I would love to link-up for What has been working for us on another blog, but we just started trying something new with Joey. I'm so excited about it that I couldn't wait to share it with all of you. As you may have figured out from our January book tally towards our 400 books this year that Joey is my reluctant reader. We had originally planned on everyone having a goal of 100 books read by the end of 2014, Joey was really struggling to keep up with his brothers. To Joey reading is a form of torture and tries to avoid it at all costs. As a mother and a lover of books it broke my heart that he didn't enjoy reading like the rest of the family. I understand many children with ADHD have a difficult time when it comes to wanting to read, but really wanted to encourage Joey to read. He loves telling stories and listening to stories but avoid writing his stories or reading any form of book. Much like their mother Jordan and Jacob love reading and tend to read anything they can get their hands on, so reaching 100 books would be all too easy for them. Our goal of 100 books to Joey seemed like an unrealistic goal and one he wanted no part of. While his brothers have been adding numerous books to our list of books read Joey became more resentful of "that darn list". I had hoped to play off the boys natural desire to one up each other, but Joey was starting to feel stressed by not being able to keep up. The end of January we switched our goal to where as a family we would each 400 books collectively.
I have tried different ways to get Joey interested in reading. We have tried fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comic books, shortened chapter books, books with pictures every couple of pages, books that had no pictures (he less distracted when he couldn't keep looking back at pictures provided). I've tried having him keep his place using his finger, an index card (we tried different colored cards), we tried having me guide him using my finger to keep his place. We tried silent reading, reading out loud, reading to mom, reading to his brothers. We tried changing the duration of reading time, read a short non-chapter book, read "x" number chapters, read for "x" amount of time, reading with taking multiple breaks. Nothing we have tried help him to want to read.
The other day someone presented us with an idea I had not thought of, use books on tape/CD. At first I thought well that might get him to hear a few more stories, but I would much rather he practice his reading skills than just listen to a story. Then we came up with a compromise, Joey could listen to the story on tape as long as he was following along in the book. So today when Jordan and I went to the library to exchange a stack of books and gather another stack to bring home for the week, I grabbed a couple books on CD as well as the books so he could follow along.
Joey being Joey (and a kid) went digging through my backpack to see what I grabbed for everyone (and to see if we were also borrowing a movie). He was very excited to find the books on CD and requested that I play one while we were in the van. I explained how I would like the CDs to be used with the books and for him to wait until we got home. We had a bit of a wait as we were heading to start Jacob's birthday celebration early. Once home, he ran and found my portable CD player (yes, I know no one uses them anymore and its probably considered and antique by now) and climbed into my comfy reading spot (the corner seat on the couch, "Mom's Spot") and grabbed the book that corresponded with the first CD. He did follow along in the book and sat there listening and "reading" for six chapter before asking for a break. He says he'll finish this book tonight that there are only two more chapters and it's a good book. He was actually really excited about "reading" this book and our new system. After just a ten minute break he asked to finish the last chapters of his book. YAY!!
While he is being allowed to listen to the story as he reads it to help get him more excited about wanting to read, he is also expected to read a minimum of 2 books to mom without using the tapes/CDs. He has agreed to this, so we'll see how this goes. I'm hoping this will be the key to helping him break through some of his reading difficulties, but it is still in the novelty stage. I'll give it a couple weeks before I'll update if this really will work for him. For now I'm going to enjoy that he is reading a book, and am going to work on my book while the other boys are also reading.