Yesterday I took our grandson to Nashville to fly home to California. We had a great visit but I found myself becoming increasingly upset during his time here because he struggles to read and now has an aversion to it. How could a would be author have a grandchild who not only dislikes reading, but actually does poorly at it?
He is no dummy. Give him a video game or other electronic device and he excels. Math doesn't daunt him either; but put a written paragraph in front of him and he chokes. His stumbling progress is painful to him and anyone listening to his recitation.
I found myself torn between the desire to be a doting grandparent and a reading teacher. He's already been held behind a year in school due to this problem. Now he is older, taller and still struggling. He's had all the tests. They say that he has trouble concentrating on what he reads. Because he reads haltingly, he becomes easily bored and gives up. His teacher recommended that he go to summer school but his parents gave in to his wishes to have the summer off.
Here is where I had to learn to curb my tongue. Didn't they understand the importance of reading? What were they thinking? Who cares what he wants? He needs to read! Thankfully I was able to able to broach this gently with them. In the meantime our little non-reader was kept busy all day long doing fun things he liked, while all the time reading as he went along. I became a liar, but for a good cause. He now has returned to California thinking that his "old" Grandma in Alabama has trouble seeing so he had to help her read. My ego was a little bruised, but I will survive. I know that I sent him home a little better reader and he had the satisfaction of thinking that he really helped me as he read me cookie recipes, the signs on the way to the swimming pool and the paper to decide which movie we would go see.
I fear that in the long run reading will not win over Nintendo DS, but we both had a good time and maybe I helped him just a little bit.