With summer break officially underway for our kids, we are officially onto summer activities. In the case of Amelia and Henry, the structured activities are somewhat light this year because we opted not to sign them up for summer camps or anything. The kids both agreed they would rather take it a little easy this summer and enjoy time off together around the house.
That said, Amelia still has piano lessons and soccer, and Henry has weekly sessions with an OT and a music therapist. And recently we discovered we needed to add something new to the mix: a tutor.
Henry was recently diagnosed with dyslexia, something we did suspect for a while. He has been struggling with reading, and it helps us to have gotten that assessment and now better understand the challenges he is dealing with. Thankfully for us, through Erin’s connections she was able to find a dyslexia tutor with actual availability over the summer. We felt like we hit the jackpot because so many of these services are booked up, and this may really help him get ready to hit the ground running in second grade this fall.
The tutor is located in the nearby town of Golden, and I remember explaining everything to Henry before we left to have a consultation with the tutor. He was super excited, which surprised us because honestly his struggles with reading generally made him resistant to any activities around reading. Soon, however, we discovered that his excitement wasn’t about reading or the tutor, but because he thought going to “Golden” meant actually going to a gold mine.
Amelia had recently had a field trip to a gold mine, so the confusion was understandable. We explained to him we were going to a city called Golden, not an actual gold mine. He was disappointed, but grudgingly went along with it.
About ten minutes later, Henry asked, “So is her house made of gold?”
I explained that the tutoring business doesn’t pay THAT well. Not that they don’t deserve it. We again explained that Golden was just the name of the town. This time he seemed to get it, and was asking questions about the city. While on the way there, after about 20 minutes of silence, he asked, “So, does she keep her gold outside the house, then?”
Anyway, we did eventually meet with the tutor and she was fantastic. She did a little assessment of Henry and explained to Erin and I all the things she would be able to help with. Henry really seemed to like her (even without all the gold) and even more really liked her dog, a real cutie named Sophie. We got set up for Henry to do tutoring twice a week starting in June.
We all know that reading is so fundamental for kids’ learning paths, and we are hopeful this will really unlock a whole new world for Henry. We have always seen and his teachers have reinforced that he is so smart, but he understandably struggles when he has this very real obstacle to overcome with reading. As with so many things for so many kiddos, if we can get him the right support, he can really fly.
Henry is on his second week with the tutor and I’m proud to say he is doing GREAT. A few months ago, he got upset anytime we even talked to him about reading…that’s how frustrating and difficult it was for him. Now he gets really excited to see his tutor and her dog, Sophie, and I hear him with her getting really engaged with the activities, sounding out words, and really putting the work in. The other day he did such a great job that he earned a prize, a pack of glow sticks. He was so proud.
I was really proud, too, but not because of the glow sticks. I continue to be impressed by Henry’s work ethic and how well he works with everyone that supports him. I’m really hopeful this will re-ignite Henry’s passion for books, and the sky is the limit for him. I was recently inspired by a quote I saw from none other than Henry Winkler, the Fonz, who is also dyslexic. He does lots of work with kids and initiatives surrounding learning and he always tells kids, “How you learn has nothing to do with how brilliant you are.”
And if we ever find Henry’s tutor’s gold stash, I’ll let you know.