When you’re teaching your child to read, kind of digging into it for the first time, there’s this simultaneous feeling of fear and amazement that you can’t avoid. I remember the feeling when we were teaching Janie to read and in the past few weeks, as we’ve started to do some serious reading homework with Meg, the feeling is back.
Because, here’s the thing… Until you try to teach your child to read, or until they actually start reading, you don’t know if they can.
Can she read? Will she struggle? Will she love it? Hate it? Be a natural? Pick up on it easily? Need professional help? Will she see letters backwards or upside-down?
See why it’s so scary?
With every ounce of fear, there’s an equal ounce that feels amazing. At least, it has been as we’ve taught the girls to read. For Janie, and now with Meg, it’s as if they already knew how to read, they just hadn’t truly tried yet. Witnessing them read those first words makes my heart swell, with both pride and relief.
This year has been harder for Janie, reading-wise, as more is expected of her. I feel like we’ve been battling homework and reading time for the first time, which is frustrating, for all of us. We’ve had to be strict about the time she spends reading and I worry that she’s losing her love of reading amongst all of the rules, but, I know it’s necessary to push through.
The past few weeks, we’ve been working hard with Meg to establish some good reading habits and to get her really interested in learning to read. She is a reader who gets frustrated easily and I literally store up all of my mommy patience, ALL DAY LONG, to have it ready to use for those 15-minutes in the evening that we dedicate to reading. It’s hard, for both of us. She’s learning to read. I’m learning to teach her.
Yesterday, as we were reading together — her nailing the “famous words” and me filling in with help on the harder ones — I couldn’t help but recognize the way that she was sounding out her words. I wish I could get away with recording her, because as soon as I figured out where I’d heard it before, I couldn’t stop laughing…
photo courtesy of the Finding Dory Facebook page.
Remember, in Finding Nemo, when Dory is trying to talk to the whale? That, exactly, is how Meg sounds out her words. EXACTLY. The long, exaggerated letter sounds? The huge wide eyes and coordinating mouth shape? She nails it.
(forward to 2:50)
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