Join Phoenix Country Day School Pre-K Teachers for Storytime
on Saturday, October 21st at 10am.
I can reeeeeead!”
Our four year old daughter, Charlotte, bounds into the family room as she clutches the board book, Yummy, Yucky. You know the one: “Mommy’s cookies are yummy, Mommy’s coffee is yucky…” (We haven’t the heart to tell her that both are yummy and essential to parenting). She proceeds to plop her one-year-old brother in front of her and read to him “like a teacher.” She shows him the pictures and congratulates him on the various baby sounds he’s making. Of course, this is a well-loved book that she memorized years ago and could “read” it with her eyes closed.
Charlotte just started Pre-Kindergarten at Phoenix Country Day School. Her wonderfully small class of 12 kids is guided by two expert and remarkably kind teachers who are introducing Charlotte to Jolly Phonics through music, stories, and actions, focusing on the sounds that the letters make rather than the names of the letters. It’s given Charlotte the confidence to try to sound out words she sees, even ones that she’s never seen before. Most importantly, Jolly Phonics is developmentally and age-appropriate, and fun! Charlotte comes home singing the sound songs (complete with dance moves), and our world has become a constant seek and find of sounds and the beginnings of blending the sounds to create words. Watching the process of her learning to read is magical. Her confidence and excitement is palpable. She knows she’s on the edge of something big and we feel so lucky to be a part of this community which is supporting her (and us!) throughout this journey.
My wife and I are in no rush for Charlotte to read. It’s a developmental process, like walking. For some kids, it’s easy, and others need additional support. Every child is different, but we know that with the right exposure, guidance, and support, it will happen when she’s ready.
The greatest predictor of reading success is being read to aloud, and I know the day will come (probably sooner than I can imagine) where Charlotte will be under her covers by herself with a flashlight reading “just one more chapter” before bedtime. For now, we’re enjoying our emerging reader and watching this process unfold before our eyes. In these first few weeks of her new school year, the amazing PCDS community has ignited a spark for Charlotte, and the world is full of wonderment and opportunity. For now, though, we’ll simply enjoy what time we have left to cuddle up to a book before bed.