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.
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.