Do you ever have some of those miraculous life moments that just stops you in your tracks and makes you think "wow"? I had one of those this week and wanted to share.
Ok, so maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal to everyone else, but keep in mind the stage of life I am in. I am a single mother commuting (about 1.5 hrs on each end) to grad school. Needless to say, time and money are severely limited. However, when I was pregnant and my marriage/life crumbled around me, I swore to my then-unborn child that no matter how difficult things became, it would not affect the type of mother he had any more than absolutely necessary.
When Xander was about 4 months old I read How to Teach Your Baby Math by Glenn Doman, followed by How to Teach Your Baby to Read, How Smart is Your Baby, and a few others. Those books changed my life (Xander's life) and opened the door to early education. My readings lead me to find the forum at BrillKids.com, right brain education, and many more amazing resources and blogs (1+1+1=1, Doman Inspired Parenting, and Gentle Revolution Homeschooling, to name a few). I also ended up finding out that one of my old friends from high school, Mellissa, had taught her boys to read really young using Doman. While being in my situation prevented me from implementing all of the techniques Doman developed or a real right brain program, I was able to do some flash cards and start doing Tot School activities. I made the big decision to invest in Little Reader (huge time saver) and also eventually purchased Your Baby Can Read and Your Child Can Read. Anyway, long story a little shorter, I made the decision to invest what time and money I could into Xander's education.
Well this week I found out that my time isn't being wasted. My baby can read. Since I try hard not to test Xander, I had had no idea. We were coloring his shape coloring worksheet, just like we do every week, but this week, I decided to switch it up a bit. Normally, I just let him pick a marker/crayon and point to the shape that says that color for him. This week I gave him the green marker and asked "where is the green cross?" He pointed right to it, so I cheered and gave him the marker to color. Thinking it might just be a coincidence, I repeated it with the next marker. He did it again, and continued pointing to the correct shape for blue, red, yellow, pink, gray, orange, and black. (Purple and brown he switches, but consistently). Anyway, I cheered and cried and hugged him (and maybe cried some more and called to share with my family). I knew other people had taught their young children to read and do other amazing things, but that was different. That was them. This was MY baby. My baby could read! I mean I knew that he was smart and was obviously benefiting from our activities, but for some reason READING feels like more concrete proof that my time/resources actually had some positive result, other than just good together time.
Anyway, since then, I have discovered that he can read most of the shape names, many of the service vehicle names, and some body parts. Also, other common words like mommy and baby. Since he can't actually say most of these words, I have made these discoveries through games and play, so still do not know what all he can read. It seems like every day is a new discovery. I am so incredibly blessed to have gotten to spend all of this great time bonding with my little guy and am excited to continue as long as we can. Can't wait to see what he will surprise me with next!