Monday, January 26, 2015

Silent Reading

Spend a day in a public school, and I'm fairly sure that at least one thing hasn't changed - though what it's called might. When I was in, it was "SSR" - Sustained Silent Reading. In other places, it was "DEAR" - Drop Everything And Read. No matter what it's called, the intent is the same. Mad Natter, no matter how well he actually reads, has no real ability to do so without constant redirection. Some of this will be taken up with his doctor in six months (when people will finally stop condescending to us and help us!), but in the meantime, I'm trying to set the stage.

Now, it sounds like we do a lot of work around here. Truth be told, if Mad Natter were able to focus, it wouldn't be much at all - probably around an hour and a half to two hours. So, adding in a half hour of silent reading isn't as big a deal as it seems.  The bigger issue, honestly, is getting Mad Natter to sit still and read. Or walk and read. Or, really, do anything but tear around the house at mach two, shouting and making various sound effects, swinging anything and everything in an effort to Defeat Enemies.

Silent reading is rarely silent. It also is rarely one book. Before we start, Mad Natter gets set up with about half a dozen books, from easy-readers to books on-level, and many in between.  A timer gets set, and the next half hour is dedicated to reading. More often than not, this requires redirection approximately three times every five minutes throughout the entire affair, but it's a start. He is reading, he's getting into the habit of potentially giving me half an hour that isn't full of incessant chatter (which, even as a social introvert, is extremely exhausting and stressful), and he's learning that sometimes he just has to occupy himself - without screaming at imaginary bad guys, videos, or video games.

We still have a long way to go, honestly. But, it's a start. And also a reminder that just because it isn't perfect, doesn't mean it's not valuable - nor worth sharing.