Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sammi and Reading

Sammi is determined to learn how to read. And she's actually getting pretty good at it. We have this set of books that my mom gave us when Rachel was learning to read. You work through each one and when they can read it perfectly, they get to put a sticker in the book wherever they choose. A sticker is a huge motivator for a five-year-old. Sammi always checks out which sticker she gets when she finishes a particular book. I am fairly certain Rachel and I did not get through the full set of books. Eventually, we'll get to a book that doesn't have a Rachel sticker in it somewhere, but so far (book nine) we still see Rachel stickers.

Sammi is very good at sounding out words. She knows all of the single letter sounds and some of the blends (sh is her favorite because she can put her finger to her lips and say "Shhhhhhhhhhh." She can also apply that knowledge to sounds at the end of words. She is really coming along. We started just the other day with sight word flashcards. Once we build up her vocabulary with a lot of the basic words, I think the lightbulb will turn on and she'll be reading.

There have been moments of difficulty though. One night when she was struggling, I suggested we stop for the night. She started to cry. When I asked her what was wrong, she brayed, "I have to learn to read before kindergarten!" I explained to her that kids don't have to know how to read to go to kindergarten. In fact, I said, most kids don't learn to read until the middle of first grade. She asked me when I learned to read and I told her first grade and I pointed out Rachel learned to read in first grade too. So I think she felt better about it.

But she is still determined to learn as soon as possible. Every night, she wants to read another book.

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