Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dick and Jane

For the last 50 some odd years millions of kids have learned to read in English by following the exploits of one family. How that Baby could get into trouble! My wasn't Dick the great big brother, always on the lookout for Jane? And Spot and Puff? The perfect pets!

Well, add Liam to the list! My son has become a READER thanks to Dick and Jane!

My mom bought him "The Story Book Treasury of Dick and Jane" for Christmas. Until recently it just sat on a shelf, ignored. Until March Break.

For the last few months Liam has been getting "homework" from school. They send home a begining reader book on Monday, we read it every night, and he has to draw a picture and write a sentence about it, all to be sent back on Friday so that he can read the book to the class. Every night we would read the book, first me, then him. But he never really clicked, and wasn't actually "reading" so much as either memorizing what he heard, or making up the story from the pictures (which is the very first step of pre-reading, so I was not concerned.)

Over March break however, he didn't have any homework, so I instituted "Mama homework time". We did fun stuff, colouring, mazes, printing and I pulled out the Dick and Jane book. And lo and behold, after a couple of days, he was reading! Not memorizing stuff, not guessing, but looking at the words, the letters and reading!! The best part was the look of pride on his face when he realized that he could turn to a page that we had never seen before and he could read 80% of what was on it. He grabbed the book and ran to Hilary's lap to show her. This is the great stuff that makes being a parent so amazing!!

Now, he's not reading the Globe and Mail yet, and hasn't fully figured out how to sound out new words, but the base is there. Every written word we encounter, from street signs to the closed captioning on our tv, peaks his inerest now.

Oh, oh, oh,
Look, Look.
Read Liam read,
Read Liam read!
Funny, funny Liam.
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