For me, a reading specialist, it's great fun to see how my daughter's literacy is developing. This series follows her literacy development every few months.
At this stage in her life, we don't do much explicit teaching of letters-- with a lit specialist for a mom and an English teacher for a dad, we haven't been too concerned about teaching her to read and don't want to bombard her with games or drills that practice these skills- I'm hoping she'll show interest when she's ready. But, of course, we like to create a home environment that celebrates reading and literacy. It's always great fun to peek in on my daughter's playing-- this is where I get a true picture of her literacy development.
Here's a picture of my daughter's writing. It's developed a bit from several months ago. She's picked up on a couple conventions in writing, simply by observation: words go across the page left to right, we write in horizontal lines, there are spaces between paragraphs. It also seems like she's starting to group some of her "letters" together to make "words". When we ask her what she's written, she always has something to say. For example, her scribblings may represent certain letters (E, A, K...), or at times they represent a message ("Come play with me"), or a purpose (an invitation to a party). It's clear that she understands that we write letters and we use this writing to communicate in a myriad of ways. I look forward to these symbols becoming actual letters!
Over the past couple of months, there's been a couple other ways my daughter's literacy had morphed:
- She's retelling favorite books, sometimes summarizing pages, and other times retelling word-for-word. Hmmm, I curious to know if she retells word-for-word when the words chosen by the author are especially enticing and playful. When retelling Madeline the other day she said, using the exact language in the book, "the girls break the bread," as the characters were eating dinner. When never use this alliterative phrase around our house- but it definitely stuck with her as an interesting phrase.
- She has definite opinions on books she wants to read. She dislikes certain books too.
- She's taken with Bible story books, especially with stories about Jesus. She asks to study these pages in any given Bible story book- this habit started after Christmastime.
- She loves visiting the library- but mommy has lost a library book (ahh!)-- so unfortunately I've been avoiding the library until i can get my hand on said book!
- She "reads" board books to her little brother (4 weeks old). This usually involves jamming the book in his face so he can see the pictures.
- She writes cards and letters and "mails" them, or plays birthday party with them (these letters function as party invitations).
- She sings her abc's as she washes her hands (a way to keep our case germ-free with a new bambino). We suggested she does this, but it's cute to hear her doing it on her own.
- She also plays homework and classroom - this has become a new favorite after hanging out with a Kindergartener.
Every child learns at a different pace. I thought it would be fun to track my daughter's literacy growth to see how she's growing and changing. I'd love to hear how your kids are developing too. I know some kids that can read at 3!! Impressive!! What do you notice about your child's literacy journey?
Perhaps I should be more explicit about teaching my daughter numbers, letters, words-- but at this point it's just fun to watch her discover these skills on her own!