Updated: Jul 25, 2018
Ander has been reading since he was... I don't know..born? He's 12 now. Girl Boss is 6, and Gallant is turning 4 in two days. Gryff is 4, and the babies are turning 2 in the spring.
It's been so interesting to watch how word play happens in a group of mixed ages like this. One of the first times I (RJ) met Gallant, we were at a homeschooling conference in Phoenix, and he surprised me by knowing which button to press on the elevator to get to our room. My son, Gryff, hadn't started noticing those things, and I had a moment of remembering-all-over-again how different kids can be in their development.
Fast forward quite some time, and we were at the Cabrillo Aquarium, looking at the huge whale bones. I thought I'd do a little guessing game, and asked the kids which bones they thought matched their own.
Girl Boss correctly "guessed" every one - then turned to me with surprise, and said, "oh! I think I read now!" She wasn't guessing - it was just that the secret picture code of the English language had come into focus for her when she wasn't paying attention and she could read the signs! She laughed about it, and moved on.
This week she's written her name in the sand at the beach, in fries at a restaurant, with shells, and crayons. It seems like it happened overnight, but really it's been months and months of her own preparation.
Gryff has been having a similarly sweet and unconscious process. He has been exclaiming, suddenly, "look, mama! An X!" The other day we played a game where he would tell me five or six letters, I would write them down, come up with a word with some of them, then draw the word, and he would guess it. He is initiating it, I am jumping in full of excitement, but taking his lead. I am actively looking for other things he might enjoy along the same vein (alphabet pasta arrived today!) It's playful for him, and like a game for me - how to walk the very enjoyable tightrope of supporting him without putting any pressure whatsoever. Games are usually the way to go.