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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Zachary, the reader!

This morning at 1:40 am, a momentous moment occurred. No, I wasn't awake for it either. But Zachary was. He finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to himself!

Zac is what's known as a late reader. He wanted to learn to read at ages 5, 6, 7. But the skills just weren't there. He asked me to help him learn and I tried, I really did. When I'd be teaching him to read CAT, he'd forget what C said by the time he got to A. He just really wasn't ready. I understood that, and I was quite sure that reading would eventually come for Zac, but boy, did he feel like a failure. He once asked me how old each of the other members of his family were when they learned how to read. Hibi? 4. Me? 5. Dad? Um, 3 years old! I hadn't wanted to share that info with him when he was so frustrated with himself but he asked me directly, and it made him feel even worse.

So, over the years I've read books to him because he really loves reading, but couldn't unlock that wonderful world by himself. I read Harry Potter, books one through six, to him and we all enjoyed them together.

Zac became fluent in reading sometime during the year that he was nine (though I don't have a magical time that I could say "he's reading!" like I did with Hibi) and we all rejoiced. He still hadn't read too much by himself, though--just a couple of Magic Treehouse books and parts of the Crispin books, when Harry Potter 7 was slated to come out. Paul said then, that he thought Zachary could read it to himself. I have to admit, I was skeptical! Plus, I enjoyed our reading marathons! But it was decided that we would buy two copies and each of the kids could read their own copy, and then when Hibi was done Paul and I could have our turns. They read in the car on our vacation, and on the day we got the book there was *no bickering.* What a great thing!

And it took Zac a couple of weeks, but he kept plugging away, and I even offered to read part of it to him (because I do miss reading Harry Potter to him!) but he said no.

Recently I read in the newspaper about a classroom filled with at-risk kids who can't read yet (at the tender ages of 6 and 7!) and I was heartbroken at reading about how they drill those kids over and over, to the point where they are so frustrated with themselves and still they have to keep drilling. I thought, that's not teaching those kids the love of reading. That's teaching them they are deficient and need a skill, no more than that. How about cozying up on a couch and just reading together? And when the skills come, they come.

Zac, even though frustrated with himself at times, never lost that joy of reading, that wonder at opening a book and finding a new world inside.

And that's why the world became a little more joyful at 1:40 this morning.


Unknown said...

Congratulations Zac!!! I finished reading it at 2:30 this morning.

Mimi said...

Whohooooo, way to go, Zac!

Rebeca said...

Exciting stuff! It's wonderful that he's been given what he needs to catch the love of reading in his own time. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your sweet comments and your prayers!
I believe our new priest is coming to us from your parish in a few weeks.

Gary said...

Elizabeth, I've enjoyed reading your blog. Found it a couple of days ago after coming across a blurb (I don't remember where now)with the title of your husband's soon to be published book "Holy Simplicity" by SVS Press. I googled the title and found your blog. When will the book be ready for purchase? I am trying to simplify my life and the title sounded intriguing.

I have marked your blog as a favorite and will continue to read it. Thanks.

Elizabeth said...

Rebeca--yes, Fr. Jerry is being assigned to your parish. He's got a wife and three children, and we hope that he and your parish will do great things together!

Gary--what an interesting way to find my blog! Fr. Paul has just sent in the completed manuscript for his book, about a week ago. And SVS says it will be probably two years before it's published. Now that it's finished we're anxious for it to be published sooner, but I suppose we'll just have to wait!

DebD said...

Whoop! That is wonderful news. My 11 yr old is struggling through it. Its also a bit discouraging because her older sibs finished it within a day or so.

•L¥ÇÅN• said...

Yeah, he had that trouble too, as I finished it in 8 hours and 15 minutes.

Jennifershmoo said...

Woo, way to go, Zac! I can't believe I haven't read it yet, myself. I just borrowed a copy and will be taking it on vacation with me tomorrow and will dive into it as soon as our plane takes off. I only hope I won't get so absorbed that I don't want to do anything else on vacation!