Tuesday, March 18, 2008

She's a Reader - More Proof

Today Catherine requested some geometry. I went off in search of Key to Geometry book 2 and tossed her a high school geometry text (Modern Basic Geometry- I got it for 25 cents. It's ridiculously expensive online) I'd picked up at my local thrift store to look at until I came back. The first couple of pages contained stuff on points and lines and planes that was basically review for her. I fully expected her to just look at the pictures and beg me to read the text when I got back.


Instead I heard, "We use capital letters to name, or identify, points. Two distinct points are shown in the figure. In this book the phrase two points will mean two distinct, or different points..."

What the...?

She was reading with complete confidence. Not stumbling or pausing and conquering unfamiliar words with ease.

Fast forward an hour. I suggested she pick out a book to read herself. She was reading Owls in the Family by Farley Mowatt some time ago but it never really seemed to grab her and was forgotten. We went into her room and looked over the bookshelves, picking out books that looked promising. I pulled out a bunch that I thought might fit into her previous standard of, "not too long or difficult," but it was when I mistakenly pulled out Dragon Winter by Neil Hancock that her eyes lit up. The cover may shed some light on why:

For a kid who's just coming out of Narnia, you can of course understand why a standing bear in gorgeous surroundings may capture her interest.

Thing is, is was the biggest book in the pile. I pointed out that it might be challenging but she answered with, "Isn't that just what I need?"

I was speechless.

So some time in this past month she's changed how she defines herself in relation to reading. No longer does she think of herself as unable to read. Now she thinks of herself as a reader and now what seemed to be obstacles before no longer even exist.


Dawn said...

I was instructed by Susan (blogger doesn't like her) from Lifeontheplanet.typepad.com to add this:

Yahoo! Go, Catherine, go!


Thanks Susan!

Heather said...

Cool! I love when the kids take the reins. It seems whenever I let them lead, they're always headed in the right direction.

Lizabeth said...

Bravo! That's a fearless kid you've got there.

Noodle said...

Awesome!! I long for that realization day with my youngest. *sigh*

Dragon Winter sounds pretty good from the Amazon blurb. I'll have to look for that.

Anonymous said...

Think about what it would have been like in public school while they tried to make her read... I literally shudder. Terms like "reluctant reader" "remedial" and "resource" are popping into my head. I'm so glad she got to do this all in her own good time. Sounds a lot like Hope, after her one year in school she was frustrated or a further two years that she couldn't read, then when the switch clicked she was reading Eragon type books. I don't know if it's them redefining their role as readers though, I think it's a brain versus code thing myself.

Dawn said...

Whatever is it you're right about public school. "She's almost ten and doesn't read!?!"

And yet when the switch gets flipped, for whatever reason, she's sitting down with high school math texts and novels.

Anonymous said...

Hope was almost 8 when she started reading. When she was six we did the Learn to Read in 100 Lessons book, and it did diddly. She was getting so p.o.'d. She'd say "but I don't want to learn these little words, I want to do *real* reading, with *big* words! LOL. So we gave up on lessons and I just kept telling her that her brain would obviously decide when it would start reading and to just be patient in the meantime. And, unlike in school, both her father and I got to witness the moment when it clicked, while riding down a busy shop filled street she yelled at the top of her lungs "I can read the store signs!!!!" and proceeded to read every single signage to us. It was beautiful. :-)

I'm so glad it got to be a great moment for you guys too. :-) The world is her oyster now.

Anonymous said...

Hey, something just popped into my head. "Reluctant", "remedial" and "resource"... the new 3 R's of the public school system.