Every once in a while, I receive a note from a customer that takes my breath away. This is one of those stories. As I read Raquel’s testimonial* about how All About Reading helped her daughter, I couldn’t help but remember my own son’s struggle with dyslexia. I knew exactly what Raquel was feeling—the sadness, the fear, and ultimately the incredible hope—as she walked with Katie through her journey to reading. I knew I had to share their story with you.
I just had to take a moment to tell you what the All About Reading program has meant to my daughter Katie and me. My precious daughter was almost in third grade and not progressing with reading at all. We had homeschooled her from the beginning and had an older son who was a very late reader. Once he hit second grade, his reading exploded, and he was reading sixth grade level books by the end of that year. We thought our daughter would follow a similar path.
Unfortunately, by the end of second grade, Katie was still struggling despite wanting to be able to read. My husband is dyslexic, so we began researching symptoms of dyslexia regarding our little girl. I cried when I realized we could check off every single indicator for her. I felt like an utter failure! My heart broke in two seeing how all the signs had been in front of me, but I hadn’t recognized them. As a homeschool parent, you bend over backward to give your children the very best education possible, and in front of me was proof that we had let Katie down.
We immediately scheduled an appointment for Katie to be tested for dyslexia and any other learning challenges she might possess. We felt lucky that there was a local private school strictly dedicated to helping children with reading challenges. We were willing to do whatever it took to send our little girl there if it meant that she would get the help she needed. We had her tested and the results were dismal. She was in the lowest range for both the visual and auditory aspects of dyslexia. The school asked us to have Katie take a more in-depth test to see precisely how negatively the visual dyslexia component was affecting her.
I still remember sitting in the office with my husband while we awaited the final information. The head of a school specifically created for dyslexic children looked at us and told us it was hopeless. He told us that there was no clinically effective treatment currently available for Katie’s form of dyslexia. They informed us that they would not admit her into the school because they did not believe they could help her, and that we needed to accept that she would likely never read beyond a first-grade level. I was furious! How dare this man tell me my daughter was a lost cause. We knew Katie was bright, creative, and capable. He had NO idea who he was talking to, and I was determined that my girl would have anything she needed to succeed.
We immediately ordered All About Reading Level 1. It was slow going at first. Truthfully, it was slow going for the first two years. It took us a school year and a half to complete Level 2. There were lots of tears. Fluency sheets were dreaded! It was so bad that I put a chocolate chip on top of each word that she could eat after she read the word. Every five lessons resulted in a prize marked off on the progress chart. There were lots of hugs and reassurances that this struggle did not mean that she was stupid. Thankfully our girl is a fighter.
Fast forward four and a half years and Katie can read fluently at grade level. I am attaching a picture of her reading a complicated Star Wars book. She was desperate to read it because her big brother had read it. I was doubtful that she would make it through the whole book, but that was silly of me. It took her a while, but she did it.
Thank you for equipping me to do what professionals told me would not be possible. I tell everyone I meet how much we love your program, and if they want to start their kids out on the right foot, then there is no better program than All About Reading.
Katie read a book for fun today for the very first time: The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. I wasn’t sure if this day would ever arrive, but it did! Thank you from the very bottom of my heart! May God richly bless you as you continue this beneficial and necessary work!
Did you enjoy Raquel’s story? Read more stories from Real Moms and Real Kids.
*To preserve the privacy of the child featured in this story, we did not use the family’s real names.