Summer Projects

This week, my friend Erika wrote about all of the summer projects she has taken on since school ended a week ago. Her post got me thinking about my own summer projects…

Wren learned her letters magically. I can’t say for certain how it happened. One day, she just knew them. Last summer, I began to worry that I wasn’t doing enough for my second daughter, Adi. Sure, I had tried reading to her-but she wasn’t always interested. She seemed to prefer dancing around instead of sitting quietly to hear a story.  Yet there were quiet moments that I’d find her sitting, surrounded by books, reading a book, making up her own adventures.

Last summer, as Wren initiated sight word cards and insisted on practicing during any down time, I was encouraged that Adi wanted to play school too. I pulled out some alphabet cards and we did some playful practicing. Adi would pull the cards out on her own, here and there, piling the cards by the letters she knew and ones she wanted to keep working on. To my relief, she was learning quickly.

Wren took off as a reader in kindergarten this past year- again, almost despite us all. I’ve watched the world open up to her as she has uncovers the world as a reader-enjoying stories, reading signs, finding answers to her own questions. One night, after finishing a chapter of The Trumpet of the Swan, our first chapter book, Wren headed up to bed with a book and her book light. Adi headed for the book basket in the living room.

“Mommy, can you teach me to read some books?” she said, digging through the basket.

I smiled. “Yes, I can,” I said, my heart bursting with pride. My little spitfire, who I always worry about shortchanging, continues to find her own light.

That night, I dug out a few forgotten pattern books and gave Adi her first lesson in pointing to the words. After repeating each page after me, she smiled up at me, so proud to be reading. Wren, watched on, wearing a matching grin, her pride perhaps surpassing my own.

That night, Adi slept with the little pile of books we had read together. My little reader.

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10 thoughts on “Summer Projects

  1. “My little spitfire… continues to find her own light.” These words are fabulous, especially followed by the image of Wren heading up with her book and book light. The message here is, for parents and teachers – there is no one route to a becoming a reader! Way to go Adi! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. SO fun that you captured this moment. Be sure to share this with your daughters in 20 years! I didn’t start blogging until my kids were in their 20s. So a little jealous that I didn’t capture in writing such a moment that document so well, that desire to make meaning out of the black squiggles on the page to make a fun movie in our mind!

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    1. Sally–I also regret that I didn’t start writing regularly and blogging until my children were older. So many magical moments seem to have vanished in the mists of time!

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  3. Congratulations to Adi! There are so many wonderful spots in this piece…my favorite is your description of Wren as she watches her sister triumph:

    “Wren, watched on, wearing a matching grin, her pride perhaps surpassing my own.”

    Your summer of reading has just begun! Enjoy every moment!

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  4. I so love reading your pieces about your family. This one is a delight. I’m always struck by how you so clearly value your children as individuals with their own unique personalities and paths to travel. Enjoy your summer with your readers. By the way, I believe strongly that everyone should sleep with books in their bed 😉

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