Two Hundred Eighty Eight: Letter Magic

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”  – Frederick Douglass

Thursday, October 16th

I spend my weekdays with my son introducing him to the alphabet and numbers and all sorts of other wacky and wonderful things. Most of the time I am filled with self-doubt that anything is really sticking with him, and just keep plodding along. Then I hear his sister (whom I [home] pre-schooled) read a full sentence and then my son who stammers out “Deeee. De. De. De. Dog!” Letter magic!

I applauded my daughter’s teacher for her instruction too. My girl gets to peer read with a book buddy. She is read to several times a day. She gets to “book shop” once a week. This is so much more than a “Dick and Jane” book with questions at the end of the story. Reading is taught to be the magical thing that it is.

I feel like I am always reading an article or comment on social media about the values of educating your child this way or not schooling them that way, and so seldom read anything about the complete and utter joy of reading. The joy of reading a wonderful work of literature to our children. The joy of reading the same book that we have read to our children since they were babies. The joy of curling up with one another when there is little else that makes sense for the moment and just be together in the presence of someone else’s words.

I can’t promise my children that I will give them a perfectly rosy childhood without blemishes and mistakes. I will, however, know that I have helped to teach them how to read and to understand what a mind-opening opportunity books are in this life.

Do you remember what it was like learning how to read?


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