Kindergarten has begun. Actually, it began a little over a week ago. Of the thirty â€œstarâ€ (sight) words the girl should know before the end of the year, she knew 26 going in. Plus, sheâ€™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 sheâ€™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 â€œreadsâ€ 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? â€œOk. But I just LOVE books.â€ 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 Iâ€™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 sheâ€™d made the rounds of germ-infested play objects in the â€œpreschoolâ€ 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 â€“ almost a complete sentence. And, to her own excitement, she found a few star words. I told her that sheâ€™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 doesnâ€™t know, and I tell her what it is, she knows it instantly the next time she sees it. Iâ€™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. Canâ€™t. Wait!