Mum called me yesterday, while I was at the office. She screamed, "Your son can read Lin!!" over the phone, which sounded too good to be true, because every time I'd ask my 5-year old, "What did you learn at school today Amir?", his usual reply would be, "I don't know." So, staying true to myself, I reserved room for skepticism, "He probably just memorised a few words in his book," I thought.
That evening, when I got home, mum urged little Amir to show me that he had learnt how to read. Amir opened his school book, pointed at the words on the page and read, "Kuh-eh-tuh. Caaaatttt. Cat." He pronounced each consonant and vowel; then he read the word, first slowly, then fast. It was so cute. I saw, however, that there was a picture of a cat on the page, so I still wasn't sure if he was actually reading.
But then, he read and read, stumbling on words as he went, and spelling them out, phonetically, to himself. By the time he got to the middle of the book, which had no pictures, I was convinced that he had, indeed, learnt how to read. Cat, bat, tot and cab, these were the four words he read over and over again.
To test him, I purposely messed up my spelling as I read with him, "Kuh-eh-tuh - BAT!" I would say. He'd giggle endlessly at my silliness, delighting in the fact that he was smarter than his mum. He'd then point out my mistake and recite the correct spelling.
As I tucked him in that night, we spelled things that were in his book, then things that weren't in his book, like: rat, hat, fat, pat, mat and sat. We finished up with a silly sentence - 'A fat rat sat on a cat on the mat', which drew more giggles, and then he fell asleep.
He has only learnt to read about four words, since this is his first reading book, but I'm so proud of him! I can't wait until he brings home more reading books from school, so we can learn to spell and read and spell some more. Soon, he'll be able to read all of the books that I've been collecting for him since before he was born! What an adventure that'd be!