Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm A Brand New Reader!

Ari is reading. We are shocked. A couple of months ago she had started reading some of her baby books like the Sandra Boynton ones. You know... the kind of books that have opposites on them like "dinosaurs happy, dinosaurs sad, dinosaurs good, and dinosaurs bad." We figured she was just memorizing the books she had read a lot of times, but memorization is the first step to reading, so we should get her more of a challenge. I found these books at the book store called Brand New Readers. There are multiple sets and they include 10 very short story books appropriate for someone learning to read. They also include 10 stickers (1 for each book) and a page that you can place the stickers on as you successfully read each book. Our first set was the red one, which I got about a month ago. We completed that one and got the Orange set about a week and a half ago. We have since completed that one and are on to set three. Set three we got with her there and before we could even leave the book store, Ari yells, "I want to read a book! Earn a sticker!" John decides, sure, why not... there is no way she is going to get this on the first try anyway. No harm. I give him a look like, yeah right! Can you guess what happens next? There we are in the middle of a book store taking apart something we haven't paid for yet. She, of course, earned her first sticker. Great! This one didn't even make it home. We've decided that we can't afford our daughters speedy reading abilities and so are going to have to start a charity, "Ari's reading fund. Donations welcome!" :) Here is a picture of her first two sticker collections proudly displayed on the back of her door so she can see them when she is in her room.
For those that don't know us... have I mentioned she is 2 1/2 years old? We estimate that she can now read at least 40 books on her own. Some of the other books I get her are individual beginning reader books from a stand that has them with numbers at the top of the book indicating the difficulty rating. We went through 3 number one books in the last weeks and a half as well. While at the book store attempting to get stickers, we got her a number two book to see how she would do with it. Definitely a challenge, but she can still read through most of it. Am I getting Shakespeare next?

I actually have a funny story to tell about this. So... I took Ari up to her nap one day and we went through our normal nap-time routine. We read a book, laid down, I sang her a song, and kisses, love you, and sleep well. This was a day that she was not going to go down easy. Anyway... After a couple of initial visits up there, I decided that if all she is doing is playing or talking, she can do that on her own. I here her up there just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. After a long while, my curiosity and my desire for her to get some sleep get the best of me. I go up, silently open her door, and see her sitting in her rocking chair with a book open across her legs as she is reading herself another story (because evil mommy wouldn't read us another story). I sneak back out knowing that walking in their laughing with a big grin across my face would not be conducive to getting her to sleep. When she finally does call me up again, I calmly get her back into sleep mode, all the while thinking, "GOOD JOB, BABY! YOU READ YOURSELF A BED TIME STORY!" I can't possibly say that right then, but boy was I the proud mama bear.

Now I'm the proud mama bear with a direct line from my wallet to the book store. Hehe...

There are worse things to spend money on. We couldn't be happier! Our little girl is a brand new reader!

Another Ari update to follow soon!