The most amazing thing happened to me last night! My 7 year-old daughter laid down with me and read her chapter book while I read mine. Now, some of you may be thinking…..really? That’s it?
However, with a little background you might appreciate this triumph more. Last year, Julia started first grade. It was already a big transition from Kindergarten full of tantrums, losing naptime, and play time, etc. Then she was assessed for reading and we found out just how much she was struggling. She was too low to get into Reading Corps and not low enough to get into Title I.
I took this as a personal failure because:
I am her mom.
I worked in Title I for three years at her school and knew how to help kids learn to read.
I am an author and a librarian and I failed to hand down my passion for books to her.
After my pity party was over, I picked myself up and became determined to help her, no matter how much extra time it took. After a few months, she was able to join the After School Program to get some extra help from teachers and she hated every minute of it. She cried every time I made her go because none of her friends were in it. I also started to do Title I interventions with her at home, in addition to reading with her. We read in the bath, to the dog, and anywhere else that made it fun.
The tears of frustration came often. I tried to encourage her and be as positive as I could, but it was very difficult watching my child struggle. Eventually, January came around and we had gotten her scores high enough to qualify for Reading Corps. Finally, something just clicked and she has taken off ever since.
In an effort to keep her from falling behind again this summer, I signed her up for the summer reading program at our public library and we have been reading almost everyday.
While we went through this battle together, I decided to write a book about it. Because, working in an elementary school, I watch kids struggle to read all the time. I knew Julia wasn’t alone. So, I have written my third Princess Faith book entitled, “Princess Faith Brings Julia Strength.”
It focuses on one of my favorite verses, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I feel this is a great verse for people of all ages to remember. The book is just finishing up the illustration phase and I hope it will be released in the next few months.
So, in the meantime, I am going to snuggle up and read with my incredibly strong-willed daughter, every chance I can. I am so grateful to have another dream come true and thankful that God answered yet another prayer.