I used to volunteer with first grade to help out with reading with kids who really needed it. J was one kid who needed help badly. He was ADHD, and I used to sit with him and go over flashcards, and put up with all the wiggling and keep him on task... happily for me, I'd dealt with teenage ADHD in friends, and knew just exactly what the behavior meant...
A good eight years later, I find myself using the same books we used back in that first-grade classroom, those same nice cute little phonics books.
I'm getting better at identifying problem areas with words and sounds and concepts, now, and I can see what ones are hard and even why they're hard...
Every fifteen-year-old should volunteer to help out with elementary school kids, so it's still fresh enough in their minds from when they were there, and it's late enough so they'll remember it when they have kids of their own...
He squiggled and he squirmed but he got through the whole book, with me only helping out a little.
He has trouble with identifying lower-case g when it's written like you'd write it by hand, and not the fancy g that some fonts use. He has trouble with lower-case n and lower-case h, as they look a lot alike. He has trouble with u and the sounds that go with it, trouble with w and y.
All in all? Very good for kindergarten. Evidently his teacher is noticing that he has a good home crew backing him up. Today I started helping him with mnemonics for some of the troublesome sounds. U is UH, for Upside-down Umbrella. That one stuck in his head, because it's silly enough.
I noticed when I was going over the sounds with him tonight, that he's starting to fingerspell. Beware, templeravenmoon
; our cusswords will no longer be safe silent. I taught him "Thank you", and I taught him that you don't say the one that looks like "thank you" but is with the hand going from just under the chin instead of from the lips, because that one's a bad word.
His bedtime story tonight wasn't particularly original. I told him a story about a fireman who liked to put out fires. But then a bad guy was starting fires on purpose. So the fireman waited for the bad guy, and the bad guy started another fire on purpose, and the fireman tied up the bad guy with his webslingers and gave him to the police, and put out the fire. And then he went back to putting out fires. The end. I'm not very good with bedtime stories.