Reading or Teasing?

Okay, so my four year old is incredibly bright.  He is one of the most asynchronous people I have met in my life.  He is so more capable in some areas than most kids his age; yet he’s so incredibly young-seeming (speech articulation issues galore, he’s tiny, toddlerish flitting between naughty choices, etc). It’s wild.

Anyway, so one area he’s also asynchronous in is cognitive and academic development.  In this post, I’m going to speak mostly of his reading development.  He has known his letter sounds for over a year now.  Occasionally, he seems to have some weird hiccup where he says something off the wall (like the short /O/ sound for F or whatever).  I wonder if what I learned this week was relevant then.

So here is what happened.  I, like most parents, run my fingers under the text I want my child to sound out or that I’m reading.  So we start doing it. I’ll just use a word family as an example:T-lo

/a/ /t/, say it fast, /at/

/b/ /a/ /t/, say it fast, /bat/

/f/ /a/ /t/, say it fast, /fat/

Easy, right?

Except T-lo…(goodness, I can barely contain my laughter) thought I was teasing or tricking him!  He thinks that when you are running your finger across, you are really HIDING the letter you want him to say the sound of (not pointing to the line of letters above your finger)!  So as I point to *b*, he says /f/!!!!  I was so incredibly confused! Why was he saying the b said /f/???  Finally I figured it out.

After figuring it out, I thought about all the time I’ve thought it so odd that he runs his finger ON words like in the song book at the hall or on the behavior chart.  I just figured he was clueless that the words were actually there and that we are reading certain words for certain ideas.  I mean, he *is* only four.  It would be perfectly reasonable to think he doesn’t get that letters make words yet, especially considering he has been in eight other homes, the majority of which I doubt ever read to him.

But now that I think of it.  He *did* have the idea.  He’s just been *very* confused.  I wonder WHY he thinks we hide letters/words from ourselves to read it.  Does he think there may be a reason?  Has he pondered what it is?  Wouldn’t it be awesome if he could articulate it so we could know?!?!

Anyway, so I have come up with a few ideas to remedy the situation.  I just thought the “problem” is pretty cute 🙂



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