Miss Beccaboo still isn’t reading.
The funny thing is, she can read. She reads whole sentences like “Jane rides the mule past the gate,” or “Bob had nine dimes and gave me five.” She knows the rules and how to sound out the words (something Yo-Yo never learned to do), but it still hasn’t clicked.
This bothers me more than I thought it would, perhaps because she’s a girl or maybe because she so badly wants to read. I don’t want her to know that I’m concerned, so I have to actively tamp down my worries and play it cool. I wonder if I should do something else, try a different method or drill her more often. I’ve even considered teaching her over the summer.
It is not like me to worry so. I believe that The Learning Time Table bestowed upon us by The System is one hundred percent bogus. I believe that there are different types of learners and different types of intelligence, all of which are equally valuable.
Considering all my noble ideals, my angst over my daughter’s reading, or lack thereof, is ironic. Instead of fretting, I should be thrilled that I have this incredible opportunity to put my beliefs into practice. I’ve always said kids learn when they’re ready and here I get to watch the amazing process up close, firsthand! Whoo-hoo!
While I’m not exactly thrilled by this opportunity, I have enough common sense to know that pushing Miss Beccaboo is not the answer. Even though I strongly believe this, and have lots of research to back me up, I have to repeatedly remind myself to stay calm. Otherwise, I fall victim to the senseless “shoulds” and “have-to’s” of our culture. And that’s pointless.
So when the school year ended, I steadied my resolve and determined, all over again, to simply let Miss Beccaboo be. I shelved the reading workbooks and turned her free. We don’t talk about reading (not that we discussed it much before, but I’m making a point to avoid the topic) and instead she does chores and plays, often combining the two in delightfully quirky ways as is her custom.
Technically, I’m not doing anything to help her read, unless you count our fun read alouds and the books on tape she adores. To proponents of our country’s (tortured) educational system, perhaps this approach seems negligent. But I beg to disagree. Sometimes doing nothing is the hardest thing to do.
And that’s something.