Kindergarten has begun. Actually, it began a little over a week ago. Of the thirty “star” (sight) words the girl should know before the end of the year, she knew 26 going in. Plus, she’s taught herself basic addition math facts (already much better than I was, even at a later age). With these tidbits, plus all of the random PBS factoids she regularly spews, I knew she’d do well. But this week, I have to admit, my pride swelled.
One night, I walked past her room after bedtime, and heard the joyous sound of turning pages. Her father and I are bigtime readers, and she often “reads” books after she should be asleep. But tonight was a little different. She later got up to go potty, and I told her that as much as I loved hearing those pages turn, when she got back to her room, it was time for lights out. Her response? “Ok. But I just LOVE books.” My inner geek let out a squee.
There was no school today because of Rosh Hashana. She begged me to take her to the library. How could I say no? We picked out Amelia Bedelia (neither one of us had read it. I know. I know!), a book called Scout, and Pippi Longstocking. Three very different reading levels. But, Pippi was something I’d told her about when we saw it on the cover of a chair in a Fancy Nancy book, and she was intrigued.
After picking out our (her) books, and after she’d made the rounds of germ-infested play objects in the “preschool” room, she announced that she wanted to see if there were any words she knew in the Pippi Longstocking book. She cracked it open and started reading at least a couple words on each page. At one point, she read five words in a row – almost a complete sentence. And, to her own excitement, she found a few star words. I told her that she’ll have to make sure she tells her teacher.
Besides the sight words she already knows (more than I ever realized), if she sees a word she doesn’t know, and I tell her what it is, she knows it instantly the next time she sees it. I’m just so excited for her. She loves books. She loves reading words. Once she learns enough words to read most of a beginning reader story, a whole new world is going to open up for her, and I. Just. Can’t. Wait!