As we settle into our routine it is easy to get complacent in the drudgery of daily work. It crossed my mind the other night as I washed dishes that I am supposed to be schooling a struggling learner, that my blog was to be devoted to the unique challenges of reaching one with comprehension deficiencies.
Strange that I hadn’t thought of my son’s struggles in weeks. Sure, he balks at work that interrupts his play, that pushes him beyond easy. He makes mistakes on his assignments. He avoids the harder work. But is that a struggling learner? Or is he simply a learner?
Before homeschooling, I read a number of opinions that noted learning difficulties often disappear with personal instruction. It is probably too early to make a declaration, but it sure seems that might be the case. We spend the bulk of our time together tearing apart text—examining titles and subheadings, noting structure and key points.
At the start of the year, SJ stared blankly at a page of text and appeared overwhelmed by the volume of characters and graphics. In school, this was called a deficiency in reading comprehension. Now, I see him engage, with help still, diving into the text and recognizing it as blocks of information that could be useful. Could it be that he just didn’t have the tools to comprehend? It can be hard to tell in this one-on-one environment but just as I knew when he was struggling, I think I can trust my instinct that tells me he is beginning to thrive.
It’s always disconcerting to receive a call for immediate help, especially so when you have kids to pick up from school and homework to rearrange.
I had to say a quick ‘thank you’ to our homeschool schedule on Tuesday when my mother-in-law called in the morning to tell me they were moving in two days and could use our help…like now. They live one and a half hours away.
We have fallen into a nice rhythm during the week and I didn’t want to interrupt it, but recognized that some things are more important than others. Grammar can be done on Wednesdays. Science lessons wait. Grandparents won’t be here forever.
We ditched our lesson plan and trekked up to their home. While I packed up the kitchen, SJ worked alongside his papa in the garage. When I had a chance to peek out at their progress, there was SJ atop a ladder, disassembling racks, or doing some heavy lifting all the while bantering with his grandpa—my fears of him standing idly by put to rest. I’m pretty sure the lessons he learned on Tuesday trumped any schoolwork I could have thrown his way.