Katie brought home a decodable book from Kindergarten yesterday, and she read the whole entire thing by herself. I was ecstatic! Yes, most of the words were the same, and some of the “words” were actually pictures, but do not think for a moment that this small detail stifled any of my excitement or the pride I felt welling up inside me! I was beaming, and more importantly, so was she!
Katie is my third child, so I’ve been through this twice before, but believe me when I say that it is just as magical as the first time! Katie has been very dedicated to the process of learning to read, and I would say that all of her “hard work” has paid off, but for her, it is the furthest thing from work that you could imagine. This child loves to sound out and blend words together. She gets this gleam in her eye when she “gets” a word—that is, when it pops out of her mouth and she hears it and it makes sense to her. Her smile is saying, “Wow, I just read that—by myself!” There is really nothing quite like it.
Of course, every time this has happened, we’ve celebrated—a lot! I do think that has a lot to do with her success. Of course, she’s proud of herself, but when she sees how proud we are too, it motivates her that much more! It’s taken her almost exactly nine weeks to get to the point of reading a short, decodable book on her own, but I know that she’s about to take off. She’s trying to read everything around her and succeeding a good portion of the time!
I feel so blessed that none of my children (so far) have struggled with learning to read. On the contrary, all three of them have found it to be a fun and rewarding process. Of course, I have their teachers to thank for a lot of it. They’ve all been amazing at helping to make learning to read exciting for my children, and I am so grateful for that! Katie’s teacher amazes me with the creative songs and activities she comes up with to encourage the kids to practice the skills they learn in class.
Is Katie reading everything perfectly? Of course not! Like most kids, she has some difficulty with certain skills and letters. For instance, she’s currently having some trouble distinguishing between the lowercase “b” and the lowercase “d.” I’ve been using the “bed trick” to try to help her with this, and I think it’s helping a bit. She also jumps the gun sometimes when she’s sounding out words. That is, she’ll sound out the first couple of phonemes and then get excited and blurt out the word she thinks it is before getting to that last letter. For example, once, she started to sound out the word “sip” and let her excitement get the best of her before she got to that final “p,” so she yelled “sit.” I don’t see this as too much of an issue. I think the more she gets used to reading, the more she’ll be able to contain herself. I’m just happy she’s so eager!
Do you have a child learning to read this year? How is he/she doing? Share your triumphs and frustrations in the comments section.