Little Man was/is on the edge of reading. He is 3 1/2 and he certainly does not need to be a reader at this age. His life has been full of books since he was born. The poor boy has a grandmother who was a teacher, a grandfather who is a writer and his Mom is a teacher, Dad an avid reader. So books, letters, sounds are all around.
This guy has had an understanding of story structure for a long time. He creates beginning, middles and ends as he plays with his “stuffies.” He often reads to them retelling the stories. He reads to his best friend – retelling more complicated stories like Winnie the Pooh. He asks her to look closely at the pictures to notice little things.
I am trying not to push reading but just have things there for him to experience, have fun with and enjoy.
A few months ago he was determined to read and was asking about words all the time. He has currently backed away from anything that he finds he has to work at, like reading. So a reading game he loved awhile ago not sits on the shelf. He does randomly say or know words as we go through favorite books.
This week he looked at his book shelf in the living room wanting to pick out a book and his statement was “We need a book we have not read”. Yesterday I informed him we had read all those book and many of them several times. A bit surprised that he had been through all those stories he turned to go upstairs. “We will then need to go through your books Grandma!” he said as he ran up the stairs.
In my office are three book shelves of children’s books and my art supplies and books. One set of shelves are mainly chapter books which do not interest him now. The three shelves of picture books are more of those books that are great for a classroom read. They have longer text, more complex story lines and connect to elementary classroom topics. They are not the best books for 3 year olds but there we are.
Yes, I know we need to get up to the library – next week for sure!
So each day this week before nap we pull out new books from my teacher collection. Little Man then sorts through and chooses a book we have not read. New words, new pictures, and deeper stories. He is happily settling in to new words that he does not have to read. He just lays back and enjoys the story.
He has plenty of time to really read on his own so we are back to Grandma reads and Little Man cuddles in for story time.
It is a marvelous place to be!
Little man certainly has a head start on reading. We become readers by being surrounded by readers. He in not reading by himself yet, that time will come, but he is certainly being exposed to the wonder and magic of books.