You might be forgiven for assuming that the first words I’m talking about are Emily’s. But no.
Daniel has been astounding us lately with his progress in writing. A couple of weeks ago he showed us how good he was at writing numbers – he did 1, 2, 3 and within a couple of days he’d mastered 4 and 5 too and was making a good stab at 6. To be honest, I’d sort of assumed that he’d read before writing. I had a idea, I’ve no idea where I got it from, that reading was easier. He has been able to recognise individual letters for a while but not string them together, sounding them out to make a word. We’re practicing breaking words down, and ‘something beginning with …’ games but he’s happy just playing around with sounds for now, and while I like to push him a little I don’t want to put him off wanting to read and write so I work on the principle that he’ll do it when the pieces fall into place in his head.
So I got the biggest shock this morning when he called me over to show me this, that he’d done on his blackboard:
Do you know what it says? I’ll tell you. It says ‘lollipop’. He knew that ‘lollipop’ has a’s and o’s and l’s in and he put them together. Heck, he even knew (guessed? maybe, maybe not) that it should have two l’s together and one by itself.
I suggested that it should have a ‘p’ in:
I didn’t even know he could do ‘p’. Now if you read it backwards it actually sounds a bit like ‘lollipop’.
He tried another word: OCLO which he decided said ‘Grandad’. I said it was really good, and also looked a lot like ‘COLD’ –C-O-L-D. So he wrote this:
…and spelled it out for me. C-O-L-D.
Is it just me, or has he been holding out on me?!
I DO know that I’ve heard somewhere that a big difference between boys’ learning and girls’ learning is that boys often appear to be making much slower progress than they actually are because they internalise the learning, and are reluctant to demonstrate what they can do until they know that they can do it, whereas girls a) show off more and b) are less afraid of making mistakes. It certainly seems to be true of Daniel here.
On a related note, we got his very first report on Friday from nursery. Someone suggested reports are too formal for such young children and a year ago I would have agreed. But there’s this big chunk of time during the week where I don’t know what he does (he won’t tell me), I don’t control what he does and someone else knows this part of my son better than I do. I was almost hungry to find out what I was missing. Needless to say, I was delighted with his report. He’s happy, he’s confident and he’s learning.