Learning to Listen 2

July 1, 2015

Not once, I wrote in these posts that Robert had difficulties listening to the stories which were read to them. It is possible that he learned to read so early on – as a way to avoid being read to.


Since he could read, there was no reason to read to him. Many times when his father or I started to read a book to him, he took the book from our hands and kept reading himself.  What he understood is another story.

A few years ago, we used Horizon Reading to Learn C-D curriculum.  I used Horizon textbooks and workbooks at home, and the school used it too. we only completed first two textbooks.  I am planning to use that program in the near future again.  Meantime, however, I found Literature Anthology,  a part of Horizon we have never used before. During the last two weeks, I have read Robert one story a day as an exercise in listening. I could call it “guided” listening.  Sometimes I stopped and made a comment as if to myself, sometimes I reread the passage wondering aloud how to understand it. Robert wanted to read himself, but I limited his reading to just one sentence on the page which I dutifully reread. I am not sure what I wanted achieved by doing that.  Today, I read Amelia Bedelia classic story.  Luckily, there were very few sentences on each page but many great, concrete illustrations which explained clearly  the meanings of words the way Amelia understood them.

What Robert understood is another story. I didn’t ask questions to check his comprehension. I didn’t ask because the answers had to be complicated and would require long chain of words Robert would not be able to produce. I settled for Robert staying with me all the time.  I also kept looking at his face trying to deduce from his expression if the story confused him or if he grasped  humor related to Amelia’s literal interpretation of phrases.

Only once I spied a sly half-smile.  Robert looked at the picture of light bulbs hanging outside on the clothesline.  They were put there by Amelia dutifully following the request to put the lights out.

At present, I am only reading  heavily illustrated stories.  I am not sure what images would Robert create on his own.  Illustrations give us common space where it is easier to find a common ground and common meanings.



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