Read All About It

"Yes, how are your chicken fingers here?"

Today we were paid a huge compliment.  As I dropped my new 4-year old off at school, I brought in cupcakes for the class that he made with his Grandma and Mom.  His teacher pulled me aside and asked:  Why didn’t you tell us that he could read?”  I explained that it’s been within the past 2 months that he started to make the connection in the once jumbled letters and understood them.  I recall seeing him read a word and assumed he just recognized it from repetition or from the guide on TV.  Afterwards, I tested him and witnessed sounding out and he was able to read an entire sentence to me. 

He has 1,000 plus books in our home and even more toys.  Having a new baby boy in the house helps us justify the amount of toys we have (as opposed to if we had a baby girl).  My boys are beyond spoiled but the fact that our oldest is able to read and comprehend complex words makes me feel we are doing something right.  With so many questions and feeling sometimes the opposite, it really made my day as since we have our newborn Jamie, the days are longer, the house is messier, the kids are louder and we are all exhausted. 

AJ’s success in reading we owe completely to his Mom.  She was very good with reading flash cards to him.  We have gone 4 letters at a time in the tub and he loved learning to read so much that he would take books to bed with him.  Right now, we are hoping that we can instill the same love of learning in Andy as his big brother.  Andy is starting to take books to bed and loves playing with the letters in the tub but since he’s not as verbal as his older brother was at his age, we hope that it’s all sinking in. 

We notice that Andy is so much happier right now since he has his Grandma here with us.  AJ loves having her here too, but when he is at school, Andy is lucky enough to get one on one time with her.  We notice the difference in behavior, demeanor and obedience of both boys.  The moral of the story:  Don’t have a Grandma?  Get one and maybe read her a story.  We all will be very sad when she has to leave.  Especially me, I haven’t done laundry in 3 weeks!!

There are 2 things that I feel also have really helped AJ learn to read, one is the show on PBS, Superwhy and the other is a video that he’s seen almost as much as Cars.  The video is a Leapfrog production called The Letter Factory.  While he loves the characters and the story, it is 100% educational.  Since we have played it quite a few times on long trips, I will warn you, the songs are also 100% annoying and catchy in both.  Superwhy focuses on reading and books and has several montages like that of a mediocre 80’s movie. 

AJ / 2012 "I WANT give me a snack"

He also is into a few other Leapfrog videos that introduce reading, mathematics but The Letter Factory has been in his life for about 3 years and it is still captivating for him.  I fully endorse all of the Leapfrog videos for educational and entertainment value.  I also endorse my firstborn son as my presidential candidate of choice.  He’ll do our country proud.  Now to work on his driving skills.

Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need no roads!

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4 Responses to Read All About It

  1. Em says:

    Mazel tov! I whole heartily agree and believe in everything you guys have done/ are doing for education. No, I don’t have children. However I was very involved in raising my much younger brother. I can tell you from experiencing being part sister,parent, friend and cheerleader to a now 24yr old genius gave me quite an experience in educating a child who is gifted. David started reading quite young as well…people really didn’t believe except the teachers who also approached ud. They are the link to AJ’s learning success. I loved reading about the flash cards, I remember bath times like that and leap frog too. Back then we had baby einstien,baby mozart…and musically his favorite baby beatles (thank heavens for our sakes) 😉 , which I know played a role in his love for music and music education,he plays guitar unbelievably well, piano, several horns and drums. Can compose and was very involved at stpete IB music program. Ok so my point….when he was little in the middle of a dinner my folks were having where david was to be asleep or play quitly w/me his 15 yr old sister….he decided to rummage through his very stocked bookshelf and began throwing, tossing , slamming books out his door crashing into the living rm just feet away from dining room. I could not control him, he was so determined it was like trying to hold onto a hurricane, but I also had a bit of the giggles…his little face set with brows forward and muttering like some old scientist about ignorant fools. In his diapers ! He finally stood where all the books were and announced to all that these were baby books, for babies only and do not belong in his room since he is not a baby. He turned and marched back into his room leaving us all speechless….simply because HE was a baby, he was only 3…and just nearly.
    I can tell u this….you are good parents and even better parents to care deeply about education already, from the start…be ready to move them into gifted classes, be ready for them to be bored w/scbool if not in advanced or giffted classes,even at a young age.
    My brother preferred to be challenged and work than be bored.

    • Em says:

      Sorry it wouldn’t let me write more or correct. Think I wrote too much,imagine that 😉 Just trying to say…..gifted was wonderful! In 2nd grade they wanted him to skip a grade after much discussion I convinced my parents that socially this could damage him. Instead they started him really in special gifted classes held after school until he was in higher grade where it was gifted around the clock, I think 4th. He was much happier,.much calmer…like he found peace. By being challenged or at least being taught at his level he did not have pent up energy …..he was always a very private kid if u asked “how was school” he’d get mad and leave the area. Once gifted started, he’d talk about school on his own as we all held our breath in awe and in fear to interrupt and stop the rare treat. It quickly became normal that this was who he was and how he needed to learn. Trust me I have very intellugent

      • Em says:

        Parents…but there were times we’d have to educate ourselves a bit on some topic to be able to help out w/homework or a science fair project. Wow…it was like going back to school but at a gifted level. 😉 so get ready! I was always in advanced and honors classes but only in gifted program from 4th to 6th grade-moved to stpete and didn’t want to have to be driven across town to attend school w/program. So in high school I went to bogie w/no desire to go into IB program. David was down for IB before ever even starting middle school. He thrived there. It’s a lot more work for the parents to have a gifted child but the pride, experience and sheer joy watching your child grow with.such gifts is a blessing unimaginable. Get ready for the ride! Congrats on
        being admirable parents. Cheers to you both! So happy your little baby boy is home, safe and healthy. I cant even fathom what you all went through. Blessings to you,

      • ncdads says:

        Em, thank you so much for your support of my blog. When you write, it’s an insight to get that gives me great perspective on what I write and rather than just a “nice job” compliment, which is always nice, but you give me something more to think about on the topic. ….And, to have you put up 3 comments just as you did after this post, it really helps my numbers!!

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