Doodle has always been hesitant to try new things, for one reason or another. If it's a physical activity, she's usually too scared to do it for fear of getting hurt. More intellectual activities (painting, writing her name, reading, tying her shoes) seem to have an age limit on them in her mind.
For instance, she used to say, "I'll learn to tie my shoes when I'm 5, like Tora did." Ok, fine. But if we take the time to show her that she is capable of doing something, she's always surprised, and her preconceived notions of age-appropriate activities vanish.
On Monday, Dahdoo was asking her sisters to read to her, and Doodle said, "Ask Tora...I can't read yet. I'll read when I'm 6." Monday afternoon, I sat down on the couch with her, handed her Dr. Seuss's "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now?" and asked her to just try and read. She read the whole book, cover to cover, and squealed with excitement at her newfound skill.
Last night, she read Green Eggs and Ham (all 62 pages!) all by herself. I only had to help her with three or so words, but she read the rest of the book in its entirety, completely solo. She was thrilled, and asked if we could read a book together every night. I promised her that we would.
It's amazing to me sometimes how incredibly smart she really is. Tora stumbled a LOT when learning to read, and gave up more times than I can count, professing that it was just too hard, and she'd do it when she was older. She wasn't really reading whole books until the beginning of last year. Doodle seems to be a step ahead, because once she sees that she can do something, there's no stopping her.
I wish I'd figured out how to help Tora read more easily. Doodle and I figured out that instead of sounding out each letter and then saying the sounds faster and faster to get the word right, she can sound out each letter, then run them together and get the words about 4x faster. For instance, the word "tree" became "t.....er.....eee....." then "ttttttttttttrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" "oh, tree!"
She's amazing, and I'm so proud of her. She wants to read everything in sight now, which is so very cool. And she remembers everything too, which is awesome. I asked her after we'd read the book last night how many places Sam-I-Am wanted the "yellow fuzzy monster guy" to eat green eggs and ham. "Let's see...in a boat, and in a car, and a train, and a tree, and a house, and with a mouse, and with a goat, and in the dark...I think that's it."
This is so cool. :)