Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Wonderful World of Words
In a post not long ago (in a land not far away.....sorry, I couldn't resist) I mentioned that my 6 year old son Charley is completely uninterested in learning to read. As an unschooler, this doesn't concern me in the least. He's six. He has years and years to learn. He is active and busy and noisy and full of concoctions and projects and ideas, and someday, he will want to learn to read. Because we don't sit down at the kitchen table each day to do lessons, our learning happens spontaneously, within the context of our daily life. Charley has spent six years listening to his sisters spell out words and read street signs and follow recipes and today, the light bulb went on. I love it when this happens. It must be like how an engineer feels when they drive across the bridge they designed many years before.
I was sitting at my desk and he wandered into the room. He stood next to me for a few moments and began doodling on a piece of paper. A few more moments passed and he said, "Mom, is vomit spelled v-m-m?" I absent minded-ly replied that he was missing a few vowels, but was darn close. A moment later, I glanced at his paper and realized he was attempting to write the word vomit. I smiled and pointed out that he was hearing two of the sounds. Together we sounded out the o and the i, and then the t and he proudly wrote v-o-m-i-t on the paper. "Wow, Charley, you just wrote the word vomit!" He beamed.
As he was turning to walk out of the room, he giggled. "Hey Charley," I called, "why do you need to know how to spell vomit anyway?" He continued giggling. A few moments later, he asked me how to spell the words you and are. Then he asked me for the tape. Okay, so maybe it's not so nice to tape nasty signs on your big sister telling the world that she is vomit, but Charley, my six year old son is learning to read, and I'm proud.