Thursday, May 17, 2012

Constantinople. It's fun to say. Just hard to read.

I mentally beat myself up on just about a daily basis when it comes to homeschooling.  Even though my tragic public school teaching days are far behind me, the fear of failure is never far from my thoughts.  I have fought this emotional battle for years.  I shared my fears with friend and fellow homeschooling momma Deanna a couple of years ago.  She commiserated with me and then shared one of the most inspiring and poignant pieces of advice when it comes to homeschooling:

Even on the worst of homeschooling days, never forget that it was YOU, and YOU ALONE, that taught your child to read.  The most important gift you can ever bestow upon your child is the gift of literacy.  A proficient reader can do anything they set their mind to - and YOU made that happen.

Well.  I just turned out my first reader.  I can't take credit for Jordan since he was in public school for kindergarten and first grade, but I will take credit for Rylan.  But it just feels wrong to say that.  Rylan did all the work.  She rarely complains (unless it is late in the afternoon and she is 'done' with schoolwork).  She worked through the workbooks, the readers, the phonics videos, and the best reading program in the world: Reading Eggs.  Things just started to click in the last several weeks, and lo' and behold we have a reader!

The sad thing is that I didn't even know she could do it.  I came into Rylan and Colin's room to change Colin into his pj's last night, and there was Rylan, reading Hop on Pop, out loud, to herself.  And she was really reading it.  No mistakes.  I think I have only read this book to her maybe...once?  And not in the past several months, either.  We have a bajillion books at home, and when you couple that with a bajillion library books, it is hard to read something more than once.

I was just absolutely astonished.  I didn't say a word.  I just kept listening to her read.  I was afraid to disturb was sort of like spotting wildlife.  If you snap a twig they will run away.

I am so excited to phase in some new literacy stuff with her now.  First up: sounding out big words. 

Like Constantinople.  It's fun to say.  Just hard to read.

And now, by virtue of association (and because we are fans of TMBG around here) I offer this for your viewing and listening pleasure:

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