Gemma isn’t completely reading, yet – although she’s started to recognize some sight words. Still, it’s a major goal for the next year (hers, not mine) and I think she’s on the path to achieving it.
We spent today at the Bronx Zoo (exhausting but wonderful; we narrowly escaped with only two meltdowns). When we arrived home, Gemma rushed upstairs to pull out her National Geographic Big Book of Animals and review what we had seen. Carefully, we looked up various species in the index, locating the page numbers together. And I remembered how significant a learning tool a child’s own interests can be.
Gemma is crazy for animals, and is definitely more motivated to attempt reading when it pertains to wildlife. She wants to know everything about cheetahs and elephants and seahorses. What better way to do so than by reading it yourself. It’s certainly an incentive.
That being said, a few years ago we discovered Children’s Magazines – National Geographic Little Kids, in particular. It became something we looked forward to every month – a little treat in the mail, full of stories and information that is completely accessible to a pre-schooler. Since then, we’ve expanded our repetoire to Ranger Rick – and have found some additions we’d like to try (Click and Chirp). I do most of the reading, but she’s been known to jump in periodically.
Who knew. The key to reading may have always been in our mailbox.