Finally, I can say that my little boy loves to read. It’s been a journey with many helpers over many years, but we are finally there. He still prefers listening to audio books to reading with his fingers, but he’s willing and able to do both–a major win in my book.
Today, we celebrate reading with Read Across America day. The date was set by the March 2nd birthday of one of my favorite authors, Theodore Geisel. (You may know him better by his pen name, Dr. Seuss.) You can find out more about Read Across America day at the National Education Association’s Web site here: http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm
In the spirit of reading, I offer the following:
Getting a Braille-Resistant Kid to Read
I am a voracious reader with a profound love of words. This made my son’s previous absolute hatred of reading an emotional stab to the gut for me. Efrit and I would tell him reading is fabulous; reading is amazing; we would have given anything to be able to read in the dark way past our bedtimes without our parents catching us when we were your age. Nothing worked. He would scream, cry, and resist in every way imaginable when reading time came at home. Countless braille books met untimely ends. It was not a good time.
Last year, we finally got through to him. What finally made it click was this: a combination of talking books and braille books. Efrit introduced Peanut to the world of Percy Jackson. Peanut fell in love. The listened to every book in the first series on Axis 360, and Peanut was always begging for more.
My mother then bought Peanut his very own braille copy of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One: The Lightening Thief. (You can get one from Seedlings here: http://seedlings.org/details.php?id=1471&cat=0&search=Percy%20Jackson) The day it arrived, the most magical thing happened: Peanut sat down and read. I told him he’d gotten a package; we opened it, and I handed him the first of the three enormous braille volumes. He asked what it was; I told him to read the cover and tell me. He read it. He got excited. He flipped the book open right there in the middle of our living room floor, package detritus all around, and kept going. He’s been reading ever since.
Will this work for you? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try. Try audio books until you find one your child falls in love with–there are many fantastic series out there. Once you find that beloved character, author, or series, find a copy of one of those books in braille and see what happens. Peanut’s never complained about re-reading the books he’s listened to–he’s actually become somewhat impatient as we attempt to find the next volume when he’s finished the last. It’s improved his reading exponentially. Maybe it will work with your braille-resistant kid, too.
Realistically, am I going to post a picture of myself here with a book? No. I am, however, going to note the book I loved most as a child: The Monster at the End of This Book, starring Lovable, Furry Old GROVER.
My mom read this book to me when I was small, until I was finally able to read it to myself. I read this book to Peanut before he was born and before he left the NICU. I read this book to Sprout. I discovered a fabulous highly-interactive app of the book for the iPad that allows them to read it to themselves. (You can get the app here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-monster-at-the-end/id409467802?mt=8)
I cannot recommend this book enough–you need to go out and discover it for yourself. There’s even a sequel–Another Monster at the End of this Book–that includes Elmo.