(Original post on May 17, 2012. See explanation below. I’m going green!)
I’ve spent much of the past five years on the edge of insanity. Actually, I’ve dipped my toe in, and the water is quite warm. It’s only a matter of time before I swan dive into the pool. Who are we kidding? I’m not graceful. I will belly flop in, making a huge scene. The kind of scene that ends with a straight jacket and large dose of Valium.
You know what’s going to send me over the edge? Stupid freakin mono. Not just the mono itself, but all things affected by mono, like SCHOOL MAKEUP WORK. Don’t get me wrong. The teachers have been very understanding and helpful. We are blessed to have this wonderful group of teachers.
But do you know how much reading comprehension a non-reader has with a case of mono? About 40-60%. How do I know this little fact? Because those are the grades that he is earning on his Accelerated Reader tests. What’s Accelerated Reader, you ask? Oh, it’s the program designed by some evil genius to promote reading in school-age children. It was then implemented by sadists into our 7th Grade Gifted & Talented Curriculum and represents a majority of my child’s reading grade. Exhibit A in the support of my theory that sometimes the gods hate me.
I love to read, as evidenced by my page dedicated to Books I Love. I have stacks of books in my room. (“Buy bookshelf” is still on my list of things to do.) I spend a lot of time at Barnes & Noble. My youngest son, recently (or not so recently) afflicted with mono DOES NOT share my love of reading. He has a mind for math and all things athletic. The Accelerated Reader program is his equivalent of a Chinese Torture Chamber.
Do you know what I have to do to get him to read in the first place? The fact that it counts as a grade does NOT serve as a motivator. I have to resorts to all sorts of trickery. Like bribery. And death threats.
We have tried all types of genres of books, in hopes of finding something that sparked his interest. His brother and I loved The Hunger Game series. Him? Not so much. We tried sports themes. He loves sports, right? I finally thought I had found the key when he liked a book called “Gym Candy” by Carl Deuker. I ran to the store and danced a gig while bought other books by the same author. Much like Tiffany in the 80s, it appears to have been a one-hit-wonder.
Now add mono into the equation. Three pages and he is snoring loudly. While reading, his head pain transforms from a dull ache to “Mom, I think I’m going to die.”
You are not going to die.
Well, actually, you will if you don’t read that book because I will KILL you.
When he finally finished a book during the early mono phase, I considered doing cartwheels across the yard. When he called me after school, I couldn’t wait to hear about the grade and number of points that he had earned. Why is he stammering? Come out with it, kid! Mom’s ready to celebrate!
I’m sorry…you got a what? Did you say a 40? Is that even possible? Yes, I’m crying. Why aren’t YOU crying?
It was then time to take this bull by the horns. I ordered audiobooks so that he could listen to the book and read along. Two senses will be affected, therefore, doubling his chances for comprehension. Am I a genius, or what? Back to the cartwheels.
Wait. Say that again. You got a 60? As in only 20 points more than a 40?
Better yet, go ahead and take my measurements for the straight jacket. I’m no longer on the edge. I’m jumping in.
Thanks to The Mommy Mess for the idea of recycling an old post. I can’t say that this is one of those old posts that I love and spent hours writing (as if I could sit still that long), but I will say that I find it interesting that mono or no mono, we are still struggling with Accelerated Reader issues. And I’m still struggling to hold on to my sanity.