Have I Told You . . .

Have I told you all how well Tank Boy is reading these days?

What?  I haven’t?

Well, of course I haven’t, because I. didn’t. know. until last night.  Geesh.  What kind of great mom am I?

For months he’s been doing the whole, “Mom, I know how to spell [insert any three letter word here]” and then spelling it for me thing.  Just from that, I knew he could read simple words.  Occasionally he’d even bust out with a four letter word that he could spell.  Umm, that would be a word spelled with four letters, not, you know, swear words.  Though I’m sure he could spell a couple of those if he knew they existed.  I also knew his reading was coming along a bit because he can tell what shows are on PBS and Nick when he scrolls through the satellite tv menu.

So I knew he could read a little, and have been looking forward to doing kindergarten with him this year (translation:  I have been figuring he will breeze through it, which makes my job easier).  But people!  I had no idea.  I mean, he’s only four (well, he’ll be five next month).  It’s not like I sit him down with a book and say, “Read this to me to that I can assess your skills!” 

Last night, as I was doing something with Quinn, or cleaning up after dinner, or checking Facebook, or something like that, I heard his little squawky voice (yes, my son has a somewhat squawky voice, though it is much less so than when he was a baby his babbling sounded very, very chicken-like) . . . anyway . . .

I heard his little voice coming from the dining room, reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I went in to make sure my ears were not deceiving me, and sure enough, there he was on the floor, book in his lap, reading.  Midge was sitting by him, looking over his shoulder to gently whisper the occasional challenging word into his ear, and it was just one of those moments.

I had no idea he could read that well.  I had no idea Midge could whisper gently and helpfully.

When he finished reading I gave him a big high five and told him how proud I am of him.  There was great rejoicing in the land as he and his sister bounced around with glee, excited by his newly revealed talent, and Midge declared, “We sure are one smart family!  That’s four of your kids who read now.  We sure are one smart family!!”

So I’m blogging about it today for posterity as much as for any other reason.  I’m also blogging about to remind myself that I must be doing something right at least some of the time, because Midge was whispering helpfully! 

I’m also blogging about it to tell you all:  Go get Leap Frog’s Letter Factory dvd!  Now!  There is actually a series of these.  I think it is three language arts dvds and one math one.  You can buy them (or at least you used to be able to, I don’t know if you still can) in a bundle on Overstock.com.  I promise it will be the best dvd investment you make.

Speaking of all this reading nonsense, I am perpetually behind in reading blogs these days, and it will probably get worse before it gets better because I am determined to read this health care reform bill before the end of the month.  At least, you know, most of it.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says H-E-L-L-O

8 thoughts on “Have I Told You . . .

  1. metaphase

    Wow. That is so great! I know so little about helping my children learn to read.(These are my first kids, so I haven’t been down that road before) I’m going to check out those DVD’s b/c Ava recognizes all the letters and what they “say”. She can also recognize her name, her brother’s and my name, which is of course, mommy. I’m just not really sure where to go from here.


  2. J

    Awww… that is AWESOME!!!

    um, yeah, I really need to read that bill too…. mostly so I can argue with you and Chris and stick up for our socialist president…


  3. I had a similar revelation the other day. Levi (I had no idea he’s just a few months younger than Tank Boy!) has been playing with a states puzzle. He’s always putting them in the right places, so I gave him a little quiz. I held up states one at a time, and he told me their names. He got about 40 of them right, those little New England states being the ones most often missed. And, I could tell by watching his eyes, that he hadn’t memorized the shape, he was reading the name. If Levi was starting Kindergarten this year, I wouldn’t be so worried. But, because of his birthday, he has to wait another year. What will be left for him to learn? I’m a little worried.

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is no easy book, so way to go, Tank Boy! And, it’s great that Midge whispered helpfully. That, I’m sure, is a skill Levi will never have. Here’s to a great year of kindergarten with Tank Boy!


  4. Christina

    What a sweet sweet picture. It’s funny I was just thinking this morning that I really need to sit down and read with Zeeb. In the craziness of the summer it often happens that a sibling or Dad reads to him instead and now I kind of miss that time.
    About those DVD’s… are they appropriate for a soon to be 1st grader? Or are they a little more pre-schoolish than that?


  5. I bought the Letter Factory DVD after you recommended it a few posts back. It just came in the mail and Noah and Zoe really liked it. They watched it twice Sunday, and it’s really hard to get them to watch new things (they are stuck on Horton Hears a Who most recently). Thanks for the suggestion!


  6. Oh man, he’s such a smarty! You should be a proud mama. And also life is so much easier (and school is soooo much easier to teach) once kids can read! Hurrah! that is definitely reason for celebration. Four kids reading is even better than 4 kids out of diapers!!


  7. Sunflower Seeds

    What a little smartie!!! That’s great! I second you on the DVD. We had it for Anya and Nick and it really helped. I keep thinking I need to pull it out for Maddie, but we haven’t hooked up our DVD player yet from the move. *gasp* And what’s even more gaspful, is the kids haven’t missed it! ;>)
    But I think I’m going to be tracking down the cords this weekend.
    And speaking of reading WOW am I impresed that you’re going to read that whole thing. I was just hoping to find a Cliff Notes version before tracking down my good-for-nothing congresswoman so I could hang out at one of her town hall meetings. Shad thinks I’m nuts.


  8. Dianna

    Take careful note of the section that grants podiatrists status as physicians for Medicaid. Because, you know, after four years of college, four years of medical school, and three years of residency, it would be nice if my husband was considered a doctor. Hmph. (The insurance companies and Medicare recognize podiatry, just not Medicaid. Which means he can be paid $10 a YEAR if he sees a Medicaid patient. So he doesn’t. Because he can’t afford to.)

    Let’s see… this comment actually had another point… oh yes… CONGRAULATIONS! On both the reading and the quiet whispering 🙂 That’s really amazing!


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