My first grader asked why a certain sentence had a warning. I didn’t know what he was talking about. He pointed to the exclamation point and explained that it was a warning symbol. I explained to him about exclamation points. Now he takes it as an exclamation and I take it as a warning. He SHOUTS the word that comes before an exclamation point. It takes such vigor that I sometimes get elbowed or he jumps and lands on me when he’s EXCLAIMING!


I’m working through the McGuffey’s First Eclectic Primer with him. It’s his second time through. A few of my kids learned to read young and pretty easily. They were reading novels at age 5 and 6. Then the next two came along. One started reading novels at 8. This one just turned 7. He’ll get there by 8 if not a little sooner. I suspect they both have dyslexia. They have the classic symptoms of it. There’s a writing sample video that shows writing that looks just like my son’s. My brother and cousins on one side all have kids with dyslexia too, so I think it must be in the genes somewhere.

The one who started reading novels at 8 now says that reading is his favorite subject, so if you have a struggling child, do know there’s hope. There’s always hope. I did the same thing with him that I’m doing with this child. Just started back at the beginning. These two boys of mine, as is normal for dyslexic kids, do best with phonics, as opposed to sight reading, so we did the phonics part of the program over again and then went through the McGuffey Primer and now the McGuffey First Reader. He’s reading really well, now.

Don’t be afraid to try, try again. When it’s not working, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed or your curriculum has failed; it may just mean you need to give it another try.