A few months ago, I was in a panic. I feared that the pandemic was causing my son to fall behind other kids his age, that his development wasn’t on track, that he was growing slowly for some reason.
I’m sure every pedia and every parent knows what I’m talking about, and no doubt many of you will tell me not to worry, he’ll be fine.
I am happy to report that yes, he is indeed fine, and I am not worried anymore. (Although really, what parent doesn’t worry about their child’s development?)
Lucas reads so well now. Sometimes he picks two or three books for bedtime reading. “This one is for tonight, and this one is for tomorrow, and this one is for after that!” We’re watching a movie and he reads the subtitles even if they’re only on-screen for a few seconds. We’re in the car, and he reads the words on the trucks and the signage on the stores. He glances at my phone and reads messages even as I type.
He reads the titles of YouTube videos, rather than just looking at the thumbnails. He pronounces each letter slowly, sometimes lingering on a syllable while trying to figure out how the next part of the word is supposed to sound. He opens activity books, and when he asks me what he’s supposed to do, I tell him to read the instructions.
Some nights, I tell him I’m too tired, and maybe he can read to me instead. He reads a few pages, then says, “Next page is for tomorrow.”
One night, I pretended I couldn’t read properly, so I would mumble as I read the long words. He giggled as he read the words out correctly, “Mommy! It’s STORMTROOPER!” “Ohhh! Thanks for telling me!” I told him.
I honestly don’t know what reading level he’s on, if his reading comprehension is appropriate for his age, if he’s ahead or behind. We try to encourage him to read, but we’re not really able to do this regularly. When he does read, he enjoys this app called Farfaria, which lets you choose books according to grade level, and in different languages too. You can also choose whether the app will read out loud to you, or if you will read by yourself. When we tell him to read, we remind him to choose books with more words, instead of simple books with one word and more pictures on each page. And we remind him he needs to read by himself!
One day, he brought a book to class, for show and tell. He read most of the book by himself, and we were so proud!
He loves stories, definitely, but I hope he learns to love reading, as I did. I hope he discovers a really amazing book that will captivate him, keep him up at night, and fire up his imagination.