JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools header image 2

Reading is a dangerous thing

August 20th, 2003 · No Comments

This spring Abigail began reading. She had been learning phonics for more than a year. I found a series of workbooks (the Explode the Code series) that she liked, teaching the sounds and shapes of the letters. I can still remember bringing them to the hospital for her amusement during my pregnancy appointments last summer. For a while she had been able to read a few simple words like her name, “Mom”, “Dad”, “No”. Then it seemed to plateau. But somehow sometime this spring something clicked!

This summer, even though I’ve been taking a bit of a break from spending regular time with her workbook and focussed lessons on reading, Abigail has begun to read everything. She’ll read cans of food, letters on cars and signs at stores. “That moving truck says Hill on it, Mommy!”

Abigail likes to get library books “that I can read”, going straight to the shelves for young readers. Stan the Hot Dog Man was one, and another recent favorite was And I Mean It Stanley – seems like Stan is a popular name, a popular guy with the early reader set.

In the morning when we sing a hymn she flips through the book: “Joyful Joyful we adore Tree” she read the other day. At night she likes to try to read the Bible story. Stories that she has heard before and that are famliar for her are easy and fun. Her memory helps her through the pages. But she still has some difficulty with some words and sounds, some combinations, like the letter “Y” and it’s combinations at the end of words…

A few weeks ago I took the girls shopping to Safeway. At the store there is a sign in the meat department, pointing down over a cooler and declaring it a good deal. I parked the kids near the sign and scurried down a nearby aisle quickly to find a can of something.

While I was in the aisle, searching, I wondered who it was that I heard saying loudly: “Hot But” “Hot But”. On my way back to my cart full of children, shoppers smiled at me, chuckling under their breath and I realized that the voice was Abigail misreading a “Y” for a “T”. Quickly I corrected her: “Hot Buy”

Last week we shopped again at Safeway. And again Abigail began reading the words she could see. In the meat department she read the same sign, this time though she said: “Hot Boy!”

Now Ted is going to start chaperoning our trips to the grocery store…

Tags: Uncategorized