3.10.2013

Cracking the Code

One of the values we'd love to instill in our kids is a love of learning.  I want them to see learning as a lifelong adventure.  We can never reach a point where we know everything.  There's always more to discover - about the world around us, others, and ourselves.  Reading is one way we can do that.  It's not the only way, but it's one good one.  I'm a book worm.  I have a voracious appetite for both reading and learning.  (Perhaps that's why I read exclusively non-fiction?)  I'll admit, it makes me pretty excited to see my kids' love for books, too.

Jude attended kindergarten where the school's core beliefs were to not push early reading.  Instead, they recommended that parents limit screen time, read aloud to their kids, and read alone - modeling a love of reading.  This is our philosophy as well.  Jude read a little in first grade, but became proficient the summer before second grade.  He learned to read well by reading Calvin and Hobbes comics to me while I was cooking dinner.  Soon enough, he was caught up with his classmates, and beyond.

Jude and Indigo now attend a different school, since his last school only went through kindergarten.  Indigo's kindergarten is a bit more academic than Jude's was.  They spend more time on phonics.  And half way through her kindergarten year,  Indigo started reading!

reading (3)

Jude's kindergarten teachers would say that reading is like other developmental milestones.  It happens when kids are ready.

reading (1)

They called it cracking the code.   

reading (2)

When it happens, it's pure magic.

reading

The other gem of wisdom they bestowed on us was to read aloud to our kids for as long as they'd let us.   Don't rush them into reading only alone, but enjoy the time reading together as a family.  This was important advice.  Some of our favorite times together have been spent cuddled under a blanket reading together.  We've been into Uncle Wiggily stories since Christmas.  This book was our favorite - the stories are so special and sweet, and just the right length for bedtime.  We highly recommend it.  We also try to read this little devotional every night at the dinner table.  The stories are so lovely. 

After I took the above photos of Indigo, I looked over my shoulder only to see a spectacular sunset through my window.

sunset

I literally gasped when I saw it.  I pointed it out to the kids and they gasped too!  Sunsets like these aren't infrequent here in Texas.  I'm not sure what it is that makes them so colorful, but I don't take it for granted.  And, unlike the sunrise,  I don't have to wake up early to see it - even better!  :)

6 comments:

  1. love the facial expressions and love that Sunset. God gave us one of those last week. absolutely breathtaking! ((hugs))

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  2. So true.
    Do you know of an Australian author by the name of Mem Fox?
    She beautifully describes learning to read as turning the key to a secret garden.
    You can pressure a child and make them open that key before they are ready and the garden is still earth and buds. 'But wait Darling,in a few years it will be full of flowers'
    Or you can let them grow and reach that key on their own,in their own time and turn the the key and find a garden of wonderful blooms.
    Maybe a bit poetic but I love the analogy.
    With five children,all 'turning the key' at different ages and levels,it has been a wonderful thing to see them embrace the 'garden'.

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    Replies
    1. Nicole,
      Thank you so much for this amazing comment and quote. I LOVE it. I'm going to write this one down in my journal! It's so beautiful and SO TRUE. You are one smart mama!
      :)
      rachel

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    2. No,thank you for making me feel really good about myself today.
      xx N

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    3. I love this! Nicole, such wise words!

      My sister learned to read from comics - Calvin and Hobbes when it was new! So I love that reference and reminder. Learning to read doesn't have to be a chore - it should be fun!

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  3. Such a sweet post, all the way through the sunset. I love the sunrises here, too. ;-) Thanks for the Uncle Wiggily reference--I'd never actually heard of that one.

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