Backtracking in my homeschooling

I have mentioned many times throughout the years that one of my sons has struggled with reading. It is an ongoing journey for us, but there have been so many big improvements in the last year. One of the most helpful things I did was backtrack in his reading lessons.

I tell people all the time that one of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I can work at the level my kids are at. It can be easy to say that when a child is ahead of where people might expect them to be, but it becomes a little more challenging for me when it seems like they are behind. It makes me doubt myself and what they are learning, even though I know logically that it shouldn’t.

Toward the beginning of last year, I noticed that my son just wasn’t grasping words he had learned in previous lessons. It wasn’t just a word here or there, but a large amount. He did well in each lesson, but within a week or two he would somehow forget everything even with reviewing. He had almost finished level 2 of our curriculum, but I was struggling to keep going because he just didn’t seem to be retaining it. So, I made the decision to redo the whole second level of his reading curriculum. I went back and forth for a least a week trying to convince myself, even though I knew it was what he needed. I was so worried he would feel bad about going backward.

In the end, I didn’t make a big deal about it to him and called it more of a review. We were able to do the lessons themselves so much faster and often without all the activities they normal entail, but we spent more time reviewing the phonics rules and words. He was so proud that he was getting through the lessons with much more ease, that his confidence increased. His reading consistently improved over the year. Now, a full year later, I can see clearly how much deciding to go back and redo those lessons was the absolute right decision. Hopefully, this will be a reminder for me in the future when I am questioning myself to trust my instincts. Taking the time to really master something will never be a waste.

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