August 18, 2011

Reading and writing and 'rithmatic

We're getting into an exciting time here in the Rhyne household. Our little Zoe is trying to learn to read!

Now, I know she's only three, so it still may be a couple of years until she actually can read on her own, but lately she's been pretty focused on trying to figure out what those words in her books say. Granted, sometimes she tries to read from right to left, but we're working on that. "Zoe, in English we read from left to right. If you want to learn Hebrew when you're bigger, we'll figure that out then."

Honestly, though, what I'm most excited about right now is her new-found ability to follow longer, "big-kid" stories.

When she was smaller, I'd read her the same books over and over and over again and wonder if I'd ever be able to stop reciting them in my sleep. (Big A, little A, what begins with A? Aunt Annie's Alligator, a...a...a....The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind...and another....his mother called him "wild thing" and Max said "I'll eat you up" so he was sent to bed without anything...This tiny hippopotamus has something small to say, and if you're very quiet now, she'll say it right away.....Need I go on?? I did that all from memory, and could have finished all three books...with ease.) I mean, I love kids books. I still remember my mother reading Corduroy to me, and I enjoy reading it to Zoe. But I want...more for her. Already.

And the amazing thing? She wants more now too!

My mother gave her the Little House series for Christmas last year, and we have been slowly but surely working our way through Little House in the Big Woods. I would rather sit on the couch and read that book out loud for an hour than spend five minutes reading even The Very Hungry Caterpillar (One of my FAVORITES...In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf. One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and...POP...out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.) She enjoys the pictures and the talk of Laura and Baby Carrie most, and I have thoroughly enjoyed re-reading the Laura Ingalls classic as an adult. Do you know there's an entire chapter devoted to the slaughter and butchering of a pig? As a person who loves local, farm-raised food, it's the coolest thing I've read in a long time! They use every bit of that pig - they even blow up its bladder and use it like a balloon! Awesome.

And then I stop and think about all the other books she's going to read as she gets bigger. I only hope she likes being read to long enough that I get to read them with her! The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, A Cricket in Times Square? Oh wow, I can't wait! Through the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler? Wowsa! I'm excited to share those stories with Zoe, and I also can't wait to see what grown-up me will re-discover in each of them.

And then, as she gets bigger, what other authors will she love? Stephen King (I read It at thirteen)? Harper Lee? Kurt Vonnegut?

Oh wow...will she one day read my books? Can you even imagine?

It's all so exciting to me. I love books, and always have, and I hope beyond hope that Zoe shares that love as she gets older. I think she already does, so I'll keep reading fun and interesting books to her to keep that love going.

For now we'll focus on Hop on Pop for a few weeks to try to get her reading. So far, she can read cat, dog, fish, no, pop and cup. I know one day it'll click, and I have feeling, from that point on, there will be no stopping her. And I'm going to enjoy watching her read, every step of the way.

1 comment:

Brian Crawford said...

How exciting! Whole new worlds are opening up to Zoe. Best of luck with her reading lessons - I am sure she will pick it up very quickly.

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