I have a secret that I need to tell you. I have a learning disability. I have low functioning executive orders. This effects my organizational skills, planning, problem solving, etc. Since I was diagnosed at six years old, most of those issues have been solved. Thank God for early intervention. I received the tools that I needed to succeed in school and at work. But before all of that, my mom read to and with me and my sisters.
When I was in second grade, my mother had me choose a chapter book that we’d read together. I chose Oliver Twist. For some reason, I really wanted to read the classics. Best decision ever. I loved reading it with my mom. And I loved the classics. I went on to read Peter Pan, Secret Garden, Robinson Crusoe, etc. Reading with my mom gave me my love of books.
Despite my learning disability, my reading comprehension skills were exceptional. By the time I was in third grade, I was reading at a tenth-grade level. Let me repeat, I was in elementary school reading at a high school level. I had a lot of trouble with math and science, but never English. I had a problem doing my homework -which is a whole issue- but I had no problem with reading and writing. I even joined an after-school club for writing poetry in middle school.
In order to learn more about writing poetry, my mom -being awesome as usual- took me to Barnes and Nobles and bought me a book to help me out. I brought the book to school and started reading it when a paraprofessional thought it would be very professional to tell me that I wouldn’t understand the book because it was a college level…. In front of the entire class. She was talking as if she’d read or even had access to my IEP, which she did not. Mind you, this happened while I was still in middle school.
Instead of getting discouraged, I decided to bring in books that according to that para, I wouldn’t be able to understand. I decided to start reading Jane Austen’s novels starting with Pride and Prejudice. She never questioned my reading ability again.
The teacher who led the Poetry club was awesome. He let us bring in our own music and provided snacks. He also had the innate ability to guide us through writing poetry while also letting us be creative. I did, however, realize that I want to write stories rather than poetry. It was still the highlight of my week though.
In my senior year of high school, I was taking an AP English class. Unfortunately, that year was when the school started hybrid classes -half in person instruction, half online instruction- with the AP classes. They also gave the teachers one week to adjust to the new set up. This did not bode well for me or my classmates. I’m still proud of myself for even getting into an AP class.
Long story short, read to your children while they’re young. It helped me Advance in my education and my working life. Heck, I’m even running my own blog. All of it was thanks to my mom. Love you mom! I’d insert a pic of her, but we’re all about internet safety here.
What was the first chapter book that you’ve read? What started your love of books? Tell me down in the comments.