For the past three months, I have been concerned about Ryder, anticipating the start of first grade, fearing whether or not he would be ready for the transition. About a week ago, only days into the new school year, his teacher informed us that Ryder was struggling a bit, and he would be placed in a Reading Recovery Program. One half hour per day, Ryder is pulled from class to go over reading and writing lessons that are tailored just for him.
The teachers requested that we meet before curriculum night, in order to learn more about the program, and to discuss Ryder. I have been stressing since I received the email about his trouble, and I couldn’t seem to get it off my mind. I work with him after school doing my own type of lessons, and over the summer we sought help from a learning specialist, who worked with him twice a week. And, at the end of September, he will undergo a private educational evaluation, which will cost more than my first used car, but both Jason and I feel that this report will help direct us toward the proper help we need for our boy. Nonetheless, I continue to ask myself, am I doing enough for him?
While sitting down with all three school teachers, I shared with them the busy summer of specialists, which included the behavioral evaluation results, a learning specialist, a therapist to help with his anxiety, and our upcoming educational evaluation. During this session, it took everything I had to hide behind the lump in my throat, and not burst into tears. Fortunately, his teachers were all super sweet, while reviewing his strengths and weaknesses, and it seems that we are all on the exact same page.
I was not familiar with the Reading Recovery program, but already I feel this daily one on one time will help bring him back up to speed quickly and effectively. It’s not to say he is in the clear, but I am confident that he is getting the help he needs, right in his school. The program comes with additional daily homework, and I am invited to sit in on some of his daily lessons to observe. The teachers involved are specially trained to administer these lessons, and they continue the program until students are reading at or above their grade level. The lessons are fun, and I am looking forward to seeing my baby sprout this year.
I realize how incredibly lucky we are to have a school like this in our neighborhood. His teachers were positive and reassuring, allowing me to leave the meeting feeling relieved, after months of turmoil. I felt ok, and truly feel Ryder will be ok! Of course, I understand that this will not be an overnight fix, requiring time, hard work and dedication, but he (we) will get there. I know we will.