Pollito is 6 years old but most of the time he seems more like a 4-5 year old. This is also true where school is concerned which is part of the reason we decided to homeschool. He just isn't interested in learning to read and the pressure near the end of Kindergarten was making him a very anxious child. We try to spend as much time as possible reading to him and he enthusiastically tackles writing (or copying) but the thought of reading just makes him cringe. He seems to put up HUGE mental blocks although it is possible that he may have some learning issues as well. Our plan is to take things easy and let him set the pace this year and if we decide to return him to "regular" school next year so he can get additional services we will have him enroll in first grade rather than second grade.
A month ago I decided to enroll him in music lessons because he loves music. He dances and dances every chance he gets so we had already put him in a ballet/tap/jazz class and a hip-hop class but we decided to add an instrument. He wanted guitar but he is a bit young for that so he chose piano. After 4 lessons we are seeing an interesting development. He is enjoying it and wants to practice all the time but what is equally interesting is that his number and letter recognition and recall has improved DRAMATICALLY. This is a kid who confuses numbers and hasn't been able to consistently count past 12. He also misses many of the letters although he has most of their "sounds" down. In working with him I saw a little improvement after just 1 music lesson but I can definitely tell there is something clicking for him AND his enthusiasm for reading seems to be growing. Just last week he picked up a book of Corazon's and started to look for the 4 words he can actually read---it, in, is and if. Today he asked me to teach him to read 4 new words. While I am not quite ready to credit all this progress to him music lessons, I do believe they have someone cleared his brain in ways that seems to improve his focus and his enthusiasm. Either that or it is a nice coincidence but either way, I think we will keep those lessons going for awhile. :-)