Thursday, March 3, 2005

School, reading, Rebecca

Today was parent-teacher conferences. Not that too much can be said after the girls have spent all of a single full day in school (the other days have been 2 late starts and 2 early releases, along with 2 snow days and 2 holidays)

Her old teacher did nothing but rave about Rebecca's classwork, but suffice to say I'm not convinced. In math she's fine, she enjoys science and I don't believe she'll have any difficulties with history and social studies. But Becca still has huge troubles with reading and I do nothing but get frustrated with her which brings us both to tears. Yesterday was a bad day as she and I fought for over an hour for her to read and understand a homework assignment. It was not my shining moment (later daddy came to the rescue and the homework was done without further tears. From either of us). She needs outside help and has needed it for a while, but as a parent there's always a hope that she'll just "get it". At today's conference almost immediately Ms. Riverson brought up a reading program at the school. I jumped on it and she was thrilled that I was interested in getting Becca involved. She'd only done a quick assessment but saw right away that Becca struggles. Becca -can- read. It's hard for her and she gets frustrated easily but I honestly believe that it's a matter of her brain clicking or perhaps being provided a new approach to reading. She sees the world very differently than I do, including the written word.
Today we went to the public library and there's an entire wall of audiobooks. I think we've struck a goldmine for her. She loves stories and being read to. If nothing else her vocabulary and comprehension will grow (she has an amazing memory and ability to pull out information from context) even while her reading abilities play catch-up.
On her homework notebook, it's written that children are expected to do their homework and parents are to check it over. I told Ms. Riverson about yesterday's fiasco and she clearly stated that she didn't want homework to become a battlefield. Until Rebecca's reading catches up, I can help her freely with the directions.
Now to separate out my own issues with her reading. If I can act like an adult during homework time, life for both of us will go a lot smoother. I really do hope she gets into the school program. She'll be so much more confident and thrive.

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