Big Sprout's new friend, Pip, has turned out to be a pretty sweet little gal. I still have to watch them a little more closely than I would like, because Pip is older and has friends that are older than SHE is. Sometimes they want to do things I just don't think Big Sprout is old enough for.
I really like Pip, and as I piece together more about her home situation, I am realizing how wrong it was for me to judge her on where she lives.
Yesterday, she even opened my eyes to something that I had never really believed before. She broke my heart doing it.
You see, Pip is in the 4th grade and she can't read.
I have heard all the stats on how so many kids graduate from school without ever learning basic skills they will need to survive in the world, but I had never believed it way down deep. I mean really, how can you get through school without knowing how to read? Or add? Or tell one state from another on a map?
Big Sprout isn't a genius, but she is very smart. She is always in the top 25% of her class, which is comfortable for me. She isn't so advanced that she gets bored, but she doesn't really struggle either. I like things this way, and am very grateful.
Yesterday, Big Sprout came home with Pip in tow. This has become the norm over the last couple of weeks. Big Sprout asked if I would be willing to help Pip with her homework, and of course I agreed. Pip explained that she was supposed to read me a story, and then I would sign that she had read it. I gave her the go-ahead, and the next few minutes were pure torture. I watched her struggle to sound out "bird", "play", "some", and countless other words Big Sprout has known since kindergarten. I struggled desperately to not correct her every time she mis-read a word (almost all of them). My heart broke.
When I read the attached note from her teacher (I gotta read THAT before I sign anything, you know), it explained that the story was to be (ideally) read in 1 minute or less with no mistakes by the end of the week.
It took Pip almost 5 to read me the story, and it was impossible to understand what she was reading.
I love to read, and some of my best moments are spent with a book in my hand. It pains me to think that Pip will probably never enjoy reading the way I do.
I can accept that, though. DH is plenty smart (sometimes), and he really doesn't enjoy reading. Different strokes, and all that.
But SHE CAN'T READ! Think of all the things you need to read in a day. Restaurant menus, road signs, memos from the boss. Speaking of bosses, what kind of job will she be able to get if she doesn't overcome this?
So I have been wondering about if and how to help her. I don't want to poke my nose in where it doesn't belong, but I can't stand to see her struggle SO HARD to accomplish something so necessary.
I just want what's right.