“Mom, please don’t embarrass me.”
April 7, 2009
I’m not sure if my 14-year-old son, Chris, is impressed or appalled that I’m blogging, but I do know that he’s intrigued. At breakfast this morning he asked if I was going to talk about him online. “Do you not want me to?” I asked.
“It depends,” he said, “are you going to tell them that it took me a long time to learn how to read?”
Here are some things you probably don’t expect me to confess right off the bat:
- When it came time to teach Chris to read, I never used Hooked on Phonics (which isn’t why he struggled, by the way).
- Chris is dyslexic and my husband and I (along with Chris’s teachers) had a difficult time getting him to read before he was diagnosed.
- We felt completely unprepared when it came to helping Chris learn to read at home, nevermind the dyslexia.
But we did try (and try and try and try), which is the most important thing.
That’s what I’d like this blog to focus on: trying to get our kids to read. While we have a number of ideas on this (ahem, an entire series of Learn to Read systems under the Hooked on Phonics brand), it’s not the only solution.
I’m planning to share this space with teachers, reading specialists, award-winning children’s book authors, our friends from literacy organizations and you. Yes, if you want to share your experience with other parents we’d love to have you post. Likewise, since I’m following a number of you already, we can add you to the blog roll.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I do want to introduce you to my friends and colleagues here as well as in their own right, they’re former reading specialists, teachers, children’s book authors, curriculum developers and, of course, parents many of whom have just wrapped up a year-long (multi-million dollar) labor of love re-engineering how we deliver the phonics platform in fun (but still educationally sound), interactive ways.
Before we left the house, I reminded Chris that he’s not alone in the world—more than 40 million American children and adults are dyslexic (including one of my heroes, Walt Disney, and some of Chris’s, Orlando Bloom and Tom Cruise). Some people have to try harder than others, but the point is to try and, where we can, to help others get ahead.
“Well,” he said, “if it helps people to know that you tried to the point of tears, I guess I don’t mind.”
More tears. Proud mom.