"I can read!"
Yup! I heard this cry of joy this morning! Yippee! This little innocent book is the bringer of such good news. Hug loved these books when he was little & I brought them in the car when we drove to collect the big daddy T from the airport yesterday.
As I was driving I could hear Hug in the back flicking through one so I asked him if he could see the words on the side of each page (key words pulled from the story) & he started to sound the first one out...
Now, for a little backstory - Hug has been hesitant to read & write for quite a while even though I could see that he had a lot of the developmental elements ready. I'm not sure if he had imagined pressure from us or from school but at some stage he had decided that he wasn't interested. If I pressed him at all he'd put the brakes on. We're a real wordy, booky family so it was a surprise because he *loves* books & loves stories. Anyway, I've been very careful with him, not wanting to put any stress on the situation, & have only just started to show him some language activities again (it's 6 months now since he left his Montessori preschool).
Of course, over the past 6 months we've played wordy games & I've spelt out words as we read books & he's asked how to write the occasional word to add to a drawing, but not in any structured way. Now, I've reintroduced our Moveable Alphabet & the Salt Tray & in the car I've been playing a fun game where I ask them the first or last sound of a word as I'm driving. Anyway, I digress. We were in the car yesterday...
So, he started sounding out the first word & then it clicked - he knew that word! - and then the next and the next and the next. There were maybe 20 key words in the book & he read them all, sounding out each letter as he went before pulling them together & realising what that word might be (m...i...l...k - milk!) He even read 'doughnut'! By the time we collected T & eaten dinner (at the airport - tee hee - so fun!) has was so excited to be able to show him what he could do that we had to drive with the internal light on in the car. He read all of the words again (sounding each letter phonetically first ) & then the other Millie book we have about gardening. And then when it was time to turn the light out he said that he would read the story to us in the morning :)
Well, this morning arrived & we happened to be driving again (maybe this is part of it - he felt comfortable reading to us when we couldn't see him or the word that he was reading. We were his listeners). He went through all of the key words & then proceeded to read the story. I can recite it to you now from memory...
Millie's heading down to Jumbo's store. She'll buy some milk and a few other things.
It took a little while & a lot of brain power but he did it! That's when we heard that magic cry: "I can read!"
Sorry if I'm going into far too much detail here! I know children all around the world start to read everyday but when it's your own child it's a wonderful moment. Funnily, he wasn't even that interested in the Salt tray & Moveable Alphabet but I'm going to leave them out this afternoon & see what magic happens. I had put them away on *my* shelf - not very Montessori of me I know & I'm not sure why? He must have the tools :) I'm also going to pull out a pile of board books because they have all of those simple keywords (especially some Rescue themed ones - he loves Firetrucks and those types of vehicles).
Ahh, it seems like a long time ago now that he was just a babe in arms... Mama loves you huggly-one. I'm very happy for you.