Go, Julia, Go
It can be hard to know what Julia knows sometimes. She's not a kid who likes to perform, and if she sense that you're too interested in something she's been working on, she instantly refuses to discuss it any further. A year ago, when she was surprising us daily with words she was able to decipher, I predicted that she'd be reading fluently by now. And then, as soon as I'd gone and said that, she promptly lost all interest in learning to read. Other interests and pursuits took precedence and I was frankly a little glad to see her intensity lessen a bit, at least where reading was concerned.
There have been hints, though, that Julia's been steadily working on this reading thing when we're not looking. I can hear her sounding stuff out in her room during quiet time sometimes, and occasionally she'll let slip something that makes me think she's reading a lot more than she lets on. So today, just for curiosity, I suggested that she be the one to read a book before quiet time. "I'll start if you'll finish," she responded, and I promptly agreed. I purposely selected Go, Dog, Go, both because I thought the words would be simple enough for her to sound out and because I knew she hadn't seen it in over a year and wasn't likely to have it memorized like so many of the books in our collection. I thought maybe she'd read a page or two before she lost interest, if I was lucky. And in classic Julia style, she proved me wrong once again.
21 pages into the book, I'd helped her sound out only 2 words; the rest she'd done completely on her own. Some words she knew by sight, some she sounded out on her own and a few she inferred based on the pictures that accompanied the text. She was clearly reading, and she seemed far less impressed by that fact than I was. "It's your turn now," she told me mater of factly, and I happily read her the rest of the book. "I promise that no matter how good you get at reading, I'll still always want to read aloud to you," I told her as I left the room. From the smile she gave me, I suspect that our bookshelf is going to get a good workout in the coming months.