Monday, October 22, 2012


I have a series of books that I have used with all of our kids.  They are called Bob Books and the approach to reading is so simple it is brilliant.  (like most great ideas)  The first book in the series introduces the letters M, A, T and S.  The entire book is written with these 4 letters.  The pictures are very simple which I have found helps to keep the kids focused on the words.  The next book introduces a couple new letters... and so on.  Voila!  A totally phonics based book series that is a great, fun way to learn to read phonetically without doing any worksheets, flash cards...

Now, this is not just an ad for the books.  Ayden Jane just turned 5 a few weeks ago.  She does not go to Kindergarten until next fall so I am not really in a rush to get her reading, but I noticed that she is getting pretty good with the sounds of letters.  I have had the first set of books around for a while for her just to look at and get used to.  Tonight I asked her if she wanted to read a book to me before I read to her.  She was game.

She told me what sound all 4 letters make without hesitation.  I told her to use the sounds of each letter, not the names to figure out what the words are.  It was painfully slow as she named the sounds for Mat,  mmmmmmm....... aaaaaaaaa...... tttttttttttttt. and it took a minute for her to get the hang of running them together to 'hear' the word they make.  She got it though!  I thought she might phase out as even though the book is short, it must seem long when working that hard.

So many things were going through my mind.  Memories of Kayla at age 4 determined to master the books and so focused that I nearly begged her to stop!  Memories of Kayla and Noah curled up in the top bunk as Kayla helped Noah read the very same books.  Memories of Mckenna being so proud of reading a whole book just like Kayla and Noah could do.

At the same time there was something so amazing about Ayden Jane still being a year away from Kindergarten sounding out the very same books.  The part of raising Ayden Jane that is special needs parenting is exhausting at times.  She is just high maintenance and it always feels like even little things can make or break her entire future.  (I know perspective will hopefully lessen that feeling)

On the flip side though, the little accomplishments create such and immense joy!  The sort that is a mixture of pride, happiness, celebration and relief all rolled into one.  I do my best to revel in these moments.  To take comfort in these moments.  To do my very best to remember all the emotion and joy and use it to carry me through the next challenge...

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