As of Monday my grandson effectively begins "reading recovery" and he has not yet turned 6!
I know that probably doesnt seem like something to celebrate but this term has been one of seeing C tettering on the edge of a long slippery slope and feeling as though I was doing a pretty awful job of advocating for him and getting nowhere.
He finished last year "well on track" from an educational perspective - was on level 12 for reading - was almost at end of year 1 level for spelling and his writing had really come forward .... BUT ..... no 'penny dropping in the slot' at all.
This year he freaked out bigtime when the teacher put him straight into level 14 for reading and it completely shot his confidence. Long story short - he wound up at level 7 and still punching himself in the head because it was "too hard" and I was ummmm "discussing my concerns" what felt like every 20 minutes with the teacher and head of the junior school knowing full well that they usually dont worry about kids being a bit behind at that age.
The Junior Head went in and observed him in class and C "blended" in perfectly with his reading group - playing the part - as he does. So she she assessed his reading again and he did just as well up to level 10 (quite easily) and didnt push him beyond that but felt he would probably be at about 11-12. The idea of putting him at a lower level was to boost his confidence but C just isnt that straightforward (I knew that wouldnt work).
So the Junior head calls me into her office (lol) and tells me that as of Monday she will be taking C for reading to get him back up to where he should be by the end of the term - sooooooo relieved!
At home I have changed tacts as well ..... no more Nani reading him stories in bed ..... if he wants to know the stories - he will just have to read it for himself.
I know that sounds harsh but its really not - he is a smart kid with good problem solving skills but, since he was very little he did much better at so many things if he believed he was doing it in private. If you were "available" he "couldnt" do a puzzle - if he thought he was unobserved he could LOL.
The idea is to give him some privacy - take away the perceived "pressure of being observed" and let him explore reading on his own and find ways that work for him. Not only is he enjoying it ..... he has settled much better the last 2 nights left to read by himself.
One thing that I have found great for DD with dyslexia is providing the higher level stories (Roald Dahl etc) on CD or me reading, as a reward for doing the school readers (e.g. Little bulldozer and other very preschool storylines).
She is difficult as she craves the content but as yet can't access it independently from the books.
And straight up to level 11 with no major difficulties - a little resistance to reading his reader at home but once he started he was fine :)
Ive got Bad Jelly the Witch on CD for us to listen to together :) Unless I know the book by heart, my reading is TERRIBLE - I wouldnt want to listen to me reading I sound like one of his classmates LOL