Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Brilliant Five-Year Old


My son, Graham, turned five in February.  A keen learner since infancy, he was definitely at an advantage since his older sister, Gillian, loved to teach him things.  She taught him the alphabet before he turned two. Even though his pronunciation was slightly delayed, and it was only this past year that he was able to speak in a way that everybody understood him, his other skills, such as counting, adding and subtracting were distinctly advanced.  At my first interview in late November with his junior kindergarden teacher, she couldn't say enough good things about him.  She was so impressed with his skills, his positive attitude and his behaviour.  We were slightly concerned about his pronunciation but we both felt his speech would refine itself over the course of the year, and it has.  He is such a bright little boy!

He learned to read this year.  By Christmas he was beginning to read single words, by February he was burning through the tiered readers that were sent home each day.  Greg and I were so impressed, because our daughter, who had no older sibling to compete with/mirror, progressed much more slowly at learning to read.  She is a wonderful reader now, but she would rather do some artwork or dance to a CD than read.

Graham read his first chapter book this past weekend.  I had been reading him some of Gillian's Junie B. Jones books, about a precocious and spirited kindergardner who gets into all sorts of fixes.  He enjoyed them, but when he picked out this latest one, he insisted that he wanted to read it to ME.  For a few days he only read it to me at bedtime.  But then over the weekend, he started picking it up and reading more whenever he felt inspired.  It was almost like every time I looked over at him, he had a book in his hand. Either the Junie B. Jones book or Dr. Seuss' 'Oh Say Can You Say' (a book of tongue twisters so tricky that it took me awhile to be able to read it through quickly).  This thrilled me so much.  I've always been a hardcore bookworm, and honestly was quite surprised when my daughter showed little interest in reading initially.  I always hoped she'd become like me, picking up a book and losing herself in it for the pure pleasure of it.

So to see my second child obviously heading in the direction of being a dedicated bibliophile, thrills me to the core.  I can hear him sounding out the words he doesn't know and repeating them in a whispered voice to himself to feel their rhythm and weight.  He is a word man, and loves to play with words to make them sound silly or unusual.  Who knows, maybe he will write his own stories some day?

Perhaps he will write a book and my daughter will illustrate it with her beautiful drawings ;)  They'd make the perfect creative team.

~ Liz

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