Thursday, May 04, 2006

LETTERS - they are everywhere

Do you remember when you realized you could read letters? Everywhere you looked there were letters...spelling out words. They were everywhere in the car, in books, at the mall, on toys, even on the refridgerator. I remember that moment when it occurred to me that I could read letters and I couldn't stop...even if I wanted to. I even tried to stop maybe in a misguided attempt to stay young and naive. I was in a car traveling with my parents. The back seat of the station wagon was folded down and I was propped up in the back reading road signs. I was conscious of not wanting to read road signs, but I could nonetheless. Hey, why can't I stop when I want to? I asked myself. Perhaps I was about 6 or 7? I'm not very sure to tell you the truth.

It is happening to Ava now. She reads letters everywhere we go. On walks she reads street signs, she reads the letters off the front page of the newspaper, she likes to follow along with each book spelling out each title, she even watches my coffee mug in the morning. I wouldn't really call this reading because she doesn't seem to be able to phonetically sound out many words yet...she's just compulsively seeing and calling out those letters.

Perhaps this is what kids do before they learn to read? Do most little kids get obsessed with letters? And, why if she is so taken with letters can't she seem to get the hang of sounding out a word since she knows the letters and sounds? I've asked her if she wants to learn or practice the phonics and she always says no. So I drop it, real reading at 4 seems slightly precocious right? I'm sure she will learn when she's ready.

Maybe I'm the one who should do a little reading about the signs of early reading. Completely interesting... watching a child's world open up.


Tammy said...

My son is loves to read everything. The world really does "open up" when they learn to read.

Very exciting. Down side - you can no longer spell things, that you don't want them to hear, in front of them.

Kris said...

Hi! I'm a school psychologist and that is completely normal and an important pre-reading skill!! Good for Ava! Just keep reading to her and reinforcing her "preoccupation"!


Traci said...

She'll start sounding out when she's ready. It's so fun when they start putting it together. Here is a website that my kids enjoy. It starts out very simple and can take them pretty far.

Take care!


Space Mom said...

IT is very cool! My little S (almost 4) can write her name and my name and Dr. Jay and her sister's!
Blew me away when I saw that!

Just keep reading to her and DON'T push it. Let her find things at her own pace