Each afternoon as I walk into Robby's classroom to pick him up, I find myself taking a deep breath and hesitantly peeking towards his cubby. A worksheet taped to the outside of his little box indicates homework. I've come to think of them as worksheets of doom. Inevitably, unfinished worksheets always translate into a cantankerous exchange involving handwriting or reading.
Robby is forthright
when it comes to his "number one enemy" being handwriting. He hates
every aspect, from holding the pencil to trying to form his letters. He
would prefer to do everything on a keyboard. Unfortunately for him, we
do not yet live in a completely wired world, and he must learn how to
Between proper letter formation and deciphering sounds,
reading and writing is a weak area for Robby. For a little boy who
strives for perfection, struggling is novel and frustrating. Yesterday
he reached his breaking point, sobbing in front of his teacher and me
before school. He explained that he was "just plain stupid" because his
letters are wrong and he can't spell. Knowing that your child feels like
a failure is a horrible feeling!
His handwriting is
the easier of the two issues to address. Considering his age, I think
that his handwriting is pretty good. We would not have an issue except
that he refuses to make letters below the line (such as the lower case
p, y and g). He complains that taking the letter below the line is silly
because the line is a boundary. "Why is there a boundary if we are just
going to cross it with random letters?" Instead, he insists on writing
these letters (with correct formation) extremely small between the
lines. I have no doubt that I will win the Battle of the Boundary and
that he will make these letters correctly.
the spelling and reading issue will not be nearly as easy to address
because Robby's difficulty with spelling stems from his hearing. He is
unable to accurately hear and decipher everything he hears. To him,
there is no difference between the short a,e and i sounds. Until his
hearing issue is rectified, he is going to have to rely upon his memory
Thankfully, Robby has a wonderful
teacher. She has offered to stay after school to work with him
privately. I'm sure between the two of us teaming together to help him,
Robby will regain confidence in his abilities. In the meantime I am just
trying to reassure him that he is smart and build on his successes.
It's so hard seeing him frustrated!