Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Jacob learns to read

I have been the proverbial, over-worrying grandmother, afraid beyond belief that Jacob was not learning to read. To me, an English major, an author, and a reader who never goes anywhere without a book or a book on the iPhone or iPad, reading is the key that opens the whole world. Without it you're forever limited. Jacob's good at spatial and math problems, but reading made him throw up his hands and say, "You know I can't read." No, I refused to accept that, and I probably made it worse by trying to make him sound out words. He'd say, "I'm so tired. Just tell me what it is." Last week, I promised to back off, after his teacher told his parents that a booklet I tried to get him to read was a math exercise and not to worry about reading.So I backed off and worried in private.
Today, he was so excited when he unpacked his backpack--honestly, it's the biggest backpack for a six-year-old! "I'm learning to read," he shouted. And indeed I think this is the beginning of the formal teaching of reading. He had a baggie labeled "Jacob's Book Bag." In it were a letter to his parents outlining the program, a sheet they have to sign that says he read his assignment to an adult at least three times--"we can read it more," he assured us--and a small booklet. Granted, it was pretty simple: "Mom is cooking," "Mom is digging," "Mom is running," and, after all that activity, "Mom is sleeping." But he was so proud he read it to me twice, and then read it again when his dad came to get him.
I am excited by his excitement. Excuse me, now, but I have to go read the mystery novel I'm in the middle of.

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