Monster is about half way through kindergarten, and he's in danger of failing. Why, you ask? Because he hasn't learned his letters by site, and isn't doing well with sounds. The boy can tell you that 50-39 is 11 without blinking, can tell elaborate stories, and do a 100 piece puzzle in no time. But he doesn't want to learn to read. Learning to read means that he isn't a baby anymore. And he loves being the baby.
I've tried everything over the last 3 years to get him to learn his letters. No go. It took me 3 months to get him to learn how to write his name, and finally, after many days of refusing to try, he wrote it. Perfectly. (Now he writes it wrong, because he likes it better that way. ARGH) When it was time to potty train him, he sat on the toilet for 15-20minutes, stood up and peed on my floor. All the time, every time. For almost a year. Then one morning he comes in, says he has to go, goes in the toilet, and that's it. He's trained. So I get it, it has to be his idea.
Last week I sat him down and explained to him that if he didn't start trying, he was going to have to stay in Kindergarten next year, without all of his friends. He's learned at least 5 new lower case letters in as many days. He's spelling out words in the books we're reading. He's searching out the letter of the day with enthusiasm. He's excited.
He has a dictionary. It's one of those kids first picture book kind of things. He loves it now. His teacher would prefer him to read along with us in regular books, so that he can learn his site words. So we're compromising. One regular short book during neb treatments, and then the two of us read some words in the dictionary.
Last night, I made a big production out of the letters he wasn't getting, but in a good way. He was struggling with r, so I kept telling him "ARRRGH, why can't you get the hooked letter right? It's hooked like my pirate hook. Arrrrrrgh." Today, he remembers R. Today, for the first time, he remembered i and j. Three letters last night. When we are spelling out words, I see him thinking about the letters he doesn't know, saying the alphabet in his head, trying to jog the letter out.
I'm still hopeful that we'll progress quickly and he'll catch up, sort of like potty training and writing his name. Because the boy is smart, and if he gets held back, that poor teacher next year will need some medication, and an early retirement. A bored Monster is not a good thing.