the time i failed her and my mama saved us. this school year proved to be a world of discovery for both ruby and i. she was in awe over all the adventures kindergarten provided. magical worlds filled with eric carle illustrations and castles made of yogurt cups and her first glimpse at the rules of the playground. A lot of things came really easily to her, following directions and being a bucket filler and not a bucket dipper were among them “hey myes, stop dipping my bucket.”
Then there was this moment after the holiday break when i began to have concerns about her reading progress. i was volunteering in her class and looked around at all the kids and was like “wait, those kids are reading. what are we working on?” only to look down and see we were working on a skill already developed by the other kids. holy crap. my daughter was at the table with the kids that don’t read?? when did this happen? what did i miss? when did everyone charge ahead blending words and leave us behind sounding out each syllable with a clap? i later learned not all the kids couldn’t read but the evidence was strong that we were in this group for a reason and suddenly my heart swelled with love for all these little guys at my table for fighting to “get it”. they were officially our posse, gang signs included.
when we met with her incredible teacher my fears were confirmed. ruby was not understanding some basic reading concepts. her teacher gently guided me towards ways to improve ruby’s literacy. although ruby does not have a learning disability, as far as we know, she was struggling to understand concepts and would be ill prepared for first grade at the rate she was going.
i was heart broken.
i was and always have been a big reader. reading took me to places my childhood could not and introduced me to characters that made me feel happy, alive and never alone. did anyone else obsesses over Claudia’s earring choices at the Babysitter Club meetings? i looked at my little girl who is full of imagination and creativity and my heart shattered. she loves when i read to her. she lives for things of magic and enchantment and stories of tough girls and courage.
i felt like i failed her, so as i beat myself with the “i am not a good enough mom measuring stick,” i searched for solutions. i did not have to search far, the solution was right in front of my face. my mama. she taught me a love for books that has lasted a lifetime. mama came with me to my next meeting with ruby’s teacher for two reasons. one i was incredibly sick and nervous i wouldn’t grasp all that the teacher was saying. two my mom happily agreed to help tutor ruby with her reading and i wanted her to hear exactly what expectations the teacher had of us. we needed to know where she needed to be by the end of summer so we could measure her progress and look for more help if necessary. our teacher gave us great tips and pointers and while myes continues to spend hours at the ball fields, now ruby goes over to nana’s and they practice reading. I cannot believe the improvements we have seen in her literacy over just a few weeks. part of me still feels guilt over not spending enough time practicing her reading skills more regularly. part of me is so overcome with gratitude to be living near a mom that cares so much for my kids that she goes to parent teacher conferences with me and tutors my daughter every tuesday and thursday. she whips up a mean flashcard and comes up with games as well as her coveted prize jar filled with items that missy can keep once she can spell it out loud. What? amazing. not to mention she goes to conferences with me when i am dressed in a giant caftan with a top knot that has been there for three days. that’s love. blessed i tell you.
we have been snuggling a few nights a week since may and reading A Little Princess, complete with accents for each character.
we are hoping to hone our friend making skills and learn how to pick and develop good relationships. this book by American Girl is written in an easy to understand way with examples and darling pictures too.
the day the crayons quit is the silliest most clever book. no wonder ruby kept begging for it after we had to leave barnes and noble during a certain little man’s tantrum. she literally asked me everyday, “mom do you think it’s sold out yet?” until we returned to claim it.
i secretly cheered when ruby picked this classically illustrated Dick and Jane beginning to read book over the commercialized character books. she mastered it in two days and added it to her “Old Time Classics” pile.
What is the “Old Time Classics” pile? well, that freaking rad teacher i was telling you about told us to divide our books into piles. the first pile is “mastering at the moment”. the other pile is ” old time classics.” once ruby has “mastered” a book and can easily read it she can add it to the “Old Time Classics” pile and take a new book from the “Learning to Read” pile. this way she is encouraged by seeing all the books she has mastered, that were once difficult switch piles to her classics pile and she can pick a new book from her learning pile to start mastering. she is liking this. a lot.
we decided reading outside at 7 o’clock at night suits us real nice. especially when a sweet older brother brings her rainbow sherbert ice cream to encourage her along (and keep us outside so he can take three scoops instead of the measly one scoop i give him. he is smart cookie.)
should we talk about the sunburn on her cheeks? yes, we will get to that next week. yet another mom fail.
oh and ps…does hurt that i bribe all my kids. $1 for each book over 20 pages for Ruby. $1 for each book over 60 pages for Myes and $2 for any book over 100 pages. my good friend has really strong readers so this technique is going to make her broke so she has adjusted accordingly. this technique was my other motivation to read as a child, aside from claudia’s dangling earrings.
next week: BOOKS FOR BOYS that would way rather be outside. we have tried them all this will be a good post.
how could i not take some pics of this girl when she comes out of her room lookin like this? she kills me.
similar of our favorite floppy hats here at jcrew for $29. vest $15 for toddlers, and $19 big girls/ dress from target, not online but similar here and this black maxi for little girls here / leopard sandals $10
could this post be any more wordy?