Ben is starting to read! It's really amazing to watch because we haven't been pushing him to read. We've taught him the letter sounds and how to sound out words, but it's mostly coming from him. He's asking to learn all these things and he's figuring it out on his own, too. Recently we walked past a pizza restaurant and Ben said, "Pizza!" Immediately I started scanning the windows for a picture of pizza, but there wasn't one. Other than the word, there was no indication that it was a pizza restaurant. He freaking read it! I'm guessing he had seen the word previously and memorized it and didn't sound it out on the spot, but that's a big part of reading, especially in English. He's using context clues, too, because he reads "open" on store windows a lot. These are all great skills and though I know he's smart, I'm still surprised he's learning them so young.
Reading is the most important thing Ben will learn and since I love reading it's very exciting to me that's he's so enthusiastic about it. Once he can read, the entire world will be open to him... But it's also terrifying because the entire world will be open to him. He'll be able to read anything, whether I want him to or not. And of course that's part of growing up... It's just a big leap forward.
He's only four and a half and barely reading, but you know me. I like to worry about things in the future that I can't change. I just wonder how I'm going to handle situations like this: We were at the mall and passed one of those kiosks selling stuff and they had a row of belts that all said, "I (heart) boobies." Ben asked what it said and I just mumbled something about it being silly. A year from now he'll probably be able to read it himself, but he won't really know what it means so he'll ask me. I'll want to explain how it's disrespectful to women, but will he really understand? I guess it doesn't matter. I should just prepare myself for lots of awkward conversations.