Monday, November 19, 2007

Dick and Jane

Seven year old son hates school. He's in 1st grade and already hates it. He always did. I tried to send him to preschool when he was three, and he ran screaming out of the classroom, down the hallway, and out the door! I didn't send him back to preschool until he was 5 (a different one). He has a summer birthday and most of the school districts around us have moved back the age you have to be to go to kindergarten (age 5 by May 1st) , so it wasn't a hard decision to hold him back. He did fine and made lots of friends, but his reading skills were lacking a little. He didn't want anything to do with sitting down and working with me on his reading, but I decided I should do something over the summer before he entered 1st grade.

I went to the library and looked for easy readers that were very basic. There were almost none. Most of the easy readers were for children who were already reading, not just starting to learn to read. Then I discovered Dick and Jane. There are new publications of all the old Dick and Jane books. Our library has books from 1-12. Most people know how the first book starts, "Look."They are so simple and gradually add new words to the story and are repeated over and over. Each word then becomes a new sight word (which is how you read when you're older). Each book builds from the last. You can practically do all 12 books in one night and learn to read! After only the first book he was so proud of himself. He showed everyone how he could read. Now our nightly ritual is first he reads to me, then I read a book to him. He loves it! On the nights that I can't read to him, I hear him in his room reading to himself. I'm so proud of him.

When I went to parent teacher conferences this year his teacher told me he's right where he should be for 1st grade. She has no idea how much he learned from those Dick and Jane books over the summer. I even recommended them to a friend of mine who said her son isn't reading very well. I don't know why they don't use them in schools anymore. They're great! My son still hates school, all the rules, no talking, sit still, homework, but at least he doesn't hate it anymore because he's struggling at reading!


Mary said...

That's great that you were able to work so well with him over the summer with his reading. I'll keep those books in mind when my guy gets to that age.
Hope school gets better for him:)

I tagged you on my blog for 7 random things. Hope you don't mind:)

suchsimplepleasures said...

that's a great idea. good old dick and jane! my daughter, in first grade, hated it, too. she couldn't read, at all. she could barely recognize letters. it was horrible and we struggled. a program called reading recovery was introduced to her and within a couple of months...she was reading. she is in 4th grade now. she still struggles with the academics but, being able to read has made it much better.