It was about this time, when Samuel
was 9 or 10, that I heard Dianne Craft
speak at a conference. What she was saying made sense. I bought her Brain Integration Handbook and decided we’d use
it every day for a year. I was desperate
at that point. I was wondering if Samuel
would ever be able to read. It was a challenge, though, because all the different
exercises and activities didn’t seem to
have much to do with reading.
When we first got it, I was rather upset because I thought there was no way it
would help; there was nothing that could
help me at that point. At that age, I thought
I was a lot more grown up than I actually
was. I was bigger than most kids and people thought I was older. I saw myself as a
grown-up and this seemed like preschooler
stuff. It was really hard.
Samuel learned to read that year. The
exercises didn’t make it all better right
away, but over the course of that year, it
all came together. Then he realized that
he could read like everyone else.
I was reading some children’s book, I
think. I slowly read each word, sounding
each one out. It was a simple book, just
a few words on each page. I got to the
end, closed it and got tears in my eyes. I
thought, “I actually read a book. Maybe
this is conquerable. Maybe I’m not just
dumb. Maybe I can get over this.”
From that time on, his reading just
took off. It happened so quickly! It was
amazing. Now Samuel is in high school,
doing well, and managing a couple of
businesses on the side with his brothers.
They run Grain of Truth Bread Company, selling grain mills on the Internet,
and Samuel, though the youngest partner, is really the driving force behind
it. They are just starting a new business
selling handmade bow ties—Carolina
Clothiers. So what does Sam think about
It’s a gift. They say you never really appreciate anything unless you can’t have it.
I know lots of people who don’t appreciate
reading or never really thought it was anything special, but I worked for years and
shed buckets of tears over it. I thought I was
dumb. I thought I couldn’t do it. Now that I
can read, I know how beautiful and good it
is. I really think it is a blessing and altogether one of the most useful and fun things you
can learn how to do. For every page of unpleasant stuff you have to read, you’ll end
up reading fifty or a hundred pages of good
rich history or great novels or the Bible.
I wish I had been way more patient
with Samuel and less hard on myself.
I asked Samuel what he would say to
mothers teaching a struggling reader.
I thought, “I actually read
a book. Maybe this is
conquerable. Maybe I’m
not just dumb. Maybe I
can get over this.”
and others. Number two, do not blame
yourself for pushing your son or daugh-
ter so hard when you didn’t understand
they had a learning disability, because
the gift of a loving mother in a son or
daughter’s life is one of the biggest bless-
ings God ever created.
Melanie Young is the author, with her husband Hal, of Raising Real Men, Christian
Small Publishers’ 2011 Book of the Year,
and an upcoming book on marriage, My
Beloved and My Friend. Melanie is the
mother of six boys and two girls who were
homeschooled from the beginning. www
. RaisingRealMen.com, www.Facebook.com/
Samuel Adams Young is a homeschool high
school student and the third son of Hal and
Melanie Young. He is part owner of Grain
of Truth Bread Company and Carolina
1. Davis, Ronald D., and Eldon M. Braun. The Gift
of Dyslexia: Why Some of the Smartest People
Can’t Read—and How They Can Learn. New
York, NY: Penguin Group, 2010. Print. www
2. Craft, Dianne. The Brain Integration Therapy
Manual. Denver, CO: Child Diagnostics, 2010.