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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Reading Rainbow

I have to admit, I was worried that Marta might never learn to read. She has shown for most of her life a general disinterest in academic-like things. Most of the time, I have been torn between thinking that she really knows these things, and is too lazy to show it:

ME: Marta, what letter is that?
MARTA: Yawn ...
ME: Marta, what letter is that?
MARTA: C'mon, let's play
ME: Marta, what letter is that?
MARTA: Yawn ... A

Other times I have caught her not knowing things, which really scares me. Yet all of a sudden she wants to read. She is literally bringing me books. Most of the books deal with animals, and so far I have read her to sleep two nights in a row!

Some of the books are ones that I remember. That is because they once belonged to me. Take the character above, from The Fantastic Funny Finger Book (Price/Stern/Sloan 1979). Here's the caption:

Is 'disco' even a word anymore? I'm not so sure. It's a referential word, but I don't believe that in English we use it as it was originally intended. But here I am in 2007, reading a book printed the year I was born to my daughter. And she is enjoying it.

Another book we read together is a McDuff book about a small West Highland Terrier. Eddie, the Westie in our family, sadly passed away last summer, but Marta hasn't forgotten him.

"I want to read about Eddie," she says to me. The McDuff books have a slow pace, but I think they're pretty satisfying. I don't mind reading about our friend McDuff.

Altogether, I am encouraged by our reading adventures. I have to say that I feel really good after reading her a couple of books. It's like exercise.


Blogger space_maze said...

Have you been reading Estonian with her too (or Epp :-D )? I remember the trouble I had when I was young with reading English (well, mostly, I have my first English written "stories", and can quite see how off I must have been), as the relation between what was written on the paper and what people actually say was just so hard to grasp ("people" = piipel - very confusing for a bilingual toddler) - German was a lot easier for me in the beginning.

Estonian must be even better in the sense, as the relation between the spelling and the pronounciation is so logical - I'd assume that for a beginner, it'd go a lot easier than German, even. Since once you know the letters, you get it all.

Not that I've tried it :D

5:51 PM  
Blogger andry said...

There's nothing to worry about.
If child can see his/her parents reading and writing a lot of time, she/he will read.
Some day.

8:28 PM  
Blogger andry said...

Have you read dr Zeuss books to Marta. The man is a genius - but it's only my opinion.

7:51 PM  

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