Monday, September 15, 2008

Literacy ... a new chapter

Part of Gavin’s “daily homework” is an optional reading chart to tally each time he reads 15 minutes. Each night, we gather our “Bob First” books or our Dr. Seuss books and begin our endeavor. Since beginning this two weeks ago, I am profoundly AMAZED at his reading progress. I freely admit that we took the summer off from almost everything educational and intellectual, so he may have been a bit behind the curve entering First Grade this year. When I saw his yearly list of Spelling words, I nearly hyperventilated looking at words like “everything” “python” and “another” he is supposed to master by year’s end, not realizing he begins with words like “rat” “crab” and “raft.” The idea is to gradually build on concepts and simple memorization to counteract some of the English language EXCEPTIONS to every logical phonetic and grammar rule - I had forgotten that whole BASIC part of school. Listening to him read as of late, I have no doubt he will be ready for the 3 and 4 syllable words coming this Spring.

What I didn’t count on was how much this reading practice and this damn “becoming literate” would change MY LIFE

You see, this evening, we were reading a Magic Treehouse book Gavin chose from the library last week. This book is no less than 150 pages long, so I gave Gavin a reading breather this evening and decided to be storyteller myself in order to crank out 30 pages or so in one sitting. As I was reading at auctioneer pace, Gavin stopped me.
Gavin: Mom, you forgot ‘Yes’
Me: What?
Gavin: (pointing) Right there. It says, ‘yes.’ You didn’t read it.
Me: Sure I did. It says, ‘yes, we saw you.’
Gavin: No, It says ‘yes, he.’
I read it again – (“Yes,” he said, “we saw you.”) Damn this little bugger was right. You see, I often omit the ‘he saids,’ and other unimportant phrases and words when I read to the kids in order to get back to blogging speed things along. Kind of like you do in your head when you read.
Me: Oh. Sorry. Thanks, Gavin.
Double Shit.

You realize of course, this means I can no longer lie and tell him the sign says “No running and yelling” at the grocery store. Or that the restaurant menu says “Kids have to eat all their dinner to get dessert.”

Soon, he is going to realize I am being cheap at the checkout line for not buying the $.50 candy bar when he starts to comprehend currency and math.

* sigh *



  1. Ah, it's a whole new world, sister. Now you will regularly hear him say, "No, mom, I can have that toy. It says for ages 6 and up. Right here." and, even better, when you are blogging and they come up behind your shoulder and start reading.


    I mean, backspace and type Oh Darn.

  2. Oh my gosh, what a bummer it was when my girls could read the words to their princess books. I would summarize each page in two sentences and fly through the book before bedtime, but once they caught on...

    Wait until they start asking what the words mean that are scratched into the stalls in public bathrooms.

  3. It definitely changes things . . .!

  4. You have correctly identified the downside of literacy.

  5. Your days as a tightwad are just beginning.

    I loved the Bob Books...nice little memory jolt there.

  6. Oh no! I ALWAYS skip the "he saids" and the "she saids". This is not good!

  7. Sometimes it really sucks when they get bigger!

    Thanks for the laugh!!

  8. Yep. You're starting to experience what everyone means when they say, 'as they get bigger the problems just get bigger.' You honestly didn't think that this parenting thing was going to get any easier did you? :)

  9. Yea.
    The more they know- the less we adults can get away with.
    But how cool that he is so sharp!

  10. Angie you are totally making me laugh tonight!

    I think I might steal your idea of what the signs say since mine clearly can not read yet.

    Maybe you will have to start bringing your own signs along to post. That way no lying, the sign really does say that! :)

    Great post!

  11. I stumbled over here because I keep seeing your posts in other places and I always love what you have to say. You have an amazing family who I will be praying for.

    Aside from that, I TOTALLY get the reading thing. We had to stop lying about signs and start reading every word about a year ago. That was about the time Daddy took over reading duties at night!

  12. You know, I'm beginning to think literacy is overrated.

    Signed, former English teacher . . .

  13. Angie: Just wait until you go to spell a word in your conversation and the little guy knows what you spelled! That's a real shocker. Grandma Pam

  14. You mean the wizard is revealed in about two years.. crap. I better enjoy skipping words while I can.. I omit words..heck even create shorter stories sometimes..

  15. Aw man!
    "Kids have to eat all their dinner to get dessert.”- Genius. I'm SO using that next time we eat out :)

  16. Dude, your honesty is so friggin....

    I shall emulate you from hence forth.

  17. Damn..there is no way to stop that learning stuff either...