among many other things (ballet class, art, pretzels, blueberries, pickles...) that she loves, right now reading and writing are topping the list. yes, I know, she's three. so I'm not talking reading like she picks up a book and reads to herself, and I'm not talking writing like she sits down and pens a letter to her good pals... but I'm definitely talking reading and writing of a developmentally appropriate (and beyond) level. for at least a few months, she has somewhat regularly asked me to write out words for her to try to sound out. I do the typical CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, often staying with one vowel at a time. and she does it. she actually sounds them out and, with a beaming smile of accomplishment and joy on that little face I love so much, she declares them loud and proud. not always of course, but for the most part. it started with her brief stint at montessori last year (brief as in 3 days) after which she asked me about the classroom and the works. I saw her eagerness and set up a pseudo-montessori classroom in the corner of our office. sandpaper letters and sound object boxes, numbers and counters, matching, practical life, sequencing, a nature tray, etc. over the last year things have been switched out and refreshed now and again and evolve with her interests. despite all of this, I don't consider myself homeschooling her. not yet, really. I set things up and they are there when and if she wants to give them attention, and I am there to help her. no schedule as of yet, or anything like that. because she's three, and playing and exploring are her most important jobs right now. I keep telling myself to follow her lead though and her thirst for starting down the path of unlocking the world of reading and writing is plain to see. I'm not surprised that this is what gets her so excited, ever since she was old enough to show us her preferences it has been obvious that books are her most prized possessions and way to pass time. but I guess part of me wonders now and again if this is all too soon- and I step forward slowly and choose my words of encouragement cautiously, not wanting her to feel pushed, not wanting to do or say anything that takes this amazing growth away from her and makes it seem like it's something she's doing for me, or for anyone else for that matter.
I sound ridiculous, I'm sure. who is this lady, the crazy one who seems worried (?!) about her daughter's love of books that has led to some early writing and reading? I'm not worried, of course, and I know it's all good. more than good, it's amazing. it's just new. and maybe it's diluting her littleness a bit more than I'm prepared for.
but I've still got plenty of littleness to hold onto for sure. she still needs (prefers?) me laying with her for what seems like forever at night in order to finally fall asleep, she calls construction work "oxstruction", and she's never had her hair cut. she wets the bed and she is clearly still a toddler in so many ways, and then again not.
what fun it is to watch and learn beside her every day. I remind myself that despite the challenges that come with our nearly-always-together-ness, it's pretty damn awesome. I get a front row seat for all of these amazing things she learns through trial and error, I see her grow and change and assert herself. it is an honor, for sure.