Do you remember when you started to read? Did it come easy? Was it hard? Do you remember those “stupid” timed reading tests in school? You know the ones where you had to see how many words you could read in a minute or so. I vividly remember being tested on that in first grade. I remember our elementary school principal sitting next to us individually with a timer. Ready. Set. Go. Read.
(I also have some great first grade memories of getting sick at school. LOL!)
Anyway, back to Kory.
Kory has struggled with reading since mid-first grade when the words got bigger and the sentences got longer. His initial timed reading “test” at the end of first grade wasn’t that great. Since we homeschool through a virtual charter school, Kory gets to be a part of these types of tests and assessments. We worked with him over the summer to try to improve the score. His timed reading tests at the beginning of second grade showed he was still behind on his reading level. Of course, as a homeschool mom, you wonder, “Is it me? Am I teaching him properly.”
Kory’s “real” teacher has been wonderful through all this figuring out of Kory’s reading. She has been his teacher since Kindergarten. One of the things she did after his fall testing was get him access to an online reading program called Reading Eggs to help increase his reading. He has loved this online reading program, and will frequently play it over the weekend. “This doesn’t count as school, right!?” he will ask. 😉
In the fall, we also had Kory’s eyes checked at our eye doctor. His testing showed that medically his eyes were fine. No glasses. Yet the testing also showed he was behind level with his focus and tracking. The recommendation: vision therapy testing to confirm the results. Because of schedules and such, we weren’t able to have his vision therapy testing done until February.
In January, Kory had his mid-school year testing for reading. While his scores increased greatly, his hard work and online programs weren’t enough. Sigh. He was still behind where he should have been with his reading. Yes – I know every child progresses differently when reading – but this was more than just different progressions.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about vision therapy. I mean, have you heard of it?! 🙂 I started to research and found it very fascinating about vision therapy. What I found most fascinating was the “checklist” of items. Once I saw this checklist, I started to realize how things and actions we saw at home were directly related to his reading progression.
We went ahead with the vision therapy testing, and the results showed that indeed his eye tracking and focus were not at the right levels. Thankfully, the testing also showed where he is way beyond expected levels for certain aspects. Since I don’t have the report in front of me, I can’t remember those. 🙂 We actually got a really nice document from the eye doctor with the “technical” wording and testing levels. All of it very fascinating. All of it backed up things we notice at home. All of it backed up his virtual school testing results.
And that is how we got to vision therapy twice a week for the next six months. A total of 48 sessions. And there will be four days of 20 minutes worth of vision therapy homework each week – all documented. All with the eye doctor re-testing Kory at three intervals within the 48 sessions. All with the goal of re-training these eye muscles of Kory’s to work properly.
We just finished Kory’s first two sessions. I’m impressed. Impressed with the eye doctor’s office. Impressed with Kory and his “mommy, it was just like playing a bunch of games.” Impressed with Cade’s patience to play in the lobby’s toy area. Impressed with the tokens each of the boys get when we leave to “spend” in the little toy vending machine. Yes, Cade needs to get a token too, the lady at the front desk told me.
I’m excited to see the progress of how we can make Kory a better and stronger reader for life!