Today is Thursday, that means I get to spend two uninterrupted hours with this beautiful girl all on our own. Our weekly Thursday date happened by accident. I signed Leo up for one morning and one afternoon per week at the halte garderie this Fall so I'd have some availability for appointments and to help out at Clara's school. The plan is working beautifully and it has the added bonus of Clara being at the receiving end of my undivided attention after school on Thursdays. Today I had a plan for our time alone, a few weeks ago I'd heard about a series of books called BOB Books that are for early readers. I decided to get a set and was excited when I found them at Indigo a few weeks ago.
I know Clara very well, and I know that one must choose ones opportunity very carefully when if comes to introducing a new concept like learning to read. We've been playing around with the alphabet for a long time already. I'd say at this point Clara recognizes all the uppercase letters of the alphabet, recognizes about 80% of the lower case letters, can write everything she recognizes and with reminders can write all the letters in both UC and LC, and knows the sounds of about 90% of the letters. Armed with this arsenal of pre-reading skills I introduced Book 1 titled Mat. And guess what??? She did it!!! Clara read the entire book. She sounded out the words and was ecstatic, thrilled, proud and more when she got to the end and I proclaimed (through teary eyes) "you just read a book!" She read the book two more times before dinner and had there been more quiet time she would have started on Book 2 for sure.
I can't even explain how proud I am of Clara B, we've been taking steps towards reading for so long and it is just so absolutely amazing to see her put together the information she has and be able to use it with such success. There is no doubt that she is motivated to continue. In fact, this evening she was desperate to read to Leo, unfortunately he was not interested in staying still but thankfully Papa came home and happily sat while Clara read to him instead.
Tiger Leo also made some huge strides this week, he's been spending more and more time in French environments (halte garderie, Carrefour des Petites Soleils, community lunches, etc) and on Tuesday afternoon, after spending time in Emmanuelle's class at the Carrefour Clara asked him if he spoke any french. His response: "Ummm... yeah... I say manger". How appropriate, the first word Leo says all on his own with no prompting in French is: eat!
When Clara and I picked Leo up at the halte garderie this afternoon the first thing he told us was this : "I didn't fy today, I didn't fy" which translates to "I didn't cry today, I didn't cry." In past weeks, Leo has felt it was his duty to cry before taking a nap, he seemed to think it was a point of pride to cry for about 30 seconds before accepting that it was quiet time. I guess today he finally gave in and didn't bother. His caregivers were full of wonderful things to say about my Leo boy - I get the feeling he's pretty much won their hearts, especially with all his big boy tendencies, apparently he loves to help with the babies and is quite a chatterbox.
2 hours ago