My son read at a very young age. At three he was reading many picture books independently. We read to him a lot, but we didn’t really do anything to teach him how to read. Somehow through us reading to him he just figured it out. It was like magic.
Our middle child entered kindergarten in September not reading. She knew all her letters and pretty much all her sounds, but she didn’t pick up reading as easily as our son. This has never worried me. I am confident that she will figure things out.
The thing that has been hard for me to watch is her reluctancy to write at home. My son is always writing stories in a notebook. Sometimes it is a video game he is designing. Other times it is his latest graphic novel adaptation of Captain Underpants. My daughter orally tells us stories all the time, but putting them down on paper makes her nervous. She tells me that she doesn’t know how to read, so she can’t write. This makes me so terribly sad.
I don’t know a lot about what writing looks like in kindergarten, but I do know that if you know some sounds, you can do some writing. Over Thanksgiving break, I was determined to help her see that. The day after Thanksgiving I stopped by my classroom and picked up each one of the kids a new notebook. When we got home my daughter opened up her notebook and stared at the empty pages. I knew that she wanted to share her story, but she couldn’t figure out what they looked like.
I asked her to tell me what she wanted to write about. She told me a lovely little tale about our family. When she was done I asked her what sounds she heard in the first word. She was able to name most of the consonants. With each word she gained confidence, and before I knew it she was off.
I’ll never forget the Thanksgiving that I showed my daughter that she CAN share her story. I’d love to include a picture of the first story she wrote on her own, but her notebook is with her in bed, nestled tightly in her arms. It seems to have taken the place of her teddy bear. However, I can share with you the words from her first story. I’m not sure that I will ever forget them.
I love gingerbread houses. They are really sparkly.