First Words

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.

That’ll do.

6 thoughts on “First Words”

  1. Aw, what a lovely post. How cute are those letters? He’s a clever boy. My eldest started writing very early too and I remember being impressed but a little worried that he could write whole words but sometimes would write them completely backwards. Not only did he write the word backwards but the actual letters too so that if you held a mirror up to it, it was an exact mirror image. He didn’t even seem to think about it but that’s how it came out. His play school teacher told us that she’d seen it before that when a child’s mind is moving really fast, they get the letters jumbled up. He grew out of the backward writing thing and went on to be a great little writer. And of course your Daniel is clever – hasn’t he got you as a mum? xx

  2. You are perfectly right to be a proud mama. He is doing awfully well for such a wee toot. Well done Daniel, and well done you and Andrew for providing him with the love and support to help him learn. xxx

  3. Aw thanks Maria. My mum phoned me after reading this and said she did mirror writing for years. She’s left-handed and we think Daniel might be too. Apparently Einstein was the same! Isn’t it odd? 🙂

  4. Thanks Nettie! We always think “we should be doing more” but I reckon he’s doing ok 😀

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