Friday, December 5, 2014

Another Step on the Reading Road

I was reading Who is Coming to Our House? yesterday as part of our picture book Advent calendar, and I remembered that last year, this was one of the first whole books that SA(6) read. It went on his "I Can Read it All By Myself" chart on the wall. We counted the books he read up to 70, and then we gave him a Bible of his own.

Since then, he has read many, many books. He read all the Arnold Lobel books our library had, and then he read all of Cynthia Rylant's Henry and Mudge books they had. We buddy read from Proverbs (in his own Bible, of course!).

Up until recently, all of his reading has been out loud, and with me listening. He would find an interesting library book, and he would ask me, "Can I read this, Mama?" Of course, I would always say yes. Then he would sit down near me and start reading it to me. Sometimes I would challenge him with a book that had smaller print and more words, and he would balk. Then I would offer to read every second page, and that usually was okay with him.

Now, a little less than a year after he really started reading, he has begun to peruse books quietly, on his own. I don't know if he is reading every word, or if he is selectively finding things that interest him. It doesn't really matter to me. It makes me happy to see him sprawled in a chair for half an hour at a time with a book that it would intimidate him to read aloud.

Yesterday, it was Bill Peet's Fly, Homer, Fly. I will always love Bill Peet for his illustrations that made his story so irresistible that this child could not help but read at least some of it for himself.

I still don't know how much of the books he is actually reading and absorbing so quietly all by himself. Every once in a while he surprises me with a piece of information that I know came from one of the books he was looking at. He loves non-fiction, and often will come back to a favourite book again and again.

Still, I don't feel a need to grill him and find out for sure how much he has read and understood. I think this is a natural stage which will grow until there is no doubt he is taking it all in.

Right now, my job is to keep the library basket full.

Other steps on SA's road to reading:
{The Three R's in Our Homeschool}: Reading
{Big Red Barn Reading Lessons}: Lesson 1 (additional lessons are linked at the bottom)
The Awesome Mystery of Growth in Reading
Some Favourite Books for Beginning Readers