As part of our Abound News blog, we will be sharing interviews with parents, pediatricians, educators, and others involved with children’s reading.
Today we have the first of these interviews, with Jill N. from Greater Boston, the mother of two developing readers — 3-year old and 8-year old boys.
- Tell us about the readers in your house.
I have two boys – Noah, 8 and Ben, 3 – and it’s already clear that they are very different learners. Noah wasn’t diagnosed with language-based learning disabilities until grade 2, but as a former preschool teacher, I knew that he struggled more than other kids his age to recognize and make meaning from written letters and text. My younger son is already much more interested in and able to make sense of letters than my older one was at the same age – he looks for letters and numbers everywhere and identifies them with friends’ and family members’ names and ages. Noah, now in 3rd grade, is making steady progress as a reader, but it is hard work for him and he still lacks confidence in his reading. He hasn’t yet reached a point that he enjoys reading and wants to read on his own.
- What about the Abound Parenting tool and concept resonates with you?
The Abound Parenting tool resonated with me for a few reasons. I had been looking for something that would help me, as a parent, to identify the areas in which I knew my 6 year old was struggling. Abound was so easy to use, and if it had been around a couple of years ago, I would have been able to get the simple, clear and accurate description of the areas that my son was struggling with.
- Do you have any advice for other parents in this area of supporting children’s reading development?
Even though I work in education, I listened when teachers told me that all kids learn to master reading at different paces and they weren’t seeing anything with Noah that was cause for alarm. Now I tell other parents to trust their instincts and have conversations with teachers about early language and reading skills they’re seeing (or not seeing) at home.
I think Abound can be so helpful because it isolates specific pre-reading skills and arms parents with information they can use to start a dialogue with teachers – before kids start feeling behind and losing confidence in themselves as readers. If I’d found Abound Parenting sooner, I could have used it as a conversation starter with Noah’s teachers.