The Ruark Kids

Spontaneous reading


Last week or so, I noticed that Siena, who had been playing with her toy kitchen, was staring at the little grocery list decal on the faux refrigerator door. The header reads, literally, “Grocery List.” With her small index finger on the door, she spelled out “L, I, S, T.” And then, unprompted, she sounded out the word, strung the phonemes together, and ended by triumphantly saying, “list!” It was the first time I had seen her figure out how to read an unfamiliar word all on her own.

This evening, Siena was working on her United States puzzle. Ostensibly I was helping her, but really she can do the puzzle all by herself; at this point, she just needs me to tell her what the state names are. She knows some of them (Mississippi is inexplicably a favorite), but most she doesn’t know yet. And then she picked up the Virginia piece and started trying to sound out the name written on it. She spelled it without any trouble, but got confused when she started trying to string all the sounds together at once.

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