Common Reading Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Reading is a challenge for many young children. There are a number of common errors that are made when learning to read, but there are ways to correct them before they become ingrained in your childís reading. Here are some of the more common reading mistakes, and how you can fix them as soon as they appear.

Tracking Errors

Tracking errors are when a child mixes up sounds within a word. It indicates that they are not tracking left to right, which is the proper way to read. They might sound out a letter near the end of the word before one nearer to the beginning. To help your child in this situation, sound out the word from left to right, and move your finger in the proper direction to help them remember this.

Word Guessing

Often when a child learns to read, they may guess a word without viewing it in its entirety. If a child makes the correct sound of the first letter, but the rest of the word is wrong, they may be doing this. Watch your childís eyes closely, as children who are word guessing often look away from the page and list a string of possible words while watching you to see how you react. Again, sound out the word for your child while pointing at the letters and letter combinations.

Trouble with Vowel Combinations

Children may struggle with combining vowels. You will realize this if their vowel combinations sound choppy or do not flow properly. If your child is having difficulty putting two vowels together, practice sounding out the vowel combinations, or make up a catchy rhyme or poem to help them remember what the combination sounds like.

Lack of Attention to Detail

When a child is in a hurry to read or has trouble concentrating, they may lack attention to detail. If your child misses parts of a word they are attempting to read or skips words, this may be the issue. They may have trouble blending consonant clusters. Encourage your child to slow down and take their time in order to conquer this problem.

Confusing the Letters

It is a common issue for children to confuse letters when they are beginning to read. Letters such as b, d, and even p which are similar in shape can cause confusion among early readers. If your child is obviously mixing up their letters, have them print each letter numerous times in regular block style print.

Text Memorization

Sometimes children learn tricks that make them appear to be reading better than they actually are. This can be deceiving to those who are instructing them, as the child appears not to have any struggles. If you notice your child reciting a portion of reading to you and they are not even looking at the book, they have likely memorized it. The way to combat this is to have your child read new books often and to avoid books with pictures that give away what is written once they have read it through.

There are many common mistakes a child may make while learning to read. If you catch them early, you can correct them so that they will not become a long-term stumbling block to your child. Your young reader will benefit from your attention as you keep your eyes out for these common reading mistakes and assist your child in conquering them.

How Do Our Routines Impact Children’s Reading?

No one would argue that reading is one of the most important things we can teach our children. When a child learns to read, it opens up a whole new world to them. When a person can read, they will be able to do more, learn more, and become more than they otherwise would. Our routines can impact our childrenís reading, and here are some ideas on how your routines can encourage your child to become an avid and effortless reader.

Routines Make Time for Reading

In a busy world where we often feel like we are flying from one activity to the next, routines give us a solid schedule where we can make time for what is important to us and our families. Maintaining routines ensures that there will always be time for our children to read. Having a certain time set aside daily to read is one of the best things we can schedule and make time for.

Routines Allow Us to Be Involved in the Process

Routines also allow us to be able to commit to helping a child read. It is frustrating for a child who has a desire to learn something when their parent has too many other things on the go to assist them when needed. Putting reading into oneís schedule allows us to be available and to plan ahead so that we can be there when necessary.

Routines Allow Our Children to Look Forward to Reading

Children thrive on routines, and they crave predictability in their schedules. When your child knows what to expect at each given moment, they will anticipate what comes next. Although it seems counter-intuitive, our children will be more likely to look forward to reading when they know it is going to happen at a certain time, and on a daily basis.

Routines Give Children the Structure to Think Creatively

When a child doesnít have to wonder what is going to happen at the next moment, all day long, they can channel their creativity into more worthwhile things. Routines free up a child and their imagination and give your child room to expand their creative pursuits. Children who think creatively are more likely to enjoy reading because their imagination fills in the blanks as they read, and brings the text to life.

Routines Free Your Childís Mind to Learn

Daily routines help everyone function at their best, from the youngest to the oldest of the family. Routines help us feel stable and let us get into a rhythm. We function at our best when our bodies have a predictable pattern and know what to expect next. Your child will feel less scattered and be able to focus and concentrate on reading when they feel safe and secure. This is what routines do for us.

Routines are beneficial to families in every way. They give time to parents, creative energy to children, and the opportunity to make it all happen. Embrace routines in your life and see what a difference it can make in your childís ability and love for reading.

What a Child Can Learn Through Reading

Through books, a child is taken from the confines of their reading area and into the world of a writer’s imagination. They can walk through a land far away, fly through a cloudy sky, or experience life that is different from their own. I have often written that we read as an escape from our ordinary lives. But for a moment I want to revisit one of readings fundamental aspects; reading is a teaching tool. And for children’s reading, the teaching is often under the surface or in the background. Without a child realizing it, they are learning.

How to Do Things

Reading can be a great way for our children to learn things. Or at the least, it can give them a springboard to ask questions about learning to do things. Through a character they read about, a child is introduced to the experiences and abilities in which they may have an interest. The day to day lives of a storybook character can cause a young reader to want to live that life. So, they try to act out what they read. Through this process, they learn valuable lessons about what they can do, and what they cannot do; at least yet. Books like Harold and the Purple Crayon give a child eager anticipation to draw. Unfortunately, your hallway may need to be wiped down a few times before they learn drawing goes on paper. This eagerness to experiment can lead to bigger things like in All By Myself. The main character of this story is learning about growing up. It’s about his adventure of trying to brush his hair and pour a glass of juice on his own. Growing up is going to happen, and reading is a great avenue for children to explore and ask questions about life in general. When they see characters doing things that they haven’t learned yet, it gives them a desire to attempt to do those things. And the opportunity for us to guide them in doing them properly.

How to Interact with Others

This attitude of curiosity is not only applicable to trying new things; it can attribute to a child’s behavior. If a character in a story is using good manners, then those behaviors can be picked up by a young reader. You as a parent can also use that character’s actions to bring about a change of behavior in a child, especially when the child admires the character. For instance, Olivia is very respectful in how she communicates with adults. She is also friendly with others and likes to share. These examples can be pointed out to your child to emulate, which will help them as they get older and move into the schooling years and have to deal with other people. Interaction with others is one of the most significant issues when it comes to making the transition from being at home all day and starting school. Stories about sharing and helping others can help that awkward transition a bit easier. There are many children’s books out there that tackle the first day of school and all the emotions that surround it; the anxiety of meeting new people, fear of not being liked, the sadness of being away from a parent, and the nervousness of having to learn. Reading a good book can prepare a child for human interaction outside of the family circle they have grown accustomed to.

How to View the World

It is all about perspective. Books give a glimpse into a character’s life. We are introduced to someone and given their characteristics. Those details can tell us about how they view the world around them. Books will often take a character through a series of events that will cause a change in the character that will affect their worldview. Often it is from a negative outlook of life to a positive view through a certain event that occurs. An unhappy character finds joy. A mean character finds the ability to be nice. Bullying is a terrible thing for a child to face. Especially at a young age. But it is inevitable, at some point your child will face a bullying situation. The question is, what side will the child be on? Will they be the one who is being bullied, a witness to someone being pushed around and made fun of, or will they be the instigator? In each instance, believe it or not, reading can teach a child how to deal with these situations. Again, there are a plethora of children’s books that deal with this subject and how to handle it. Allow a child to be prepared by reading some of them.

How to View Themselves

How a child views the world and how they see themselves often go hand in hand. A child with a poor worldview can often feel isolated and afraid. A positive view of the external can leave their head lifted high and more confident about themselves. However, a personal view goes beyond the covers of a book. If a child’s self-esteem is crushed by a parent or someone close to them, then no book in print can overcome such obstacles. But that is another blog entirely. Just understand that in a positive environment, a good book will reinforce positive teaching. Stories like The Ugly Duckling and The Ugly Five all teach about uniqueness and loving yourself for who you are. Tacky the Penguin and Giraffes Can’t Dance show a child they can be who they are in spite of what others say; that being different has its advantages. Through a book, a child can learn that it’s okay to be smart, silly, or own an imaginary dragon. They can see a variety of characters with what some would see as disadvantages and how they view themselves in a positive light. We have used the example of The Little Engine that Could before. After other engines find excuses for not wanting to pull a load of toys up a difficult hill, one small engine takes on the challenge. She believed that even though she was small that she could do what she sets her heart out to do. That confidence allows her to succeed at the immense task in front of her. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could.” Stories like this, with proper adult guidance, will challenge a child into believing they can do anything if they have the determination to do it.

Final Thoughts 

As a child travels through the adventures of a book, lessons are learned. Every book has a premise or an expected outcome after reading it. Teaching a child about making friends, tying one’s shoes, and believing they can be whatever they choose to be, are important life lessons in their progression to becoming an adult. It is a great thing that literature helps reinforce the lessons we are verbally teaching our children. We can use the stories our kids read as examples of good behavior and the consequences of poor decisions. As you open the pages of the story you read to your child tonight, or the book they read to you, ask yourself, “What is the lesson this book is teaching, and how can I use it to help my child grow?”

About the AuthorJeff S Bray

Jeff is a writer with a passion for God that comes through in everything he writes. A local First Baptist member and truck driver he loves to create works that glorify God.  In addition to his freelance work, Jeff has written a series of books called the Elissa the Curious Snail series which helps parents introduce basic faith concepts like prayer, even in the face of adversity, into their teachings in a fun and entertaining way. No faithful home with children or grandchildren should be without a copy. See my books at

Books That Can Help Your Child Overcome Fear of the Doctor

As a parent, there are certain stages we go through with our children. One stage that seems to hit every kid at one point or another is fear of the doctor. This might be because of numerous reasons, such as fear of pain that might be the result of exams or shots. Luckily there are books that will boost your child’s confidence about the doctor’s office and bring some much-needed relief to your peace of mind.

The Berenstain Bears Go To The Doctor

There are many reasons kids might be scared of going to the doctor; sometimes they get shots with big needles and the others times, they’re subject to examinations that happen within their personal space. If you want to combat this feeling, maybe gift your child “The Berenstain Bears Go To The Doctor” by Stan and Jan Berenstain. It’s a book about the regular check-ups. It should help your kid establish the expectation that they will be going to the doctor regularly and that this will be a good thing for their overall health.

Doctor Maisy

Sometimes, kids go to the doctor when they are feeling bad, and the natural fear and anxiety that they regularly have is heightened. But, to get better, it must be communicated that a doctor’s visit will be necessary. To try and cement this concept to them, try giving your child a book like “Doctor Maisy” by Maisy Books, to help your child recognize the benefits of going to the doctor. Here we show Maise pretend to be a doctor to better the condition of one of her stuffed animals. It’s a positive depiction of doctors that will certainly boost the confidence of children facing a doctor’s visit when they aren’t feeling so well.

How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?

Perhaps the most relevant book of the lot is “How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. This book is about a frightened dinosaur who finally overcomes his fears and visits the doctor to get the treatment he needs. This dinosaur is stubborn and reluctant, so it will be an excellent opportunity for children to recognize their behavior in him, and hopefully, when they see his small journey, they will be a bit more reasonable about the whole ordeal.


It is natural for kids to be scared of the dreaded doctor visits. Once they have gone to the visit, they will wonder why they were afraid in the first place. By reading these books, children will grow out of their fear of the doctor. Do keep in mind that at times, children have a legitimate concern of the doctor that could be born from genuine malpractice or genuine bad experiences that will need to be addressed. According to medical malpractice lawyers, if you suspect that a doctor performs negligent actions or inactions in regards to your child, you should probably investigate the situation for both your child’s health, and other childrens’ as well.  


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How Children’s Reading has Changed from When You Were a Kid

When we look around at kids today, the popularity of anything electronic can be easily identified. From smartphones to iPods. From smart watches to the e-reader, the world is suffering from technology overload, and the only question is; What comes next?

The world has changed from when you and I were growing up. I grew up in an age where going outside was not a punishment, and you could always identify where the gang was by where the bicycles were at. There were no electronic devices that occupied our attention; video games just barely became popular. Using the imagination was a must to have any fun at all, and books were the triggering mechanism that unlocked the mind’s eye into worlds unknown.

Just like video games and playing with friends has changed over the years, so has the dissemination of anything that has to do with reading. Hardbacks and paperbacks are now tiny downloadable files that require no physical storage space at all. The definition of carrying your books around with you is no longer about the size of your book bag, but about the size of your internal storage. And finding your favorite book has become much easier.

Face it, reading has undergone a dramatic change since we were kids. It’s one of those, “back when I was your age…” stories we plan to tell the younger generation. And it all began with Mr. Dewey.

Reading 30 Years Ago

If you weren’t searching for a book in your school’s library or waiting for the Book Fair from Scholastic, you were visiting a local library. Schools even orchestrated field trips to the local library. When in High School, if your project required research and your school library did not have what you were looking for, you needed to go to the city library to check out a book on your subject.

“Check out a book?” You may ask.

Back in the day when you wanted to read a book you needed to go to the library. However, they did not have fancy signs over each section. They were labeled in the most peculiar way. It was a filing system that involved a series of numbers. These numbers were written on index cards with a brief description of the book it was attached to. These cards were filed in numerical order in long rectangular drawers, part of a much larger filing cabinet with many of these drawers.

To find the book you had to be familiar with the system. Each format of the book had a three-digit classification. That was split into subclasses that were separated by a decimal. For instance, if you wanted to find If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff your Dewey decimal would be 813.54 NUM; 800 is the Literature Class, 13 narrows it down to American/Canadian Fiction. The .54 further pinpoints it to 20th Century, 1945-1999. Then the NUM is the Author’s first three letters of her last name. This number is fixed and unless the system changes it will remain this way. Once you found the correct card in the catalog index box, you had to write down the number then look through the shelves to locate the same number which was attached to the spine of the book.

Crazy, right?

Reading 20 Years Ago

Remember walking through the mall and seeing a B. Dalton bookstore? Advertisements for the latest blockbuster with a picture of the cover and a life-size cardboard cutout of the Author stood out in the entry display. The stores were rather small with a limited selection, that is until the birth of the superstore brought on by the purchase of B. Dalton by the most popular chain out there; Barnes and Noble in the late 90s.

The birth of the Book Super Store brought in a new era for reading. With the library, you could only check it out; then you had to return it by the two-week due date. In a bookstore, you could buy the book and keep it. There were no forms to fill out and no waiting period for the Scholastic delivery. It was close to instant access for those who loved reading.

When Barnes and Noble noticed the growing popularity of coffee houses, they partnered with Starbucks Coffee. Even now you will not likely see a Barnes and Noble Bookstore without a Starbucks attached to it. You can buy your book, then sit at a table, or even comfy chairs, and enjoy a hot beverage as you read the latest book by your favorite author.

Reading Today

Today, it may seem the Book Superstore is on the decline. With technology advances, eBooks are becoming more popular. Amazon came out with one of the first mainstream E-readers, the Kindle, in 2008. Barnes and Noble released their Nook in 2010. Both were extremely popular and still are. Although if you have an advanced enough smartphone, you can download both e-reader applications and read books from your phone.

Even the bookstore has changed. E-readers have access to local libraries and major booksellers, like Barnes and Noble. These are also downloadable applications that with a membership, give you instant access to many books. Not only is it more convenient than having to visit a brick and mortar store, the book is often cheaper because of the cost of printing.

Even with the popularity of reading devices and mobile applications, something has got to be said about having a physical book in front of you. Especially for a child. You see many kids nowadays walking around with electronic devices; they are growing up without knowing what a book looks like, feels like, or smells like. You know what I’m talking about. Who doesn’t like the smell of a new book? You cannot get that from an electronic device.

It is kind of sad really, many of the beloved books we grew up on are no longer stored on shelves of a bookcase, but files on the hard drive of a mobile device. But to have a book to turn the pages physically; to open, close. And set it down without the worry of battery loss, has drifted off to somewhere in the past. Yep, it is definitely a different world than what we grew up in.

Final Thoughts

Technology does have a positive aspect; the world of reading is literally at our fingertips. Nearly every book imaginable is available with just a click of a mouse or a tap on the screen. The only limit is how large the internal storage is on your device. And even that issue can be solved with a cloud-based file system that will only download the book you are currently reading.

With technology seeming to take over, do not neglect the personal advantages of having a hard copy on hand. Books can be a bonding experience between an adult and a child. A book that was read to you by your parent or grandparent, you can read to your child or grandchild. Ebooks are handy yes, but you never have to recharge a physical book. And when the power goes out in your home, and you’ve forgotten to charge your device, you can always grab a flashlight and thumb through Where the Wild Things Are with your little one.

How to Pick the Right Book for Your Young Reader

There is nothing that compares to a Book Fair for a child. You quickly become aware that it is Book Fair season, and you will know it even before your child buckles themselves into the car. They dig through their backpack, pulling out that ever familiar brochure with Scholastic written in bright red across the front. “Can I buy a book?” They ask. Some of the time they will already know what they want.  As you peruse the catalog, you see that every other book is check marked. You know they can’t have it all, so how do you pick the right book for your child?

There are three major factors to consider when book shopping for your young reader: something that is age appropriate, that meets their ability to read, that lines up with their interests.

Their Age

Your child will judge a book by its cover. If the picture grabs their attention, chances are they will want to buy the book. But just because a cover photo is attractive, doesn’t mean that your child will be able to read the book. A seven-year-old may have enjoyed the Harry Potter movies and may get excited when they see a book with Harry on the cover, but that type of book will not be an easy read for a child.

The same thing goes for simpler reads. There may be a cute unicorn on the cover of a book, but an eight-year-old would be too far advanced if that book were only a sight word family book. A good book needs to fit their age range. Some of the book order forms will break down the books available in age brackets. Even if they don’t, you can visit the Book Fair website and research different books there.

Their Ability

The ability to read a book is different than a book that is age appropriate. Since the way of learning varies from child to child, the ability to get through certain books can be a challenge. Yes, schools try and keep all children on the same level, but we both know that is not always the case. At every teacher conference, you are given what reading level your child is at. You are also shown what the reading level goal is for the end of the year. The teacher lays out a plan to help your reader reach that goal. It is up to you as the parent to work with the teacher to accomplish that goal.

If you select a book that is too easy, then your child will never grow. If the book is too complicated, they will become frustrated and may give up. The idea is to find a book that is right in the middle of the road while trying to adhere to the reading level that you are shooting for. Keep in mind that it is okay to challenge your child. In fact, it is imperative that you challenge a child. Without a little difficult, your child cannot develop the ability to dig within themselves and discover that they can do it.

Their Interests

This is the easy part. You are usually always aware of what your child’s interests are. You can see it from the toys in their room, the posters on their wall, and the comforter on their bed. It is easy to assume they would enjoy books about those characters. With the way that companies market their product, books are in abundance. If a book fair does not carry a particular item, there are scads of websites that will. Even the local library will most likely have what you are searching for.

Just as it is important to challenge your child when reading, it is also imperative that you keep an open mind to your child’s interests. Don’t snuff out their excitement for a particular topic. Just because you do not enjoy a subject, doesn’t mean that you have to force your interests on them. Allow them to be who they are. Encourage them to explore what’s out there. You will never know where a child’s interests will take them.

Final Thoughts

Books are more than learning tools. You have found that yourself through the books that you read. You don’t read them to learn; you read them to escape. Your days are filled with your bosses demands, stacks of bills, and an endless list of errands to run. A good book is a great way to temporarily get away from life’s responsibilities and recharge.

Sometimes children need that same escape. While not as stressful, their lives can be tough. They too need to escape into another world, just as you do. With so many books out there, there is sure to be one world that your child will love to envelop themselves in. Whether it be dreaming about fame in the suburbs of Plainview, walking the halls of Cherrydale Elementary, or laughing along with the Cat in the Hat, there is a world just waiting to grab your child’s attention.

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I live in a small town in South Central Texas with my wife Carolyn and our four children. We attend the local First Baptist Church where we have been serving for 8 years. I drive a truck in the transportation industry and I pursue my writing career in my spare time. I have a passion for writing, and I plan to use my voice to glorify God.

In addition to my freelance work, I have a series of Children’s books that will begin to be released starting in June of 2018. I also have written a novel that is currently being edited. I look forward to sharing it sometime in 2019.

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How to Teach a Child Who Struggles to Read

The struggle is all too real for some parents. You may have done all you can to introduce your child to the wondrous world of reading, but they aren’t taking to it as you had envisioned. Whether it is just a hyper child who will not sit still, or the other end of the spectrum, where they want to read, but just cannot. In either instance, a parent is racking their brain for ideas to flip the switch within their child that gets them to understand.

I am no expert when it comes to a child who wants to do everything else but sit and read. But I have a couple of friends who have dealt with it. I have inquired of Jenci and Alesha in the construction of this week’s blog. I drew on their insight, and I hope to convey to you what their experiences have taught them.

Me on the other hand, my wife and I have somewhat dealt with the slower learner. Our oldest son struggled in school. Not so much as with a medical condition, but with focus and conveying his needs to those that mattered. This piece will be a bit difficult to write as it will dig up old emotions, but to help some of you who are reading this, I am willing to relive the past, if it will help your future.

“Can your child please sit down for a moment?”

If you have not lived it, there is no way you can describe the reality of raising a hyperactive child. From the outside people see a child who needs discipline. When the truth is, the child may not have complete control over how he or she acts. True, in some cases, discipline can be a factor, but not all. People naturally assume because of the day an age we live in that parental discipline is not used with the child. However, a child who is consistently on the move is wired differently than a child who prefers to sit. Discipline has little to do with it.

When parents are faced with a teaching situation, like reading, most try and calm their child down. They believe that reading time is quiet time. That to read, one must sit down in a chair and focus solely on the task of reading. There are to be no other activities going on; no TV, no music, and most of all no goofing off. This is where many parents fail their children. Reading time becomes forced. This can cause a child to dislike reading. It can also cause the parent to give up trying to have reading time altogether. This can bring about further issues with a child falling behind.

Both Jenci and Alesha have been face to face with this situation: What do you do with a child who struggles with reading? What they have found is that there is nothing “wrong” with their precious children. They are just different. Their struggle was with learning what techniques would be effective with their child’s personality.

Jenci explains that experimentation is part of the process. Her experiences have led to realize that children can be active learners. The sit-down-and-be-quiet reading was ineffective in her situation. Through trial and much error, she discovered that allowing her child to be who he was is better than pushing him to be something he wasn’t. Adapting her style of teaching to his demeanor brought about more significant results than trying to force him to conform to the textbook style of “this is how you should read.”

She also tells me it’s about trying to find what a child’s limitations truly are. She understands that a child can, and will, take advantage of a situation. So yes, you push the child to do what you are trying to accomplish. But after multiple successes and failures, you will then know if your child is egging you on, or if they are seriously unable to do something. Then a parent can know when to push and when not to push, when to persevere, and when to pray.

Alesha found that with her child, he is situational. He can, and will, sit with her and read. But if there are distractions, like another child in the room, he will want to engage with the other child. There are also days when her son loves to read, and then there are days when it’s like pulling hair to get him to read. She also has learned that pushing too hard can be detrimental to the progress.

Both have learned different methods that their kids have responded to. While the approaches may be different, the outcome is the same. They realized that children can still learn while they are playing. However, they agree that if you are taking this route to occasionally pause and strategically ask questions. Test their retention. You will be amazed by how much they remember.

Children are much smarter than any of us give them credit for. In fact, some believe that an active child can show tendencies to be smarter than the average child. Reasons being that as they are active, they can still be in tune with the world around them. They are able to have their minds remain focused on someone reading to them even while moving about or engaged in another activity.

This is something that schools miss. Teachers are trained for sit-still-and-learn. Which is right to some level. I mean, imagine a class of thirty kids all moving around while the instructor tries to teach. OR just one kid moving around while a teacher tries to deal with twenty-nine distracted kids.

“You should have your child tested.”

Now we move to the other end of the spectrum. Maybe the child is not hyper at all. Mine wasn’t. He was just slow at learning. Every teacher he had, every school he went to all said the same thing; we should run some tests. The thing was that every test they gave him he passed. They checked for everything from Dyslexia to Attention Deficit Disorder. Yet, nothing could be found, so he continued to struggle.

My oldest son was able to sit and be read to. He could follow along easily; as long as the story was not too long. It was not that he would get bored, his mind would just wander. We would be in the middle of a story, and he would ask a random question that had nothing to do with the story. He struggled to stay focused. Mom and I were concerned that this lack of focus would hurt his education.

Through many doctor visits, we learned that our son suffered from the same condition I suffer. It has a long name, and a symptom of this condition causes the mind to have a shorter attention span than someone without this condition. To put it simply, his mind is continually active.

Think of it as watching TV and every few minutes the channel changes without you touching the remote. It is like the hyperactive child; only it’s not physical activity, its mental. The learning process to overcome this condition is to learn how to slow down the mind and force yourself to maintain focus. This is a difficult thing to teach a 5-year-old. Heck, it’s still difficult for me to deal with and I am 43 now.

For our son, the solution was to adapt to his learning ability. Shorter stories or breaking the story up into two halves. If we started to see him drift off, we would use a “to be continued.” While this worked for reading time, he was still struggling with school in general. Through tutoring and special education, he was able to make it through High School. This special education involved giving him extra time to complete his classroom work, especially tests. It wasn’t that he couldn’t do the work, but his focus issue suffered even more when under the gun. The help he received gave him the ability to succeed.

Final Thoughts

For those of you whose kids are breezing through school and have no issues, please do not judge those who are. You do not know their story. There are many stories like Jenci’s, Alesha’s and mine. Pointing a finger and making assumptions only exasperates the situation. Instead of a crooked finger, you could be extending a hand of assistance.

I want to thank Jenci and Alesha for taking the times out of their hectic schedules to answer the questions I posed to them. Seeing what they go through from the outside, I can genuinely respect them for the mothers that they are. The last question I asked each of them was for a final piece of advice they would give to those of you reading this who are ready to give up. Here are their answers:


“Patience and perseverance are factors that are a must-have. Never expect from your child something they cannot do. The goal is to discover their learning style. If what you are doing doesn’t work, try something else. It is okay to experiment. Once you figure out what it is, do it. Adapt to the way that works for them and allow your child to do what they need to do that enables them to learn.”


“Make reading a habit and priority. If they can’t get the words, tell them. Don’t fuss or put them down, say it and move on. They will get it in the end. Most of all, don’t give up. If you do, you are teaching your child that when things get hard that giving up is an option. That is not what we want to teach them. Stop, take a breather, and do something else for a moment. After a small break, get back to it. The point is to keep moving forward and teaching them that continuing does pay off.”

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I live in a small town in South Central Texas with my wife Carolyn and our four children. We attend the local First Baptist Church where we have been serving for 8 years. I drive a truck in the transportation industry and I pursue my writing career in my spare time. I have a passion for writing, and I plan to use my voice to glorify God.

In addition to my freelance work, I have a series of Children’s books that will begin to be released starting in June of 2018. I also have written a novel that is currently being edited. I look forward to sharing it sometime in 2019.

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