Lately I have completely blown away by My Mister’s surge in knowledge. Maybe it is because he is our first child, and I have not experienced this growth before, but I can’t help but notice that story time is completely different. Evan (who is going into kindergarten next year) notices letters and is starting to put sounds together.
I’d never sat and thought about what it would sound like when Evan started to read. I just knew it would happen. When it did — when he read me that first word — I gasped.
Our bedtime routine has always been that Evan picks out the books he wants — up to three — and then he sits back and watches as the pictures and story unfolds. He’s often been interactive, asking questions, pointing out things in the pictures he’d noticed, but it wasn’t until recently that Evan started talking about the letters and the sounds they make. That slowly turned into combining those sounds, until BOOM! He read a word without any hints, only encouragement.
I listen to Jake reading to Evan a lot, and I love the sound of the two of them together. Lately, I’ve heard Evan’s sweet voice more. I recognize that this is our opportunity to encourage Evan to continue making those sounds.
Now, our story time routine has shifted. We are asking Evan the questions, and he is telling us the story. Sure, a lot of it is from memory. Evan is a human sponge when it comes to information — he absorbs all that he can and loves to be interactive with any lesson presented to him. So, we use that.
We have Evan sound out the letters and slowly combine those sounds. Sure, the story takes a while, but it truly is a beautiful moment. It becomes less about the actual story and more about Evan building his reading skills. There is less interest in rushing through stories — it’s become exciting and enjoyable in a different way. I would be lying if I didn’t say I missed the nighttime snuggles of reading books with Evan’s full attention and the weight of his body on me. I miss all those moments, but creating these new moments in which he is learning and growing and gaining knowledge is a new kind of beautiful.
Tell me — as your children began to learn sounds and started to read, what educational tools did you incorporate into your daily routine? —Jennifer