Charlie is the first of our children not to go away for preschool and with baby Julia Ellen born last year, we didn't do anything at home either. Of course we read lots of stories every day, went on field trips, and he listened to the older children do school, but we didn't work on learning the letters or writing his name. This year he started kindergarten and we have already finished 3 math workbooks and are almost finished with his catechism book. While he knows all the 10 Commandments by heart and can add and subtract, the child can't identify letters, much less sound out any words. I know that one day soon something will click in his head and he will wonder, "Why did I think this was so hard?" but for right now we are both frustrated. Every morning we work on a letter and the sound it makes and it is obvious the next day that he can't remember any of it.
Charlie is such a bright boy and thoughtful toward his siblings and friends. There isn't anything wrong with him and I have to remember this as I agonize over his lack of progress. All the memories (mostly repressed) of teaching Will the same concepts over and over again come flooding back. But that was years ago and after teaching two girls how to read I had almost forgotten how difficult it is sometimes for little boys to grasp phonics. At least my little boys, perhaps everyone else's are geniuses who teach themselves quantum physics while sitting on the potty at age 2. "Mommy, can you believe that it took Einstein 26 years to figure out the theory of relativity? It is soooo obvious!"
All I can do is keep plugging away with those letters and their sounds as well as reading lots of Curious George and Dr. Seuss. One day pretty soon he will be so envious of his big brother and sisters being able to fully understand a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip collection that he will force himself to figure out how to read. Of course I am a little nervous about exposing him to all of Calvin's antics as it will give him new ideas as to how to torment his mother.