My son is not only an action hero, but he is also a super genius. Granted a super genius who doesn't yet read at grade level. He has the mind of an inventor and a magnificent memory. Yet he is having difficulty inputting knowledge in his mind through reading. This has been a concern of ours as parents for a number of years. We had tried many things tutoring, summer school, Lamaze (which did not help with his reading but you should see the kid breathe!); we tried it all.
When Amy and I attended the local home school convention this past June I went to a seminar about helping your under performing readers. It was really encouraging and had many good take-a-ways. One thing I decided to try was a 100 book chart. You have the child read 100 picture books and write them on a chart in their room. When the chart is full you give a GREAT reward.
From June to October 31st we only put 23 books on the chart. Spider Droid probably read more than that but I didn't always get to writing them down. In short my inconsistency didn't help him take ownership of the project.
In the meantime Spider Droid was taking vision therapy that was beginning to show some signs of progress with his reading ability. On November 1st, his birthday. I took him to the chart and added something to the top. It showed how many books were left and how many days were left in the year. He had 77 books remaining and 61 days before the end of the year. We set two goals: 1) To get to a point where there were more days reaming in the years than books remaining to be read. 2) to finish the chart before the end of 2011.
He read 3 books that day and 17 by the 7th. 23 from June to October and 17 in a week! He reached his first goal on 11/16. 40 books remained with 45 days left to read them in. That's when SD upped his game and decided he wanted to finish the 100 by the end of November. At about that time life began to get very busy with our home school co-op, robotics, Thanksgiving and the like. Yet he was driven and diligent. We went to the local library on Saturday and he checked out as many books as he had left to read. Tuesday morning he had 10 left. This morning he had 5 left. In between lessons he finished the last 5 before lunch time.
Here are 2 pictures worth 100 books.
My Son the Reader
Our Story So Far
Here is some live footage . . .
Not only has SD's reading quantity increased, the quality piece has improved substantially. In a few months time he has gone up one full grade in his reading level.
We still have a way to go but we are very pleased with his progress. Too bad he isn't a little more excited about his achievement, as the picture below attests.