Monday, July 10, 2006

More on Reading

Since Matthew taught himself to read, I'm often intrigued about how he does it. Did he memorize words? Does he sound them out? Did he teach himself phonics?

This weekend, he told me he just finished reading The Time Warp Trio, but he pronounced trio with a long i [TRY o]. I told him how trio is pronounced and he said it a couple times and continued with his mini book report. When he was done, I asked him what trio meant and he told me, "it means there are three of them". It's fascinating to watch him learn things.

Rose is working on early reading skills. This reminds me of where Matthew started on his reading-on-his-own journey. I would read him a book and he would read it over and over to himself after I left. He had an excellent memory and I presume that in the beginning, it was word memorization. That led to environmental reading, such as when kids begin to see the red circle target and know that means they are at the store, Target. The first sign I noticed Matthew ever 'read' was the red exit sign at the Science Center when we went to a special moon exhibit just after he turned 4. He was reading small words two months after and full fledged reading came quickly after that. Rose also likes to grab a book and lay down next to Matthew, already engrossed in his own, and pretend to read. I don't expect Rose to have the same experience or time frame as he did but I know she's on a similar road to reading and it's a neat science experiment on my part to watch how their journeys compare and contrast.

Jade took about 10 big steps today!! Her record was sticking at 5 but last night, I saw her very intently concentrating on it. She stood up, looked down at her feet and then took one step and then another. Then she'd flop on the floor, head to the side, laughing wildly with pride. Then she'd stand up and do it again. And then I saw it - the LOOK. She looked me in the eyes with her own glistening with astonishment as if to say, "Look!!! I can make them MOVE!" Next she'll be wanting something pretty to put on them.

At Jade's 15 month checkup last week, my pediatrician practically shamed me that I didn't know how many words she was saying. Well honestly, if you have 3 kids under the age of 6, it's hard to say when a babble changes into a word, believe you me! With the first child, even a hint of a 'm' sound is the word, 'mama' in a mothers eyes. But by the third child, the other two are non-stop loud talkers and who can really say what the third child is saying? I know I've heard a distinct 'mama' and 'dada' and 'mo' (more) from her but anything else? I'm not sure. Lots of babbling. Am I worried? No. But I've been encouraging her to say certain words for two weeks now. I know she CAN say them. I know she HAS said them. I know she HAS said them in the right context. But will she? Nope. Not for applause, not for her dear siblings, not even for a cookie. She refuses. Instead she laughs at me and makes babbles in completely different letter sounds. I was beginning to waiver in my strong conviction that she would talk just as well as the next toddler in no time. When...

The four of us were having lunch today and Matthew started whispering something to me. It wasn't a secret - just a whisper. I whispered back to him. Rose jumped on the bandwagon too. Then, just beside me, Jade leaned forward in her highchair and...yes, she whispered babble at us. We all laughed and thought it was a cute coincidence but Matthew started the game again and for the second time, Jade leaned forward and whispered at us.

Yeah, she'll be talking in no time at all. Heck with the pediatrician's 'chart'...after all, we're unschoolers. We do things in our own time. ;)

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