Thursday, January 25, 2007

Reading!

My son is reading! He isn't even four yet but he's sounding out words he sees all around him & things are clicking in his head like cogs spinning together in a brilliantly engineered timepiece! Of course every parent sees her child as "advanced," and I am no exception. All we did to get here together was provide books, books, books. We read to him every day (three stories at bedtime; sometimes four or five if things are going well) plus during his sister's nap time, and allow him to "read" to himself to fall asleep every night. He loves books--we have been visiting libraries since lapsit story times in 2003, and I am beginning to do the same with my daughter now, too. We do not put the TV on during the day except on the rare (monthly?) occasion when Mommy is desperate & out of ideas.

Teagan has been a little slower in caring much more for books than as chewing toys (oh my how she worked on the binding of one of her brother's books last weekend! Yikes!). But, at 13 months old, now, I see her choosing books & pouring over them on her own. I will not push it; she is just not interested in sitting still long enough for me to read even the shortest board book to her. But we have provided her with a big full bookshelf, a "reading nook" and a basket full of cloth books in her crib. I hope as she sees Mommy, Daddy & Brother reading she will become more curious. She is a very curioous little girl (one woman at the Farmer's Market last September called her "busy" which I thought was perfectly fitting), so I'm sure her book interest will develop naturally.

But, back to the major announcement in our house! Logan can, of course, read stop signs not only because of the letters, but because of the symbolic association of white letters on a red octagon. That's early reading simplicity that cannot even be called reading. BUT now he can identify the letters s-t-o-p independently within a sentence, or elsewhere. He is looking at words & trying to sound them out. We didn't use any phonics videos (although I did just special order one by They Might Be Giants, recommended by my friend, Mary, to reinforce the phonetics he's already picking up. It's fun & musical--he seems to be an auditory learner). We didn't force the issue. We just READ to him & helped him see patterns.

On Tuesday Logan was standing in his Learning Tower while I scrambled up some eggs for breakfast. He scanned the refrigerator magnets and saw the Poison Control phone number posted. The word "help" was at the top, with the letter "L" shaped like a medicine bottle. Logan SOUNDED it out and said aloud, "Help." I turned my head, thinking he needed help--and he pointed up to the magnet. "Hhhh-elp" he said again. I about bounced out of my skin!! Yes, yes! That says "help!" (I have NEVER read that magnet to him--this was pure & real).

Over the weekend he read a word to my mom, too. I think it was "off." So, today he went to his Leap Frog Phonics "computer" and pushed the letters o-f-f to hear the energetic lady's voice say, "Off. Great job!" Later he put in the letters "p-o-p" and was able to repeat those patterns several times yesterday. So now, he's SPELLING, too!

We were sitting at lunch and Logan was again scanning words around him. He saw one of Daddy's collector's books on the shelf, where the word "MOON" was on its side. Well, on its side an "N" looks like a "Z," so Logan called out "Zoom!" and I looked & looked...then I realized he'd read the letters from bottom to top, seeing the N as a Z & sounded out the word ZOOM! Hello! Isn't this ADVANCED!? Wow. So, I called my husband & shouted into the phone, "Logan's reading!"

I told Logan we needed to have a cake to celebrate, so we took on a baking project and found a recipe at allrecipes.com that I will make again & again (click this post's heading to go to that recipe). Turbinado sugar, raisins, no eggs, or baking soda--which were missing from our kitchen. An easy homemade cake! Logan helped me measure & pour & we baked it then all ATE IT FOR DINNER before the rest of our meal (it was quite nutritious, actually). Yay, Son!!

(Did I mention that since November he can write the letters in his name in sort of a little collection on a page, plus other letters like "C"? I think we have the Language Arts part of homeschooling off to a good start, no?)

Today I saw him sounding out things all around him. He was very interested in an alphabet book we have where the pages are overflowing with words & crazy animal antics for each letter. We read it & laughed so much.

I've been lonesome for some more laughter around here, so I must celebrate these two wonderful days.

Now, to get a handle on those recent angry faces...


"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."
Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991

2 comments:

Anja said...

Baby geniuses, I tell you! Now I'll have to start writing Logan letters (and Tea, of course) so he can read them himself!

Jen S. said...

Wow, that's pretty impressive! Luke can write all his letters but he's not quite getting the connection between what the letter looks like and the sound it makes. He can "read" his name when he sees it but I think that's just memorization!
It's amazing how much reading books to our kids helps them develop!