My 5-year-old is learning to read. We're still a long way from War and Peace, but as a parent, teacher, and librarian, I'm thrilled to watch this process unfold. I studied reading methodology in college: learning the language, memorizing books, the "a-ha" moment when the brain decodes a word in an unfamiliar context. It's much more fascinating in person.
I remember when he'd sit down with a book and "read" it to himself, using the same inflection that I used on each page. I wish I could have recorded some of these moments, but he would have stopped if he knew I was watching.
Last summer we discovered a series of books by Yukiko Kido and Harriet Ziefert. He's read Pig Wig and Stop Pop. They're simple--3 sections of word families, 1 word on a page, and short sentences at the end of each section. Today I found Snow Bow at the downtown library. It was waiting in his car seat when I picked him up from school. I love hearing him sound out the letters and puzzle through the complexities of consonant blends. Each word read is a little victory; a sentence like "Feet meet on the street," a triumph.
He already knows the pleasure of listening to a good story being read or told. Someday he'll have the pleasure of getting lost in a really good book. His journey is just beginning.