Saturday, 3 May 2014

Grade one reading: a job aide

A few years ago if you asked me what the hardest part of motherhood was I’d answer without hesitation, “the lack of sleep.” These days I’d like to say I’d take no sleep over teaching a six-year old boy to read but that wouldn’t be completely true either; well, because nothing would be worse than having to teach a six-year old boy to read on no sleep.

It’s likely not a very parenty thing to say, right? Grade one reading? What’s so hard about that?

Well first there’s the tiresome negotiation that must ensue to get said six-year old boy to the kitchen table after your long day at work when the only thing you'd rather be doing is sipping wine while scrolling through Pinterest.
Often this means prying whatever toys he’s holding out of his death grip, swearing an oath on anything resembling a bible to give them back once the homework is done. It also means telling that six year old boy to sit still  a total of 57 times.

“On your bum, please.”


“Please, on your bum.”


“Sit still.”




Then 38 reminders to put his finger under the words he’s reading. And just as many times bringing him back to the right sentence. When suddenly you are forced to focus on the noise in the periphery and find it’s the six year old’s younger brother in your armpit literally diverting your attention, small hand on your face, “Momma, you ahn’t   listening, can I watch anothoe show?”

This is when you are forced to say very loudly in hopes your husband, who actually is in the living room in plain view of the TV tapping away the next day’s lesson plans without a care in the world, will hear you: “YOU NEED TO ASK DADDY TO PUT ANOTHER SHOW ON.” Often this must be said loudly one or two more times with the addition, “BECAUSE MOMMY’S DOING HOMEWORK WITH YOUR BROTHER” to get its intended effect.

And all the while you are holding back the urge to say: “You just read that word 25 times!!! Why the hell are you acting like you don’t know what it says???” This is about the same time you realize you just aren't cut out for this parenting gig.

But then you remember to practice deep breathing and remind yourself that he’s just learning. You must remember this every time he pronounces the word “like” as “lik” even though you know with certainty you’ve explained the function of e at the end of a sentence something like two hundred times.

You pat yourself on the back each time you bite your tongue recalling how far you’ve come. You can’t remember the last time you put words to the near rage that “said” is not pronounced “sss-ahhh-iii-duh” even though it’s a sight word we’ve been memorizing for the better part of two years.


How hard is that?

Instead you cheer him for every small victory. You give him a bear hug after every book and tell him how proud you are. Because you are fairly sure he will eventually get it. You convince yourself of this by remembering that most adults you know can read. To be sure you mentally list all the people you know and try to remember if you'd ever heard them read out loud.

Then you get to that glass of wine that’s been practically begging you to drink it while Googling Google because you'd heard somewhere that most of their meetings are done while their workers are walking around. You take a few sips of the wine and relax, imagining your fidgety son with a perfectly successful career at a place where everyone can read and hardly any meetings require a person to sit still.

This year the kids got new bikes for Easter. I know, I know, gifts at Easter now???

Also, my birthday fell on Easter Sunday. I try not to get too worried that the sidewalk message below says: Happy birthday Mom.

 As always, there was an awesome Easter egg hunt at Gramma and Grampas. This year I had to gently remind Deaglan that he was not to plow past the younger kids and find all the eggs himself.

And I had to encourage Naveen several dozen times to keep looking for more eggs even though he was content with the first one he found.

 Good times with Grampa.



  1. I read with my boys, of course, but I didn't try to teach them to read. I figured that's what school was for.

  2. It has been quite a while since I caught one of your post, Unfortunately life is made up of nonnoteworthy happenings and your talent is to see the joy and humor in these little moments. I am with secret agent woman, seems like teaching reading is the schools job and yours is to teach the joy of the written word through enjoyment of the stroy. And yes they all seem to get through this age, grow up, take jobs and become parents that worry about their babies..... Life jusst keeps rolling along.
    Really, REALLY making a 6 year old sit through more lessons after a day of sitting seems counter productive, what is the pressure here anyway?
    So glad to see the boys growing and beautiful and the last photo with you all laughing and cutting up IS a wonderful family photo. Many hugs GingerV

  3. um yes, except you can substitute any word for reading "math, etc.". I have 0 patience - which is sad. Happy {belated} birthday - the chalk drawing is too precious.


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