I’m not concerned about when our children learn to read. I have no doubt they will – after all they’re fascinated with books. And they really want to find their shows and play their games on their own. In order to do that, they need to read.
We’ve watched Ella learn so many things since she was born. I have to admit, we’ve done a lot of encouraging. When she was learning to walk, we held her hands and walked around with her for hours. When she was learning to talk we repeated words over, and over, and over again. We listened patiently while it took her a minute or longer to finally get the word she wanted. We didn’t rush her. What she had to say was important to us. Now, as she’s growing again, she stutters. We wait for her to finish saying what she has to say. It would be faster to finish for her. We know what she’s trying to say. But we trust her to get it, and that is more important that moving on.
Reading is no different than any other skill she’s already mastered. She’s started and we reinforce what she’s learned. She points out a letter and tells us the sound, we repeat it, then add a word that starts with the letter/sound. When she asks us to read to her, we read. When she asks us to listen to her read, we listen. It doesn’t matter that what she’s saying isn’t what’s actually written. For now she’s learning the ‘act’ of reading and mastery will come later.
Most recently she’s taken to looking at pictures, and trying to figure out the words. She’s pretty good and has completely ‘read’ several books on her own. Yep the picture gave it away, but she still got the correct words.
She’s also taken to writing. She writes her name, she writes her letters, she tries other names. Agatha is such fun name for her to write. So she tries. Over and over, and over again. She also types. She sends messages frequently. Usually to Ryan and I. She’s taken to learning new words just by writing them and typing them repeatedly.
It’s possible she might not master reading for a couple years, but it’s clear she’s heading in that direction. We haven’t sat down with her and forced her to learn her letters or sounds. She picked it up on her own, based on her interest. Allowing her to continue to choose her own path paves the way for a love of learning that, we hope, will stay with her for life.