Taken from the blog of Julia Torgrimson. Used with permission.
A year ago last spring, I was in a state of confusion. My state was due to my 4 yr. old son. I was waffling back and forth about whether I should have him tested for learning difficulties. There were some signs that indicated there might be problems with his ability to learn.
Some of those signs were his inability to learn new things. It took him forever to grasp certain bits of information. I had been working with him for 2 yrs.in counting to 10. He still was unable to do that. What worried me the most was that he had no desire to learn anything. Also, he had difficulty in maintaining eye contact. He would never look at you when he talked to you. He would look off at the side, but he would never look directly at you. He had speech difficulties as well. He was almost 4 1/2 yrs. old and other people still couldn’t understand what he was saying. After reading as much as I could about learning disabilities, I came to the conclusion that there was a possibility that my boy would have a hard time learning.
I knew that some people in our family were a little leery about my homeschooling Rocky. They thought that if, indeed, he did have a learning disability, the best place for him would be in school so that the professionals could teach him. I knew, though, in my heart that the best place for him would be his home. The best teacher he could have would be his momma, who loved him more than life itself, who would spend oodles of time researching the best curriculums and teaching methods for him, who would spend the extra time with him in the areas that were weak. I knew I could do this.
Well, over the summer of 2005, my boy grew up. He changed into a different boy. Suddenly, he could count to 20 (I do not know how that happened,) he knew his letters and he was able to listen to me read a chapter book while sitting in one spot. Maturity is an amazing thing. Another area in which he matured in was his sense of humour. My boy is funny. His one-liners astound me at times. He is very quick at humour. My fears were laid to rest. We still have to take things slow when learning new information, but I am certain that he can learn that information.
As I was teaching him this morning, all of these thoughts crowded my very tired brain. I remembered how worried I was for him. I am not worried anymore. Not after I have seen how amazing he is at math. I only have to introduce a lesson to him once and he has it firmly entrenched in his mind. He is going to be fine with writing as well. He is left–handed so I was concerned about how I was going to teach him how to write, seeing that I am right-handed. It has been a little rough, but he is getting stronger. Actually, if I let him, he would do the whole Handwriting Without Tears workbook all in one sitting. I have to make him stop after 5 pages. We started reading this week, but I am thinking that we may hold off for a bit. He knows the letter sounds but he hasn’t grasped the concept yet that when the sounds are put together, they make a word. I have him doing a Montessori activity where he has a card with a picture on it and the word written below it. He uses letter tiles to form the word then reads it. I have also been thinking about LeapPad’s WordWhammer. We have LP’s Fridge Phonics and that helped Rocky with the sounds so I may buy the Word Whammer and see if that will help in the interim. Also, even though narration skills should not be worked on until 6 yrs of age, Rocky gives me impromptu narrations about our read alounds. This fills my heart.
I am very proud of my boy. He has accomplished so much this past year. Yay for you, Rocky!