Sometimes I Have Revelation Moments

Sometimes I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Tonight I had a revelation that should have been obvious a very long time ago, but I just didn't see it.

Micah is a smart kid. There is no way of knowing exactly how smart he is, but everyone who's met him agrees that his cognitive wheels are turning.

Micah has no interest in academic learning. I don't know if it's just not his thing because he's more hands-on than he is bookish or what, but it's a concrete fact that he and school work aren't compatible.

And yet, Micah can read. I know that he can because he reads movie titles. He refuses to keep things in cases, so VHS tapes and DVDs are just out there alone with no pictures on boxes of what they are. Despite this, he can shuffle through his collection and pick the one that he wants. And just today I watched as he matched up the Mary Poppins VHS with it's box and put it away. See? That was a two-fold reason to rejoice.

My boy, making me proud every day.

So this evening as I had a moment of reflection on his mad reading skills, my light bulb shone a little brighter. What if I'd make a little book with pictures of our family, and our dogs, and things around him that he knows and loves, and then wrote in big bold letters underneath the pictures what or who was pictured. Would he look at it? Would he learn? Would he recognize our names like he recognizes his when he sees it written? Could he learn to read by sight words alone? Could I make a whole book of sight words to teach him? And how, then, would I teach him to read abstract words like the and and.

It's an idea. For better or worse is yet to be determined, but I have to try. It's my obligation as a mom.


Flea said...

Looks like he's strangling that poor puppy.

I think you're a genius. Do it! My youngest has an auditory issue and can only sight read. He just had to memorize things like the and and. Micah can do it if it's stuff he loves.

Michelle said...

Ooo that's a nifty idea. I think that's so cool that he can read the movie titles and yet more proof that limits are only where we place them. Good luck - and have fun with it!

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

And I bet he will love a book you make especially for him. Great idea.

That picture is killing me. said...

Oh, Karen, what a great idea! You must do it!
I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

BeautifulWreck said...

What an excellent idea. I also think it will work! Yes, kids can totally learn how to read by sight reading alone. Keep us updated on how it goes!

Carol N. said...

Yep - great idea to use the items Micah knows and loves. You could easily make repetitive books about Woody (that beloved cowboy). Maybe Micah's siblings would like to help too.

Oh, Joyce (Sarah's mom) made wonderful books for Sarah and included site words:

the planet of janet said...

dooooooooo it!!!!!!!

go, micah!

(and please save the puppy...)

marry said...

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Karen said...

No worries, everyone. The puppy's life was never in danger. Despite what looks like a death strangle, Micah's hands are very gentle with the little guys.

Annette W. said...

I think you are right on! I love to personalize things for Meghan so she knows how to read her name. Recently she seems to recognize other family names too. I made a felt mailbox and envelopes with each of our names (Mommy, Daddy too) on them.

I have even heard of taking the words in context (so the candy bar wrapper that a child can read or the word Cheerios from the box) and making a word wall with them.

I do feel that reading begins with memorizing the special words...noticing the pattern of the letters and not actually sounding out the word MOM each time. Then learning to sound out words comes. But that's just my opinion.

You are an awesome mom!

Anonymous said...

Two weeks ago, I attended a workshop for parents and teachers. It was a workshop strictly to teach us how kids with Down syndome learn. I am a teacher, but also have a 3 year old with Down syndrome. At the workshop we learned that sight reading is how they learn to read. I went home and labeled several things in my house, trash, door, window, books, closet, toys, etc. When we pass by these labels, I point to the word and say it out loud. I am hoping this will help my little guy learn to read. They also mentioned making a picture book with words, just like you said. Right on!! Good luck!!

Karen Deborah said...

did that puppy live? I have made some books on Shutterfly. You can upload photos and write the story. They mail you a real soft cover book and it's amazingly affordable. I sent one to my granddaughter after our family reunion and her mom says she reads it every night. I think seeing themselves in a real book just blows their little minds. I think this is a great idea! Another thing that would be good for him to do is play with construction type toys, browse Timberdoodle. You can tell he is bright just by his eyes. And holy cow he is growing up fast! I remember when he looked all cute and babyish. Isn't it cool to see him develop?

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I put the pictures that we receive during the holidays in small, cheap-o albums for the kids - they love looking at the pictures, and it helps remind them that they have family and friends from all over the country. I think next year I will take a page from you and put their names under the photo.

Micah is just amazing! I have to agree with Michelle - we never know what our kids are capable of unless we let them take the lead and show us!

Brandie said...

I think Micah will keep you very busy making books for him! My 8yo makes them for Goldie to encourage her to say words beginning with sounds she knows.

caramama said...

What a fantastic idea!

As for words like "the," I think (not sure) that sign language doesn't even use them. They seem like throw away concepts, don't they? I'll bet we barely register them when we read them. I wouldn't worry too much about them.