A couple of weeks ago, Colin got to visit the library at school to check out a book for the very first time. He came home with tips from the librarians - always turn the page from the top corner, always wash your hands before you read your book - and the book, "Are You My Mother?"
He sat down with Chad that night and read until page 38, all by himself. He had never heard that book before.
Ladies and gentlemen, he is officially a reader.
During the summer we never got past lesson number 80 or so in our book. He started getting somewhat frustrated with reading aloud and resistant to the lessons, and I didn't really mind giving it a break. I figured that he was already way ahead of where he needed to be for kindergarten and he would be spending the next 20 some years with lessons, so he could take a break.
Sometime not long after that, it all really clicked in his head, and his abilities just soared. Colin started shocking us with the words that he could figure out on his own. He started out being able to sound out words, but of course not all words can be sounded out, and that's when I started to realize he could figure out even the "funny" words on his own because of the parts that he can sound out, plus their context.
It is really bizarre to have him ask, "Mom, how did Wall Street sell out America?" because he was reading the cover of TIME, and I just love seeing him sit down with Gabe to read him a book. I love leaving him notes in his lunch box, knowing that I can throw in some words I have never taught him and he will still be able to read it. Chad and I are pretty tickled by it all, and so is Colin. He actually enjoys reading aloud now.
I have been wondering if it was kind of pointless to teach Colin to read when he is going to learn in school anyway (and definitely not for awhile - they haven't even covered writing the whole alphabet yet), but last week at Back-to-School night, they kept emphasizing that they only teach in Chinese, with a 45 minute English class every day, so it is really important that we work with them on their English (reading, writing, spelling) at home. It made me really glad to know that we have already made great strides in that area, plus I know that Colin just has more confidence in himself as a learner and thinker because of what he is already capable of. I love that!