school days: time to read

since she figured out how to write her name a long while back, it seems that my dear daughter has been fascinated with writing.  then she figured out how to write "mom," "dad," and "ty," and was even more enthralled with filling empty pages with words. 
 she would ask how to spell words and write them out, make little "notes" for us on a daily basis with pictures and our names on it, copy words from a book (willingly on her own), on and on and on.
 and just this past week, we reached a new milestone.  reading.

at first, i was hesitant to admit that she could read.  i mean, i wasn't mentally prepared for her to be ready to read.  and quite honestly, i didn't expect the whole process to happen so naturally...as if it were part of our daily routine.  it felt so unobtrusive. organic.

i remember ty struggling a lot in kindergarten and 1st grade with reading, and so i didn't know what to expect when the time came for emma to learn to read.  i guess i thought there would be a specific day that i would officially start teaching her to read....a designated date and time where we would sit down and practice sounding out letters, reading simple words, etc.

but over the past couple of months, i noticed that she was naturally starting to understand the connection between the letter and its sound.  i think her little writing kick was actually helping her figure this out.  so, last week while we were at the library i figured we'd give one of these books a go.  if she was receptive to the idea trying to read on her own we would go with it, if not then no big deal.
well, we went through it together the first time, with a bit of help from me.  but by the 3rd time around she had read the whole book on her own.  they're not very long, and given her steel trap memory the story and words were easy to memorize.  at that point, i wasn't quite sure if she was actually reading the words or just memorizing the content and using the pictures to remind her of what each page said.  so when we returned this week, i suggested we check out a couple more of those little books.  she was very excited about the whole idea and brought home 2 new ones to read.

this time though, i tried to have her sound out the words on the page.  i was a little apprehensive about doing this, because if she wasn't ready then the experience would be frustrating and it would only discourage her from wanting to read (flashback to ty when he was learning to read).  but i figure no harm done in trying as long as we stop if she gets frustrated or distracted.
let me say, that i am a proud mama for her efforts.  we went through both books the 1st time in one sitting, and she was able to successfully sound out most of the words on her own.  by the time daddy got home, she didn't need my help and had 2 sight words under her belt: "the" and "was."

the girl likes to "read" already (during her quiet time she would have a mountain of books piled on her bed ready for perusal), and i'm pretty certain that once she can really read on her own she'll be sleeping with her books!


Melissa said...

How exciting for Emma! Congrats on this new milestone! Your comment about it being unobtrusive and organic is right on. When we follow their lead, there's no need for forced or coerced "learning" to take place. We are born curious investigators- one of the biggest things I feel that compulsory schooling squelches in most children. Reading is a milestone just like walking or talking. Some figure out early, others later. If left to learn naturally, boys usually figure reading out between the ages of 8-11 on average. (I should add in a stimulating environment). Poor Ty probably wasn't developmentally ready for reading and decoding at that time. Unfortunately, there is little room for individual flexibility in the classroom setting. He's lucky to have you guys as parents to be patient and take the extra time to work with him.

Amber@Nater Tot said...

Way to go Emma! That's fantastic! We have some of those BOB books - my aunt gave them to Nate because it's how she taught her children how to read. How exciting and a little scary for you :) That's such a big step.

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