There is power and joy watching your child learn something new. Power, in the example of our ability as God's children to grow and progress. Joy, in watching the light and energy fill her eyes and her mind. Ellery is reading.
About three weeks ago we had a miraculous break through. Tonight I asked Ellery what happened. How did she just start reading? Why did it click? Her response.
"I swallowed a reading bug Mom."
This was followed by a tickle session of course!
The Journey Begins at 3 1/2 years old...
I began teaching Ellery the year before she began preschool using the Frontline Phonics program. I really enjoy most things about the program. Especially the first half. I love the way the children learn M, P, S, T, and A first. They are reading little "books" in no time. Ellery enjoyed the songs and little activities, but she wasn't interested in blending really.
We went through phases of pushing the reading with her the next year while she was in preschool and then in kindergarten. I was very disappointed however by kindergarten. I felt her progress was very minimal. In fact, Ellery didn't like to read. It was like pulling teeth to get her to sit down to read with me. Often it wasn't even positive, so I stopped pushing.
One big reservation I had with attempting homeschool this year was actually the dynamics of our personalities during reading, which was really my only attempt at formal schooling. I didn't want any negativity. So I approached my efforts at schooling very open-mindedly. Ready to reevaluate and change courses if needed.
I am certain for every child it is different. It comes at different times and in different ways. And what I am learning....only when they are ready. For Ellery, it was when I had her start reading from her scriptures. In school, we are reading from the Old Testament Stories, and at night we read with the girls Book of Mormon Stories.
A couple weeks ago I asked Ellery to read. The vocabulary is difficult but extremely familiar. Suddenly, Ellery was reading words like priesthood, repentance, forgive, commandments. The little words fell into place. In two days, Ellery suddenly had the confidence and desire she heretofore lacked. It carried over into everything. Her school teacher was flabbergasted.
Now, she begs to read to me and Daddy and Emmy and Callista. As a mother I am taking a big sigh of relief. Not that I am finished with Ellery but it was a breakthrough I though would happen much earlier.
Ellery's current favorite book is "Bony-Legs." I've read this one to them at Grandma's House and we found it at the Library. Callista actually gets so scared of Old Bony-Legs she puts her hands in her mouth and covers her eyes!
I started in the Frontline Phonics program last year. We covered the first half but beyond that she wasn't interested. Except she is amazing at blending. She would be clueless about half the letters in the alphabet and yet sound out words with the ones she knew. Interesting. I think I need to worry less with my other children. If I lay the foundation, when they are ready "the breakthrough" will come. From my research, it seems to happen to children sometime before they are 10. (I do think it would be extremely difficult for me however if my child waited to have a breakthrough until they were that old!)
By reading to them, and reinforcing basics, reintroducing then to reading over and over again I think will be my new strategy. And certainly, the Word of God, must have played a role as well! What better thing to have my children read. As stimulating as Pam's Hat is, the scriptures trump.