Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Neglected Second Child

Tonight, I was reading to Davis, and he wanted to say all the letters in the title of the book. I know that he (usually) knows the uppercase letters, and he did fine with those. Then he wanted to say the letters in the author's name, and they were in lowercase. Hello, Mommy Fail! The kid pretty much knows no lowercase letters. I'm not entirely sure he knows "M" and "N", upper or lowercase, are two separate letters. And writing? Let's just say he can sometimes make a "T".

With Ava, I was the typical new mom. She was all of a few days old when I started reading to her. We read lots and lots as she got older, and would be content for me to read to her for hours if I had the stamina. (I never did). She was a self-taught reader by the time she turned 4. Obviously, her genius is a direct result of my wonderful parenting. Or maybe she just got it, which is perhaps the more likely case.

Then there was Davis. He was always squirmier. And bedtime was always a little more rushed. As a baby/toddler, one or two board books were fine. There wasn't a lot of extra reading time during the day, either. And, he's an energetic boy. Sitting down for a long period of time has never been his thing.

Anyway, I had a goal early this summer to get him to learn to write his name by the time preschool started back. I think we worked on that about 2 times. He wasn't into it, and I didn't push it. He's a lefty, too - a challenge I've never dealt with.

But now I think I need to do a little more. He's only got one more year until Kindergarten, and while I don't think he needs to be fully reading by then, he could probably use a little more knowledge. Just the idea that he should know some sight words before next August is bewildering to me.

Don't get me wrong - the boy is smart. I'm not saying Ava is smarter. As hard as it is not to, I'm trying not to compare my two kids. We just need a way to make this fun for him.

Anyone have any fun suggestions for teaching a future ADHD patient active and energetic boy the basics of reading? Good apps? Same for writing. Because right now, if the dogs on Nick Jr's Paw Patrol aren't teaching it, he's not interested.


  1. I love your blog and I am also an early childhood reading specialist. The determining factor between kids who go to college (and succeed) and those who don't is being read to by a parent. You can't shortcut with apps, programs, computers etc. Whether you force him to suck on a lollipop to sit still or bribe him with donuts read to him at least 20 minutes/day (30 minutes is ideal and clearly not all at once and if you take a break one day make it up later in the week) and he will learn to read and learn his letters. REad books he likes. Start with short stuff like Brown Bear Brown Bear by Eric Carl. It Looked Like Spilt Milk, Is Your Mama a Lama. Buy the preschool book package from Lakeshore learning. Get a parent membership to a-zlearning.com READ READ READ. He will start to memorize the books, then he will learn letter/word recognition and then he will learn to read words he doesn't know. Preschool should help but you have got to put the time in. I'm in the same boat with my second kid. It's friggin' hard. I dont know how people had 10 kids in the olden' days. I'm pretty sure my two girls are going to be the end of me... Good luck!

  2. I totally get this....I'm not sure if we know lowercase either.