For the last few months Ben has been very interested in what things say. Every car ride is a constant chorus of, "What does that sign say? What does that sign say?" So Heath and I have taken that as a signal of readiness for reading. Though both of us loved school and emphasize learning we don't try to cram lessons down Ben's throat. But when he shows genuine interest in a subject we jump on it.
He already knew a lot of the letter sounds (Thanks, Super Why!), so we've been working on those and showing him how the sounds go together to create words. He seems to be getting it a little bit. He's not reading on his own by any means, but he did read a word! He asked where we were going that day, so I wrote ZOO on the board in his room. I was just about to say, "What sound does Z make?" when he said, "Z... oo!" I think it helped that the day before I had written BOO on the board and explained that two "O"s make the ooooooo sound. And he remembered! How amazing is that?
Ben's also getting a lot better at writing letters. He can reliably write his name (though sometimes the N is backwards and he can get a little overzealous with the lines on the E). The other day he told me he wanted to write "Cat in the Hat." So we got out the notebook, I told him the letters and he wrote them all down. Just today his teacher said he worked with one of their student teachers and wrote down the lyrics to a song they sing. I'm so proud of how hard he's working to master these skills and that it's all coming from his own interest.