I was standing in line at the Hobby Lobby when a candle caught my eye. It was the size and color that I needed for my lantern. It was half price so I grabbed it and put it in my cart. My lantern has been without a light since I bought it 6 months ago. Now it finally lights up. Isn’t that how life is a lot of times? Don’t we all have situations that seem dark? And then 6 months later suddenly a light will appear and the darkness begins to fade away. Light brings hope.
We have finished our school year and we are basking in the joy of summer vacation. At the end of every school year I reflect on the progress that our girls have made. As we started the school year last fall I had a hope and a dream in my heart. Will this be the year that the girls will learn how to read? Surely this new phonics program is going to be the answer to my prayers, right? Third time’s the charm. Those first two programs didn’t work but this new program is the one. I just know it.
I was wrong. This phonics program didn’t work either. Great. What do I do now? I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on programs that didn’t work. I’m really tired of throwing money away and I just don’t know what to do. So I decided to give up. Let me rephrase that. I decided to give up on phonics. But I never gave up on our girls learning how to read. I don’t give up easily. I’m the gal who spent 3 years trying to teach our girls phonics even though it wasn’t working. I’m either stubborn or stupid. Maybe both.
Anyway, the light bulb in my brain finally went off one day and it told me “Phonics isn’t working. ” You think? So I did the same thing I always do when I don’t know what to do. I googled it. I typed in “how to teach a visual learner how to read”. One of the first links I clicked on introduced me to Snapwords. As I was reading all about Snapwords my gut said “this is it”. I ordered the first set of cards.
These little cards came straight from heaven. The very first day that we used Snapwords a light went on for our girls. On the second day, they remembered some of the words. By the end of the week they knew 6 words. On the last day of school they knew 36 words. I can’t believe it. We’ve finally found something that works.
Our girls are no longer sitting in the dark wondering how to read. A light has been turned on for them. And it makes me smile. Yes, they are learning to read later than most kids. But they are learning and that’s what is important. God gave me the inspiration to name this blog Two Upside Down Turtles. Turtles are slow. They take a lot of time getting from one place to another place. But I can’t help but wonder what turtles see on their journey that the faster animals don’t see. Our girls are slower than kids their age. It’s taking them longer to learn to read and do math. But I can’t help but wonder what they are seeing on their journey that the rest of us overlook.
Our two turtles teach me so much about perseverance and patience. I don’t think life is about how fast we can get to where we need to go. It’s really about the journey. It’s about not giving up when something takes longer than we want it to take. It’s about pressing forward when life hurts and we don’t understand why it has to be so hard. It’s about loving others who are different. Sometimes it’s about stopping our face-paced life and helping someone whose life moves slower than ours. And it’s about taking a moment to thank the God of the universe for creating light and bringing hope to our darkest situations.