Tag Archives: words

Reading, reading and reading

I’m sorry. I’m going to gush about one of my children.  I can’t be hardnosed and gritty and down in the trenches of the emotional guerilla war known as modern family life every day, y’know.  (Note: I’m exaggerating about the war bit.  A lot.)

Dudelet is reading, really, properly reading. We’d noticed that over summer he’d progressed from individual words and sentence fragments to whole headlines, slogans on cereal boxes (my iPhone attempted to render that as the evocative “feral boxes”) and jokes out of a compendium of the kind of riddles and knock-knock horrors that only five year olds and students putting together rag mags can love. But this morning demonstrated how far he’d come when he picked up his homework story book (target: three pages by Friday) and steamed through pages 1 to 16. He stumbled a little  over ‘Trafalgar’ and ‘Palace’ but there was an overall feeling of confidence and an awareness of the sentences and narratives.

He reached page 16 and stopped.

“I think that’s enough for today.”

What was particularly interesting was the way he was clearly decoding words as a whole rather than spelling them out. This showed up in his mistakes as much as anything, such as the tendency to read “place” for “palace” and the way that my attempts to help him spell out the more difficult words syllable by syllable weren’t very successful.

It’s exciting – it’s one of those moments of acceleration. Learning to read was one of the greatest moments in my life. Watching him learn is almost as good. And for him, it’s nothing special – he’s just getting on with it.


A quick development note or two.  Little Elf finally has her first proper, grown-up word and the word is “No!”, said with a firm shake of the head, a defiant little pout and beetling brows (she’s definitely developing my eyebrows, poor thing).  I suspect she genuinely said “Yes” this morning but that could have been a sharp intake of breath before saying “No”.

She’s also insisting on doing up her own shoes, speading her own toast with Nutella and reading the latest issue of the BECTU union magazine before anyone else.  She’s now two days short of nineteen months.  She can’t actually manage the velcro on her shoes but isn’t about to give up.  Not without a tantrum and a far-flung shoe, anyway.  She also attempted to climb out of her cot for the first time yesterday.

Oh dear.