Pushing Through: Learning to Read

Pushing Through: Learning to Read

My daughter Natalie is learning to read. It’s not easy yet.

She loves being read to: we stack up a pile of our favorites and snuggle on the couch with her two sisters or find a quiet corner of the library. There are some classics that even my almost three year old can “read.” And Natalie does that too: last night at bedtime, she read Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

But during our school day, Natalie is learning phonics; letter by letter, sound by sound, she is beginning to decode sentences, complete books even. But it’s not easy yet.

I can’t remember the magical moment when my oldest daughter started reading fluently, but I see the results every day. She picks up a novel at every chance. She reads in the car, in bed at night, first thing in the morning. She often finishes a book before we even get in the door from the library. Sometimes when she has a playdate, I have to gently encourage her to set her book aside to give her friend attention.

Cami’s love of reading inspires me when I get discouraged with Natalie’s reading lessons. It is only a matter of time, I know, until Natalie crosses over from this stage of learning to read and into a lifetime of reading to learn.

Until then, I have to push through. When she whines that it’s too hard, I patiently help her sound out the words. I look for books that I know she will enjoy, including some that I know she can read easily, to give her confidence. I write out her lessons with Sharpies in a rainbow of colors — the colors she chooses — and let her put a sticker at the end of each sentence she reads.

Sometimes pushing through the challenges of life requires a little extra patience and some creativity. Mostly, it just requires a commitment to do what you need to do, every day. Eventually, whatever you’re doing will start to get easier. Then, you can enjoy the results, and the hard work you took to get there will be a distant memory.

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission. 

Filed As:  perseverance, family

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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  • Thanks for sharing. Teaching children to read requires an extra dose of perseverance because the change needs to happen in them. (I imagine teaching anyone – anything – is similar.)
    Your post brought back memories of the two different ways my children learned to read as we homeschooled.
    The older child learned easily and required very little creativity on my part to become a “reader”.
    The youngest didn’t become a fluent reader until he was 12.
    The amount of creativity needed to bring him to that point stretched my abilities, my patience, and my belief system. I learned how to persevere, as did he, because I viewed being a fluent reader as essential. Today (he’s 20) I still get a thrill when I see him devouring his college text books and “taking a break” to read fiction!
    Reaping the rewards of perseverance is satisfying! I’m really enjoying your posts on this topic. Thank you.

  • Becky,
    Even though your series is about “pushing” through, the real key to your story lies in your heart for “patience”.
    We often act as though the two are diametrically opposed; you have shown that they rely on each other.

  • I had 4.2 miles left in my first marathon when it happened. I hit the wall – toenail falling off, blisters popping open, legs dragging. Knowing I was on a mission for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, I said a silent prayer to Aly, a friend-of-a-friend who had lost her battle with lymphoma.
    Seconds later, a woman ran past me. Like many marathoners, she wore her name on her running shirt – and hers read A-L-Y. Same unique spelling. With simultaneous laughter and tears, I grabbed my camera and took a picture of her shirt.
    For the next 4.2 miles, Aly & I took turns passing one another. When the finish line came in sight, I gave everything I had left, and finished.
    I looked for Aly at the finish line, and never saw her. The picture proves she was there. Now, whenever I’m at the bottom of The Hill, the memory of my “Aly moment” pushes me to the top.

  • Lori –
    Thanks for coming by to share your story. How wonderful it must be to see your son thriving, to see the fruit of your perseverance and patience.
    I am glad you are enjoying the series… come back — there will be more!
    Steve —
    Interesting food for thought. Patience is an important part of perseverance. Perseverance is impossible without patience. When we are patient on a consist basis, we are persevering.
    Angie —
    Wow! You always add so much value to my posts. This is certainly a story that I will remember. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  • Becky,
    Children can be our best teachers when it comes to persistence and pushing through.
    I learned a great deal about perseverance when my daughter was learning to walk. She would walk a couple of steps and fall. She would get up again and start walking and fall again. Each time she fell, she stood up and tried. She persisted, pushed through until she was confident enough of taking a few more steps and reach something she can hold for standing.
    She taught me that falling down is okay till you have persistence to get back up. It is when you give up that falling down becomes failing down.
    This is a great series!
    Best,
    Tanmay

  • Wow! The power in a story is absolutely amazing. When reading your story and looking at the responses we see perseverance, patience, committment, encourage, but what I gained the most from your story is your understanding that it is not about you. One of my greatest struggles in life whether I am up or down, is that what I do is not about me.
    Love the story!

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