An Ode to Words

I recently went to a talk on school readiness. To be honest, my friend Sue bullied me a little into going, but I’m really glad she did. (Hi Sue! Love you!)

I left feeling very nervous about whether Daniel was ready for Grade 1 or not and determined to find time (did you just fall off your chair laughing?) to tick those all-important milestones between now and January 2013. The broken arm has been a bit of a setback from a physical perspective and we are worried about his ball skills, so there’s lots of work to be done there.


Last night we were all reading on the floor as we do every night (and by “we” I mean Etienne and I take turns) and Daniel was trying to read the words. He can make out some of the 3-letter-words already and is absolutely desperate to read the rest. It was like something has just clicked for him lately and he was very impatient about being read to. I was very happy for us to spend the time trying to spell out the words of The Three Little Pigs, but the Sussies were having none of it last night and kept rushing us. I felt quite sad about it as it was already quite late, but from now on one of us will read to the girls and the other will read with Daniel.

This is a very big deal to us. I can still remember when I learnt to read, my whole life opened up before me and I have been a voracious reader all my life (Etienne more so, believe it or not). We have spent hours and hours reading to the kids, the same books over and over and over again. They each fall asleep clutching a book most nights.

So, our children might not ever turn out to be Olympic athletes, but they might love words as much as we do.

And that is more than enough for us.

Can you still remember when you started reading?

Any suggestions for easy Afrikaans readers for Daniel?

Edit to add: I called Daniel’s teacher this afternoon asking about suggestions for books.  There was a letter from her waiting when I got home asking for us to send Daniel for a language assessment with a Speech Therapist.  Would it have been that hard for her to give me a heads up when we spoke earlier?  I know it’s not about me, but isn’t it just a little cold to not say anything or bother to contact us?  Or do I expect too much?

6 thoughts on “An Ode to Words”

  1. I was raised on Liewe Heksie and Soekie, my brother on Trompie and Die Swart Kat, so I don’t think that’s much help… sorrie!

  2. And I meant to add, yes I can remember starting to read, cereal boxes and adverts. It was awesome. Back in those days, veiled by the mists of time, it was frowned upon for a child to start school already beig able to read. Has this changed? Because it sure seems like everybody’s in a rush getting grade 000s to write their names etc.

    1. It’s really weird. One the one hand they are stoked when your child can read because it’s less work for them, but on the other hand they freak out because they are petrified the kids are going to be bored and cause chaos. Go figure.

  3. Oh heavens, you should see how the Princess loves to read. WE have found that the public library has the best books because they tend to be older so the letters are the “right” types. FOr very simple reading try the Otto books.

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