The first memory I have of Kyle and books when he was about 6 months old and I had this moment of realization that I was not reading to him! Jason had loved books at that age and I felt like a very neglecting mother for overlooking this critical activity. So that night, after Jason went to bed, I pulled out a board book and snuggled up with Kyle and started to read. Kyle wanted nothing to do with it! He had just learned to crawl and he was too much on the go to want to sit and read. Made me feel much better! I wasn’t neglecting my poor second born.
So I continued to read to Kyle periodically as much as he would let me. We gradually progressed to Dr Suess and Go Dog Go somewhere around 3. The interesting thing is that Kyle not only wanted to listen to the story, he wanted know more about the characters and would ask tons of questions on each page. My favorite was when we were reading Go Dog Go…he started telling me how the green bird was best friends with the green dog. Sometimes it made getting through the book rather difficult! I found it very interesting how he saw a story as a springboard to his own imagination…always wanting to know more about the characters or why they were doing things. I still worried because we did not read as much with Kyle as we had with Jason, but I realized that this was by his choice. And I also realized that he loved books and being read to just as much as his brother, just in his own way.
When Kyle was 4, I decided to try reading a chapter book and picked My Father’s Dragon, but I could tell that he was not quite following it, so I went back to the longer picture books that Kyle really enjoyed like Mike Mulligan and His Steamshovel. During this time we also played around with letters and letter sounds a bit. He did not at this time know many of his letters although we talked about them often, they just did not seem to “stick” so I did not push him. Kyle enjoyed rhyming games and some games from Games for Reading by Peggy Kaye.
Around the time he turned 5, something seemed to click. He got interested in learning his letters and really liked to play a version of hopscotch where I made a board of various shapes on the driveway with chalk and put different letters in each box. Then I would call out the letter and he had to jump to it. We also put letters in the bottoms of muffin tins and threw pennies into the tins. If he could name the letter, he got to keep the penny. Around this time I also started reading My Father’s Dragon again and he really enjoyed it. He still loves his picture books as well so we would read one chapter from My Father’s Dragon and 2 picture books before bed.
Kyle is now 5 and a half, and he does know all his letters. He is very interested in learning to read and has been asking me to show him how, so we have started 100 EZ Lessons. I was not 100% sure he was ready, but after about 8 or 9 lessons, he is doing great! And he wants to do the lessons (we only do 1 or 2 at a time and not every day). He is very proud that he can now tell me what sounds different letters make and is constantly pointing out sounds/beginning letters of different words he comes across.
What amazes me is how natural this whole process has been. Every once in awhile I would panic about not doing enough with Kyle (like when he turned 5 and still did not know his letters) but I have to say now that, like his brother, he learns things when he is ready. And the other interesting thing is that his path has been completely different then that of his brother! At this point, I do not really think that he has too many sight words (maybe a few from his video games) but he is not having any problems picking up the phonics we have covered so far. It seems to make sense to him.
I am not sure exactly when Kyle will make the leap to reading. But he is definitely on his way there. And I am glad that I am along for the ride.