Last week, Q. received her last lower-case letter for her Big-Little Letter Matching Game. It came as a shock to me. For some reason, I hadn’t realized how fast she was going! All of a sudden, here we are, and she knows all her letters.
And she’s three.
I have a love-hate relationship with the early attainment of school skills. On the one hand, it is very, very convenient to begin Year One with the children already reading. This is why teaching my oldest has always been so easy for me–he’s a reader, and he was a reader before we began his official lessons. This means that, for instance, he can read his own instructions on a math worksheet.
(Do not underestimate the power of literacy in all of their lessons.)
On the other hand, early readers tend to sit around…um…reading, and I am becoming more and more convinced that the early years are, for the most part, not for reading. They are for running, jumping, skipping, hopping, and climbing. They are for using the five senses: smelling flowers, tasting dirt (just ask my two-year-old), squishing mud or running their hands through clover, seeing birds flying and studying ants crawling, hearing ducks quack and cows moo. They are for gathering all of this concrete knowledge that helps them (1) comprehend the world and (2) comprehend what they read.
So I found myself pondering what to do with this little one who knows her letters. I considered that she not only knows her letters but, as I took this week to just practice what she knows, she has increased her speed and I can say confidently that she knows her letters well. I considered teaching her the number symbols first. Either way, she needs to know them. And this could allow me to buy some time, pushing her closer to her fourth birthday.
Today, though, she asked that fateful question: “Do I get to weed Bob Books now?”
What sort of mother would say no to this?
So we’ll be beginning, even though part of me wishes she weren’t ready so soon. I console myself with the fact that I’ll be doing something with her daily regardless. If I don’t make a little time for “lessons” with her, she feels sad and neglected. She doesn’t like the big kids doing something without her as a general rule. So it isn’t as if I’m cutting down on her outside play time by spending the indoor time teaching her to read.
All of that to say, come Monday, Q.-age-three will be starting her reading lessons, and I’ll begin posting double-lessons.
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