Sunday, October 15, 2006


I am tutoring a fifth grader who is struggling in school. I go to his house twice a week and do everything I can to encourage the boy to read. He is decoding (turning printed words on the page into language) at the third grade level, but is comprehending (understanding what the words mean) at only the late second grade level because he is working so hard at decoding. I assessed that much of his problem is a reluctance to read, so I decided to start by motivating him to read. I can't teach him to read if he won't read (practice).

I have been taking his parents' money for three months and was about to think about deciding whether to consider making a decision to analyze the possibilty of whether to wonder if I should give up and throw in the towel on this boy or not. In other words, I am discouraged and feel guilty about taking their money, but I can be relentless and will not pass on even the suspicion of that possibilty to him or his parents.

I finally made progress this Saturday. We had a major "break-through!" Whoa! What a great session we had! The previous four days he had read a lot and seemed to enjoy it. He is finally interested in Scary Stories and Captain Underpants, and is beginning to understand Calvin and Hobbes, which is well above his comprehension level but has him fascinated. I have always had Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on hand to give him as a reward but never had to hand them out. This Saturday he almost cleaned me out of two bags of snack-size bars. I pray for more of those sessions!

1 comment:

Bellezza said...

It's so energizing when a child first "opens his eyes" to the joy of reading, and you helped him! I find the children loving those Captain Underpants books; they even like writing their own versions and reading them back for a literacy connection.

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