Recently, we were faced with the possibility that my 6 year old would be held back in first grade. While he had made strides behavorial wise, the teacher, his intervention specialist and even the principal, were not convinced that he would be ready for 2nd grade this coming fall.
At first I was devastated. I took it that it meant that I had failed as a parent. I mean, did I really push him as hard as I could have? What did I do so wrong that he was still reading at below a first grade level? We left that meeting with a heavy heart.
Once I thought about it, I realized that it wasn't ME or him...it was the school!!! (ok its a stretch kinda but come on!) He is the youngest 1st grader in the school. While most kids have already turned 7, he isnt turning 7 for another month. Developmentally he just wasn't ready for first grade...most kids his age are finishing up Kindergarten.
After much thought, we decided that there was no reason why he could not move to 2nd grade with his friends in the fall. He has proven on several occasions that he can do the work, he just chooses not to. But how could I help him catch up? Where to even begin?
While looking for some reputable ways to help my son to read, I came across the Hooked On Phonics website. I had always wanted to try this program, but the cost was a bit much...then I read the page. Not only could I get this $200 system for just $20.00 down, I could get 20% off the price, plus it was on sale. So it ended up being a total of 119.99 for that kit. A $23.00 downpayment sent it and a Workbook on its way.
I was skeptical, but thought that I would atleast give it a try.
When the box arrived, my son was at his fathers for the weekend. My husband had a good chuckle at how excited I was to start this program. I opened up the box and there was the kits for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade. Along with this huge 1st grade workbook I ordered. I read through all the materials, getting a little more optimistic, made up a written schedule for what activites he would do on what days, put all the material together and waited.
Monday after school we sat down at the kitchen table. I had decided to start from the begining, meaning the Kindergarten box. I needed to know exactly what skills he did or did not have. Within a week he went thru 8 lessons, but I was sure it was because it was too easy for him...then I spoke with the teacher, and that conversation sealed the deal for me.
Within 3 days of us begining the H.O.P program, not only had my son gained more confidence, he was reading, OUTLOUD, simple sentances, something he could not do a week ago. When he got stuck on a word, instead of asking for help or getting upset, the teacher said she would catch him quietly sounding the word out to himself...He was better behaved, completing his work and just generally a happier child
The other night, his reading intervention teacher sent home a book for him to read. I was worried because the sentances were longer then what we had covered thus far with H.O.P.
Imagine my surprise when I overheard him read the ENITRE thing without stopping to his brother and sister.
I am proud of him and how hard he works. Now he wants to read to me instead of the other day around. I cannot wait to finish this kit then move on to the 1st and 2nd grade kits.
As Cliche as it is..."Hooked On Phonics DOES work for me!!"
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