As the mother of two children in day care I have been guilty of letting someone else do the dirty work. From getting rid of the pacifier to potty training it's been great to have the extra nudge of the day-care teachers to move things along.
A few weeks ago I started panicking about my four-year-old learning to read. I was, of course, doing the worst thing a parent can do, I was COMPARING children. You see five-year-old Claudia from my daughter's pre-school class knows how to read, and she didn't learn it at day care. Her mother taught her. I realized that this was my job, and I had no idea where to start.
For Christmas my daughter's grandmother gave her an anthology of "Dick and Jane." She told my daughter that she learned to read by studying "Dick and Jane." Although I don't remember, I'm sure that's how I learned to read as well. The thought of reading this book night after night with its endless repetition didn't thrill me, but I didn't have any other brilliant ideas, so we gave it a try.
We are now 135 pages into the book. I am amazed at how she takes in each new word, studies the sound as it rolls off her tongue and then pushes forward. She wants each sentence to be perfect from pronunciation to inflection. She repeats a sentence again and again until she gets it right. When she does get it right, she is so proud of herself. I am even prouder.
I knew hearing a child say her first word or take her first steps was going to be monumental, but no one could have prepared me for this -- watching her take her first steps into the world of reading.
I never could have imagined that hearing "See Spot Run" ten times in a row would sound so beautiful.