In the beginning of the school year, Anthony was struggling with his words per minute, scoring in with an average of 32. He loved to be read to, but didn't want to be the one doing the reading. I suppose you could say he was that type of boy who would rather be doing anything else but reading and only did it because he had to for school. And when he did read, he would try to choose the easiest books to read, because, you know, those big words are hard and sounding them out takes time. And it's annoying. And it's easier to just guess the word if he didn't know it. And then get mad when I made him keep trying. Yikes, lots of meltdowns. For obvious reasons, he was behind goal with his fluency and we needed to work on that.
Every night Anthony is suppose to read. We did that, without fail. So why was he only at 32 words per minute? Why wasn't he improving? Why wasn't anything I was doing helping? It was one of those times I felt like a failure. Why couldn't I help my baby succeed? What in the hell am I suppose to do? I don't know what I'm doing....
And then I realized what it was. His attitude. And mine. So we talked about it.....and talked about it....and talked about it. He gets frustrated very easily. And he gets discouraged very easily. Which then makes me get frustrated and annoyed and upset with his negative attitude. And then he stops trying. And then I get mad. And then we both just spiral down, completely out of control.
So then we worked on it.....and worked on it....and worked on it. Together. I calm him down, tell him he can do it. Let him know he has to think positive and know he can do it, he just has to keep working and keep trying. Keep chugging along. And while I'm giving him a pep talk, I take my own words of advice. I calm down. I think positive. I keep working at lifting him up and keep chugging along....knowing progress does not come overnight. I want to see him succeed so very much, but I need to be patient, because all children learn and grow differently and at different paces.
Deep breaths, Mama. All will be well. He will improve. He will. Be patient. Keep going. You're learning too. You're not failing. It's ok.
From fall until this week, Anthony has improved his words per minute from an average of 32 to an average of 77! WOWZA!
When I took that award out of his folder and read what it was, I about fainted! I hugged my big boy close and told him I was so very proud of him with happy tears in my eyes. And then he laughed at me, haha. It was awesome to see him so proud of himself and excited over his accomplishment.
I know we have more work to do to help him keep improving and be where he needs to be, but seeing how far he has come in the past 4 months, I know we will get there. We will keep encouraging, working hard, and just keep chugging along.
We are proud of you, Anthony!!