Kids Reading Problems

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Author’s Experience as a Child – Kids Reading Problems

Help for the Struggling Reader

Today I wanted to address something that I definitely think is important. I wanted to just put this out there because I believe a lot of other children are suffering from exactly what I suffered from when I was young and they may not know how to address it or know what to do with it.

It may discourage them from moving forward in any other capacity. I know, for a long time, it held me back and I didn’t even know that it was holding me back until I got over it.

I want to just let you in on something. It came up because the question was asked, “At what age was it that you fell in love with books and what age was it that you fell in love with reading?”

I think that’s a common question when it comes to interviewing an author or talking to an author. You automatically assume that this person has always been in love with books.

Growing up, my younger sister, who is two years younger than me, she absolutely loved books, she was a fanatic. I, on the other hand, didn’t.

I loved subjects like math — she loved reading and spelling. I could barely spell and it always made me embarrassed and ashamed. It made me feel like I wasn’t going to get anywhere in that department.

When it came to school, I was one of those kids that, when I got to English class and reading, where I knew we were going to read out loud, I would act like I was sick, I would act like I was sleepy, and I would put my head down on the desk.

Obviously, I was not really learning a lot in those classes because of my embarrassment to read out loud. The thing about it is, my mother wasn’t a reader, she never really instilled reading into us because she wasn’t a reader. My sister just loved to do it on her own.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t read, I actually could read, but when it came to reading out loud, forget about it. It seemed like I absolutely couldn’t read because my nerves were through the roof.

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of other kids like that in the school system, where I go and volunteer, that there’s a lot of kids that absolutely won’t read — they’re too embarrassed. Sometimes when they do read, they can barely pronounce or say the simplest words.

At first, I was thinking that man, these kids just can’t read. But, it may be a matter like it was with me when it comes to reading out loud or in public where you freeze up. 

I didn’t get over this until I was 25 years old. I can’t believe I went my entire life living like this — pretty much in fear. I always prided myself in not being fearful of things, but I was absolutely terrified to read out loud.

It wasn’t until one day, a friend of mine from California, a young lady that really helped me to overcome this. She asked me did I want to do Bible study? Would I do Bible studies with her? We were going to do it, I think every day by phone because I had just become saved recently. I was terrified to say yes, but I didn’t want to say no to her at the same time because I was really zealous about the Word and I wanted to move forward. So, I said yes.

I got this Bible from a pastor friend of mine that was pretty tough, it wasn’t an easy Bible. But, when I called, she said, “Ok, you read first,” and I kind of froze up because I didn’t want to read. I got to stuttering and telling her, and she encouraged me and she continued to encourage me. She didn’t laugh, she didn’t snicker, she was perfectly calm and acted like nothing was wrong.

It really took me to make myself vulnerable, first of all, and to be comfortable enough with her in order to move past that. As the time went past, I started to love to read out loud. Now, as a minister, I read out loud all the time, I’m always reading out loud.

But, I’m reflecting on this, because it kind of just went away, because someone, who took the time, to not criticize me, to not overly critique me, but just really listen and understand, and act like nothing was wrong.

It gave me the confidence and built me up in order for me to overcome that.

Part of me being an author now is not just because of that event, but it has something to do with me overcoming that. Part of it was because when I first had the idea, when I felt like the Lord gave me the ideas to do this, I tried to pass it off to my sister.

I tried to pass it off to people because I didn’t have the confidence in myself. When nobody else would do it, I ended up having to prove to myself that I can do it.

Since then I’ve written three children’s books that I’ve got manuscripts for and I’m almost done with my second novel, and I just had a great idea this morning for another one.

But, my point is, there’s a lot of kids out there that suffer from this. And the bullying culture that we have makes it almost impossible for them to get over it because the minute that they mess up, the minute that they say the wrong thing, people laugh at them.

It’s not only from the kids, but from the expression that the teacher gives, the expression that the parent gives, the expression from people around, anybody around.

I’m always reminded of the young lady who helped me. I have much respect for her, I will always have much respect for her, that’s why I love her because she took the time to just be normal and act like nothing was wrong.

She encouraged me when I needed encouraging, and built me up when I needed building up. That’s more of what we need when it comes to working with these kids, these reluctant readers, these children that don’t believe in themselves.

It’s a lack of belief in themselves, and once they get the confidence they can achieve anything.

That’s like everything — once you get the confidence, once you start to believe you can do something, you’ll do it.

I wanted to do this video today, because there’s a parent out there that has a child that’s just like I was. There are teachers who have students just like I was. You have a grandkid, a niece, a nephew, you know somebody, that’s like that and they could do a lot if they only believed in themselves and if they only had someone to encourage them and build them up.

I wanted to leave that with you today. I hope this video reaches somebody, touches somebody, and helps somebody, because it’s hard living in fear of something as simple as reading aloud and it’ll hold you back in school big time.

It’ll hold you back from achieving a lot. It’ll hold you back from a lot of knowledge because not only will you not read in front of people, but you’ll tend to not read even when you’re by yourself.

I hope that helps.

Take care, take charge, and God bless,

T.W. Bright

 

 


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