Friday, November 19, 2010

This is It

Oh yay! Today we had a quiet day at home. Harriet pronounced herself too tired to go out and do anything, so despite having a place to go and friends to see, we chose to have a day of not doing anything. Except for the fact that the library books were due yesterday - d'oh! So we trotted off to the library in the morning (Harriet dressed in her pyjamas and dressing gown of course).

We had a great time at the library. We chose a couple of books from this fantastic series we found called 'See Inside'. It's a range of picture books about non-fiction topics and they have large drawings across a double spread with loads of small flaps to open up and read more detail about the topic. Last time Harriet got 'See Inside Castles' and *loved* it. She loved it so much she wanted to renew it and we also picked up See Inside Pirate Ships and See Inside Ancient Rome. And sometime during the month of December she may even wake up one morning to find three other See Inside books have magically been transported to her living room.

But what was so, so awesome about today was that I found a little section in the children's area where they had piles of 'first reader' style books. Now if you know Harry, you'll know she loves a system. Organisation. Structure. And in the Ladybird series of readers she has kind of reached the end of the line - she can read the Level 4 books without a problem and in her mind this means she has classified herself as a "Level Four". The idea of there being different systems or level structures doesn't really fit into the equation at the moment.

But this series is from Usborne as well. I LOVE Usborne. They produce informative, beautiful, sturdy and generally well produced and thought out texts for children. The ones I picked up said they were 'Level One' but there were a surprising number of words in there that were quite complicated (like 'fault' for example, and 'countryside'). But I grabbed Animal Fables and Knight Tales for Harriet. Turns out they were 'Young Readers Level One' which is the next stage of reading, not the first ever stage of their reader, which made sense.

Now what followed is awesome. She read them. And I mean she sat down on the lounge and didn't even ask me to read with her. She just sat down and was so engaged with the text that she READ them on her own. Is it unusual that she has never really read aloud? She has always read silently, unless she's sounding out a word with us, or reading to her dolls in a game of school or to Ted or something. Otherwise it's all just silent reading. Anyway, she loved these books. There was the odd word that she didn't know (eg: 'gnawed') but others she did get that I was surprised at (like 'fault'). And what was even cooler was that when James came home and we were talking about the books, she came and showed us this thing that "is pretty cool. Look, here there is a cat saying 'Purr-fect' and it's written like a cat says purr but it says it like the word perfect. That is *so* funny". When she told us that, well, I've got to say that I was pretty surprised. Not that she got the pun I guess, but that she could recognise it written down.

And as for Ted - well he has been waking up all this week. sigh At night I've been so tired I haven't really had the energy to do anything much at all in the evenings and I have SO MUCH to do. But there are definite Ted-changes afoot. He has started talking way more than before. Today at the library he was grabbing the Charlie and Lola book off the children's table and yelling very loudly "LOH-LO! LOH-LO!" (trans. Lola of course). He's started putting two words together ("Mama, down!" for example) and eating. Oh my goodness the eating! Just last night for example he woke up at about 11pm and asked for food. He proceeded to eat a whole rice cake smothered in ABC nut butter and half an avocado! This is a child who, just a week ago, only really ate a few bites of anything offered to him (like maybe two dried apricots would be a big meal).

You can see him here from tonight's attempt at putting him to sleep. He ate more at dinner than I did! He ate two vegie sausages (I only ate one), heaps of avocado, about 20 cashews, half a banana and that's not including the full banana muffin and a half he ate straight from the oven (can't blame him on that one, they were delicious, from the Jude Bleureau cookbook).

The gorgeous thing about tonight was that when he stayed up, Harriet got up too. And they proceeded to play together, giggling like maniacs, for another hour after they were 'supposed' to be asleep. I'll put up a video soon. But it was cute. Way cute. Can't you just picture it?


Karen said...

Aww that's lovely seeing H reading. Gabrielle loved those books, it's such a shame they move through and past them so quickly.

I don't know if it's unusual to read silently from the get go or not. But reading aloud is a difficult skill. Gabrielle had a period where she stumbled badly reading aloud because her mouth could not move at anywhere near the speed of her brain. It didn't take long to get the hang of it though.

Anonymous said...

So glad we got to see you guys twice in one weekend !! Had a lovely time at the beach & Harry was very entertaining ;-) And her reading is amazing. I love the last shot of Ted in the blog- he screws up his little pudgy nose- that kid is soooo happy !!!
xx Lis