She can read!

Literacy is a BIG DEAL in this house.

Hmmm, can't imagine why.

We've been in the emergent literacy phase with Sassafras for quite some time. What happens in this phase is complex but can be boiled down to this: learning letters and their sounds, understanding the way English reads (left-right, top-bottom, external parts of a book, turning pages, etc.). You don't have to have a degree in education to help your child with this...and it also doesn't have to be a total bore for either of you.

Want proof?

See? Easy. Have I done all of those with Sassafras? No, but we have done some. Montessori apps on the iPod Touch are my current favorites for encouraging her current stage of language acquisition.

Okay, so my "some" coupled with her ohsoprecious teacher's "a lot" has resulted in a wondrous thing.

My Sassafras can read. Mostly by herself, she can actually start and read a simple storybook from start to finish. Amazing.

We have reading homework pretty much every night, and no we don't get it done every night like we should. What can I say-we're still in that do what you can do and that has to be good enough adjustment stage. Actually, that adjustment stage is quickly becoming our way of life. The jury's still out on whether that is a good or a bad thing. I digress...

Some nights we actually get her book read three times so she can take a quiz on it the next day. I had been reading it to her, then reading it again with her repeating after me, then reading it a third time changing out some of the words in a silly way and letting her correct me, giggling all the while. One night I got a wild hair and said, You read it to me by yourself.

Me? All by myself? 

All by yourself. 

And she did. She tripped over a few words here and there, but she honest-to-goodness read the whole stinkin book all by her lonesome. I nearly wept, and fully realized that this was way bigger than just a proud mom moment. This was a defining moment in her life. Laugh all you want at the silly liberry lady but that quote from Frederick Douglass about how "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free," yeah, I live and breathe that.

Douglass meant it in the literal sense, that once a slave learned to read, he or she could then be free from being told what to think. Rather, they would have the ability to think, form opinions, analyze, and make decisions independently.

The Captain and I have some lofty aspirations for our girls, and their ability to think in this world is in the top tier. Literacy is a key to that.

Pardon me if I reach for the tissues when she reads a Biscuit book, for I know it's just a short step away from the day she is consuming and analyzing Scripture and literary classics.