Reading Is Fundamental

Well if you are my age you probably remember that adage from the television and getting people to read more. It turns out that reading a basic life skill is something that both M2 and N struggle with, and struggle hard. OK I need to help them both, I need to make reading a priority for them as M1 and I read all the time.

So Saturday night we are at home and I am having M2 read to me because she needs to practice. When she is done, I pull out two younger books and hand them to N and say “Here ya go your turn” She looks at me blankly and M2 laughs and says “Uh-oh N it is your turn to read.” Before she can say a word, I said “Nope not getting out of it you have to read to me.” I am pretty sure she was proud of herself let me tell ya when she was done but yeah a bunch of hemming and hawing to start with. Yes they were beginner books but I really don’t have a feel for her level and I wanted success so I am sure they were a bit too easy.
Today we go to the library and get N her first library card. I tell her she can take out a book or two to get her reading. She at first picked out a ridiculously difficult book to read and I said “All right fair enough, read me the first paragraph so I know you can read it.” She looked at me and put the book back. To her credit she did start looking at other books and did finally decide on one that she could read me the first few sentences of. I picked out two more books and off we went to check out.
I sit down with M2 to start off and she struggled with many of the words and yelled and pseudo tantrummed. I tried to use humor, redirection, providing clues but sure enough I get up to go to the bathroom and M2 shuts down the website with the book she was reading on it. Sigh…come on kiddo use your powers for good. She starts to escalate and I say “You know what, N will read to me. You don’t have to I will have her do it and I am quite sure that she will be happy to read to me.  You are free to go.” Yep sometimes reverse psychology is effective. Sure enough M2 plopped back down and finished up the book with me, phew dodged that one barely. As I finished reading with M2 I hear N saying words downstairs. Yep I know how this is going to roll heehee.
When M2 is done I call N and she calls back “Yep I already read. I am done.” I laugh and say “OK nice try get up here and read to me.” She protests and says she already did it and I acknowledge that yes in fact she did say words but if they were the right words is the better question. She insisted that it was all simple to read and that she has done the whole thing already. So I say “Well then the second time will be even easier won’t it? Besides I don’t know what the book is about so you can either do a report for me or read it to me, your choice.” Magically she chooses to read to me and she did very well by the way so I was sure to praise her.
Yep been there and seen that kiddo remember this is my circus and these are my monkeys.I know I need to do this for them both, you have to be able to read at a certain level for independence. I know that I am to blame for M2 not being up to par, she gets violent and I had been avoident, OK turning that around this year it is my responsibility. She is less volatile and I have learned a handful of things from the teachers on how to motivate her so it has worked a few times so far. As for N, well no on has really ever mothered her and cared about her grades or schooling so lets see how far she can go. OK maybe not college material but you are 14 and reading at a 3rd grade level, lets see if we can bump you to middle school.
What was the song from Miley Cyrus?  It’s about the climb? Yep here we go, lets see if we can make this work.

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