Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The other night, we were all busy doing our own thing…J-Man playing PS2, me catching up on e-mails, Tombliboo playing with animals, Daddy watching Rugby, and Princess felt at a loss. I suggested a few things to her, but none of them took. She wanted to be with someone, and she wanted to do something “new”.

I dropped some Phonics cards in her lap, with the promise that I would be there in less than 5 minutes. She hasn’t touched them for many, many months, but has in the past liked them. They’re quite lovely to look at, but you don’t really have to read the word, since the picture is so obvious.

After she’d finished with them, she wanted “more”. So, I found some little easy-readers we have from when she started to sound out words (before age 2). They are rather hopeless too- the kid of teeny “books” schoolkids bring home…where the parent is to read them once, and the child remembers it, then “reads” to back…then has to do so again and again.

I noticed Princes knew “are”, “is”, “and” and “it”. She finished the books easily, and still wanted more. I looked for more, and couldn’t find any, so I got out “Go Dog, Go!

She began reading it, and it was beautiful to watch. She needed to sound out “d-o-g” so many times, I felt sure I might blurt something out ridiculous. The really cool thing was that she was self-correcting…if she realised that something hadn’t made sense, or was the wrong word, she would get it right, then begin the page again.

I’ve noticed (and disliked) watching kids learning to read, who struggle over so many words in a sentence, that all meaning is utterly lost. Princess was getting all the meaning, but completely without being told she ought to…after all, for her the point of a book is to read a story- not read words, disconnected and all jumbled together without sense.

She was also *very* insistent she didn’t want help. On a couple of occasions I could see she was getting really frustrated (part of this is to do with mixing up “b” and “d”). Once, I inserted the word for her- and earned a frightful scowl for my trouble. “Muu-uum! I want to do it myself!”

She was very persistent, and determined…I loved watching her. She didn’t finish the whole book, but she kept at it for well over an hour.

Now is where I have to chill-out and not bounce up and down trying to work out when she will become a fluent reader. I’ve been here before, when it seems she is on the verge of something huge, only to find it peters out as quickly as it came on- and there are no clues any progress is being made for months and months.

Time for me to sit back, and keep watching how this will unfold.


Stephanie said...

Very cool!
I love watching the learning process unfold :)

Pittsburgh Midwife said...

Hooray! Way to go Princess and mum! Enjoy the learning and living that is happening in the now...the future will eventually become the now, so don't worry about it yet!

Kelly said...

Hi Shell,

Very cool! My little guy was reading Mr. Putter & Tabby the other day ... he has just started to be interested in reading to me. So many new things this week ... swimming, pumping on a swing, trying new foods. Major growth spurt! So exciting to watch. Just made my blog private ... send me your email addy over on Shine and I'll send you an invite.