No One Has To Cry For This To Happen

Only one room in our house (the tiny toilet) has less than fifty books on the shelves, several rooms have hundreds. When I thought about teaching the children to read I didn’t have a set method in mind but I did have two convictions:

1. It must not be an ordeal. For either of us. Nothing dampens the prospective pleasure of reading more than a tear soaked Roger Red Hat.

2. It must have context. Stuff that’s connected to an experience, story or conversation is easy to recall and therefore use. Random facts are harder to absorb. The whole point of this agreed code of written language is communication. It has meaning. Getting my child to learn combinations of sounds in isolation would feel like writing vowel pairs on helium filled balloons and letting them loose to float around the Albert Hall.

C picked it all up latish, she was about 9 before she could muscle through the average sentence. It didn’t happen gradually, a switch was flicked and abruptly all made sense to her. Before that, any attempts to teach her felt like trying to communicate through plate glass. It seems to me that she just needed more data, information was constantly being unconsciously assessed and sorted, it’s patterns deduced, until one day she just knew. Now she’ll get through a 400 page book in a couple of days. Later doesn’t seem to mean less efficient, more efficient if you take into account how frustration free the path was.

This is something to do with my 12/2012ing. The switch has flipped in S’s brain and when he sees a word he knows what to do, he’s very good at connecting new up with known. P’s still groping around in a fog.


6 thoughts on “No One Has To Cry For This To Happen

  1. I absolutely fell in love after the first sentence, “Only one room in our house (the tiny toilet) has less than fifty books on the shelves, several rooms have hundreds.” I LOVE books and one of my current woes is trying to figure out how to take at least some of my books with me on my big move to Boston. As I’m only taking my car and whatever I can stuff into it, this is proving challenging. Currently, I have over seven boxes of books I’m leaving at my parents’ house and I haven’t even started on the books in my bedroom! 😦 😦

    1. I really feel for you Giedre, what a Sophie’s choice. You need them all, except maybe that out of date book on first aid, you can pick one of those up anywhere. I wish you the smoothest move.

      1. It was more along the lines of: She hasn’t said much recently so is clearly busy playing, and has now made a cursory post to try out that app before moving on to Angry Birds

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