Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This makes me smile

This is my friend Tessa's son. He is not quite four years old.

Teachers in Vermont, watch out!

Seeing a child this young reading independently brings about so many questions. The biggest for me is, how do some children naturally pick it up while others face so many hurdles? It helps that Tessa is a rockstar mom and she TALKS WITH HER KIDS. Their home is full of books, paper, crayons, train sets and dinosaurs and all kinds of toys that encourage creative energy... but so many homes have that in place and their children still struggle as readers. What are we missing?


Tessa said...

I think dad gets a lot of credit here too! When he reads to them he stops and asks them to find letters, sound out words, etc. He even makes them read as much of the book as they can. I curl up and just read to them, but he really works with them. Stories with dad take a whole lot longer than stories with mom :)

Seshat said...

I wouldn't give dad all the credit. They pick up on things, most importantly, they learn to love language, when listening. And they can increase comprehension so much because you can read aloud to them books above their level. If you haven't ever read it, read Mem Fox's Reading Magic. It's very powerful and I recommend it for all of my parents. I don't always necessarily think reading at home should be like reading at school. I much prefer my parents to read aloud to their children rather than have their children read to them all the time. Just settled in and immerse yourselves in the magical wondrous world of words.
(I'm a first grade teacher in Indiana.)

Jill said...

Dear Lauren,

I was lucky enough to have a rockstar Mom too (she's an elementary educator). I'm not a teacher, so I don't know why some children pick things up and others don't, but I do know that my love of learning was squelched along the way by teachers who are only one person and have to teach at the same level to a class full of students, which is boring for the more advanced students and difficult for the less-advanced ones. I think your cartoon about testing different animals with the same test is SO true! People (and students) are different and shouldn't be mainstreamed. They should be encouraged where they excel, helped where they don't, and taught at more than just one level, INCLUDING at home.... But I'm an idealist :o)

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