Nik learned to read over the summer.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that he has been interested in books since he opened his eyes…I have a video of him at 4 months, sitting up on our couch, paging intently through a picture book.
However, while the interest was there, his brain couldn’t make the connections it needed to make in order to take the interest and strong desire to actual reading. The letters made no sense, the words were hard-won, and slowly the frustration didn’t seem worth it and he would just give up. Or he would memorize the story and fake his way through it. He fooled many reading parent volunteers at his school this way…
Agony for a mother who has read since three, and has never stopped inhaling books ever since.
And then this summer, a breakthrough. It seemed like almost overnight, he went from laboring over two- to three-word sentences to reading polysyllabic words in long sentences. He would read out loud, with the proper intonations. He even changed his voice to match the characters, if he was reading conversation pieces.
With this newly found skill, his confidence grew exponentially; he could understand his homework now, he enjoyed his math lessons, he could read signs on the street, he would read out loud to his sister.
If I wasn’t here to watch it happen, I would not know that this boy was the same Nik from the end of the last school year. In fact, sometimes we catch ourselves looking at each other in amazement, at something profound he’s just said, or something thoughtful he’s just done, and then can’t help but burst out to him: “Who are you and what have you done with our Nik?”
And he responds: “I am the real Nik, and I just said that.”
Yes. You are the real Nik. Every single day.