Learning to read is hard work. I want my children to love reading. It's a delicate thing because, we can't make it so sing-song fun that they don't learn anything, but we can't be such a Nazi about it that they dread reading and also by association they dread school.
I was exhausted, and so was my child. We were both a mess and it was this big awful scene. I prayed about it. The great thing about knowing that God called you to homeschool is that when challenges come, you know He's going to be faithful. You know He's going to equip you.
When I pray, I am usually not 100 percent certain that I've gotten something from the Lord or if it's just my big idea. It would be so much easier if Jesus would walk into my living room and tell me what to do. I'd do it. He's so silent and makes us come to Him quietly and then He replies quietly. When I pray about stuff, I wait and see what pops into my head and weigh it against scripture. Does this line up with God's character? If it does, I give him credit for the idea and go with it until I think I hear Him tell me otherwise. Well I prayed about this reading trauma a lot and got a bunch of nothing. Big ol' flower bouquet of nothing.
I knew the Lord would help me when He was good and ready, so I kept praying, and eventually in the middle of the night I got an idea. Prayed and got a cool idea: boom, we're giving the credit to God. I trust that it was His wisdom, because I honestly don't have any. He gave me the idea to draw a big flower on a piece of paper each day, with 10 or so big giant petals, and write one big word in each of those petals. Once the child had read the word, she could color the flower petal whatever color she wanted.
I came to my child the next day and told her God had given us an idea. I told her about the flower petals. She loved it. "I get to color the petals?" she said happily. I was amazed that it got through to her. Many children would have thought the flower petals were pointless, and 85 percent of little boys would have turned the flower into a dart board, then a cannon ball. But the Lord knew what would click with my particular child. And He knows what will click with yours, so keep a-prayin.
I taught that child to read, using the flower petals, and now years later she reads gigantic novels by G.A. Henty and anything else she wants to read including the King James Bible every day, and she reads to her sisters a lot. But I think what I really taught her, more than learning to read, is that God loves her so much that He gave her mommy an idea to help her with school.