Monday, October 24, 2011

Fun is Reading

We have been reading to Lukas daily for a long time now.  How long? Well, since long before he was born actually. 

It's true.  Mrs. LIAYF and I had ourselves read a lot about the benefits of reading to your baby in-utero and thus decided it would be a great idea to employ that practice.  Quite a bit.

In fact, as silly as it may sound, for a long stretch of her pregnancy I would read 'Guess How Much I Love You' nightly to her ever growing belly in hopes that it would calm our yet unnamed baby and get him used to Daddy's voice talking to him.

Now, I don't know how much these neo-natal story times actually helped Lukas, but it sure made Mrs. LIAYF and I feel like we were proactively teaching and calming our unborn child.

The practice of reading to him didn't stop after he was born either.  On the contrary, we have made it a habit to read to our son as much as possible in the intervening 4 years.  We have also collected a large number of books for him, so that he has a large variety of material to choose from whenever he wants to hear dad or mom read a story.  In fact, our hefty kid book count was once tallied at around 600, and we have probably added a couple hundred volumes since then.

And now that Lukas is 4-years-old, we may be seeing some of the benefits of all that reading paying off. That's because under the loving tutelage of his mother, and to a lesser extent myself, our son has been excitedly learning about phonics and has been doing a terrific job of associating the letters of the alphabet and their accompanying sounds.   We have had many recent impromptu sessions with him where we have helped him sound out and spell words that hold meaning to him, such as the names of his friends from Pre-K.

Mrs. LIAYF even found a cool set of magnets to help us along with the process.  They start with some basic word groupings.  Letters can be then be added to create different words.  For example, to 'ad' you can add an M, or a D, or an S and so forth.  And Lukas has really enjoyed sounding out these different letters to reveal what the underlying word was.

All that being said, Mrs. LIAYF proudly came to me on Sunday and declared that our son had probably read his first real word.  Not one he recognized because we had read it in a story, but one that he had actually saw written down and to which he had applied his emerging set of reading skills to. 

And, what was that word?

Well, what sound does an 'F' make?  Good job, and what about a 'U'?  Right!!  Now, what about the 'N'?  Awesome job!  Yay!!

Yes.  It is FUN indeed. 

And I couldn't have thought of a more appropriate word for him to start with.


Rachael said...

How exciting! Do you know about the BOB books? My Mom bought a set for Sam last Christmas, and the other day he read one of them to me... it's only a few words, but it's so incredible to watch them learn!

Slamdunk said...

Excellent work by you and the Mrs. I think you'll both be amazed at how advanced your son is compared to his peers.

Bruce Sallan said...

I couldn't agree more! I read out loud the first four Harry Potter books to my boys. They AND I loved it! When the movies came out, we went to those and really had a great time. Read READ RREEAADD!!

Beard said...

I believe our kiddos can hear us clearly in utero. Literally three minutes after my daughter was born, screaming her head off, I quietly leaned over and said, "shhh, Hi beautiful." She opened her eyes, looked at me and stopped crying. Girl recognized my voice.

Sounds like your little man is on his way to loving reading, good job Dad!

Diplo_Daddy said...

I can absolutely relate to this post, James. Once they’ve mastered the technique of putting a sound to each letter, they can literally read anything you put in front of them. It’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever least for me it was! The British school system is really keen on getting children as young as 4, “hooked on phonics”.

Kevin said...

That's awesome! You just swell with pride when you see this. It's truly great.

My daughter is the same age as Lukas, and it amazes me how well she can read. Of course we encouraged that, but she had the desire. She wanted to know what all those letters in front of her meant.

Kudos to you and your wife and bravo to Lukas.

Creative-Type Dad said...

We did the sounds with my daughter as well, the advice from a mom that homeschooled her 3 kids. My daughter started kindergarten reading basic books.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Rachael - Have not heard of those specifically. But, as I mentioned, we have hundreds of books and he is constantly exposed to them.

@Slamdunk - Absolutely. He is super inquisitive and often shocks us with the questions he throws out at us.

@Beard - I am amazed they can hear in there, but clearly they do. And it does make a big difference.

@Dipplo - I have noticed that in your posts, and have been very impressed/inspired by your son's progress.

@Bruce - Amazed that even more parents don't read to thier kids daily. So important.

@Kevin - It's so great to see that desire in them too. And satisfying to be able to help them along the path.

@creative-type dad- Awesome. We hope to have Lukas doing the same. Thanks for stopping by.