My six-year-old who is in kindergarten surprised me this past week.
He has been studying sight words at school and so we have been reading the little booklets they make every week.
Lately, I have asked him to pick out these word in whatever book we are reading. I want to encourage him without frustrating him.
This week we have been working on a collection of Biscuit stories. My mother likes to buy the kids ‘collection’ books and this one seemed perfect for him. We also have Scooby Doo and Curious George and Dr. Seuss books in collection form that get the “go around” until we get though each book.
So he is going along, pointing out sight words when he decides he is going to try for each word on the page. Some words he knows and are easy. Some, like those pesky “w” or “wh” words don’t want to sound out so I whisper the word to him and he tries it on for size.
Soon, he knows “biscuit” and “woof” as soon as he sees them. Other words come easily while those “w” and “wh” continue their troubling way. But he hears my little whisper and sounds them out on his own. Before you know it, he is reading the whole sentence on the page.
The next night we work on a different Biscuit story. That puppy wants to make friends with the kittens but they want to follow the butterfly. After the word gets broken down into simpler pieces, he gets it. He gets that this jumble of letters means “butterfly. ”
Suddenly, I have a new reader on my hands. I am very excited. But I must be patient. He is not quite ready for that first Harry Potter book.