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.