read.
His skills continued to improve. I read his other subjects for the rest of that year and some of the next to allow his reading ability to catch up to where he was in science and history. By his junior year of high school, he had become an avid reader, evidenced by the eighty age-appropriate books on his portfolio reading list. He actually enjoyed reading!
I substitute teach in public school where I sometimes work in learning support classrooms. I often see children who have the same problems as my third born. I haven’t seen the success stories that I had with him.
Above all else, our miracle occurred because of God’s mercy in answering our prayers for our son to learn to read and for me to have wisdom for teaching him. I also had a stubborn hold on promises that I had received while reading his Word.
I hope this encourages some of you who have children who struggle. God can do amazing things! As I sit in my home office, I occasionally listen in on a Bible study that takes place in our home. Our son, the former struggling reader, leads it.