Friday, October 28, 2011

Wait, your kid can read?

About a month ago, we figured out that John Paul can read.

I say we figured it out, not that we taught him how to do this...

I suppose we helped, but this kid is SO driven to learn that he really does teach himself a lot more than we do.

It started back before he was even 1 - he learned a couple of letters (I think B, P, and T) before he was even really talking.  I realized that maybe we weren't catechizing him well enough when he saw a cross around a little girl's neck and loudly exclaimed, "T!!!" 

The rest of the letters and their accompanying sounds came by about 14 months.  We would be out and he would see one of his favorites and SHOUT it out! 

Then he got an awesome new toy for Christmas - a Leapfrog Word Builder with magnetic letters that you could use to spell three-letter words!  He was SO excited, but he didn't really figure out the spelling for quite a while.  Around 20 months I showed him how to spell a couple of words - I think "Big, God, Mom, and Dad" or something like that.  He was SO excited.  He would beg me to spell them and then he would dance around while the toy sang the word.  Eventually he figured out how to spell them himself, which was a big help while I was making dinner!  He started recognizing them when we were out, which was pretty adorable (imagine a tiny child in a shopping cart flipping out when he sees the word "Big" on a sign at Target).

I made him a little phonics flip book so that he could figure out how to sound words out, but he wasn't into it immediately (he did eventually come to love it!).  Meanwhile, he was taking longer and longer to go down for naps because he was spending so long reading in bed.  I showed him how you can learn to spell new words by looking at the letters in words you already know.  I started hearing, "F.  I.  V.  E.  Speeeeeeells...  Five!" and so on, during naptime. 

Then one day he starting sounding short words out on his own.  "Puh.  Ah.  Tuh.  Pat!"  I would hear him reading books to himself during naptime and assumed that he had just done a *really* good job memorizing them so quickly.  Then we found one of those "First Reader" books at a consignment store for 50 cents.  John Paul knew almost half the words, even without ever having read it!

It was official.  This kid could read, and he was only about 26 months old.  Much earlier than either Andrew or I, and we were both early readers ourselves.

Now he goes through phases of *really* wanting to learn new words and read all the time and not wanting anything to do with it.  He's not perfect, either - he knows maybe 100 words by sight, and can sound out any simple 3 or 4-letter words, but he makes frequent mistakes (he sees the word "Get" and immediately says, "Great!" because that's a word he already knows.  When I remind him to sound it out, he's fine, but he's still definitely new to this).  I'm not pushing it - he's so far ahead of where he needs to be it's ridiculous.  And definitely shows that he's a great candidate for homeschooling...

1 comment :

  1. Amazing! My 3 year old niece just started recognizing some letters. Unfortunately, the letters she knows are hard for me to say because of speech problems... but at least it gets me to practice!

    ReplyDelete

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