Maya is a reader.
She has been writing her name since before she was two. She has been sounding out words at will for over a year.
Afraid I might turn her away from reading by making it a chore, I never pressured or pushed or cajoled her past whatever point she was ready to go. She has seemed so ready, so on the cusp of really reading, since kindergarten began, that last Monday I finally e-mailed her gem of a teacher out of frustration.
How do I encourage without frustrating her? That was my question. Mrs. Johnson, the pragmatic and patient purveyor of the Jolly Phonics program told me that yes, Maya was reluctant to read in a group at school, but that she was obviously capable of reading when the mood struck.
Don't push her, she told me. Keep reading together. Eventually it will come.
I kid you not, that very afternoon, Maya brought me a new Reading Level 1 book at reading time, Barbie: Horse Show Champ. She read every word, sounding out the tricky ones and taking her time.
Better yet, she used inflection, making her reading a performance. Once she straightened out the actual vocabulary, she re-read each sentence just the way I might.
So, she may not have begun with a great literary tome, but thanks to Barbie and her lovely horse Tawny, and the dozen other books Maya dug out of the playroom to read this week, she is on her way.
Just imagine what doors have opened. Someday, not so far away, she can lose herself in Anne of Green Gables or Nancy Drew or The Golden Compass or Kate Dicamillo's fine worlds or... the possibilities leave me breathless.
As Maya herself said, with a little practice she'll be able to read the books on my bedside table. Gabrielle Garcia Marquez, here she comes!
Gems worth Re-Reading
About Growing Baby Doing Good Together Elliot Rose Family Rituals Fie Flora and Fauna For the Love of Learning Greenish In My Opinion Just for Laughs Just for Me Making Tinkles Maya Mindfulness Mmm... So Tastey NaNoWriMo News of the Day Noveling Photo Friday Sewing Sisterly Love Sweet Dreams The Chicken Ladies the end Tonsils We like to Move It Move It Wonderment