I was helping Bobo do his reading lessons earlier, and he matching words with the same beginning sounds using pictures. We had finished about a page and a half, when we got to a picture of a can. First I have him say all of the words in the list - you never know what kids think a picture of something is. Then find the matches. He said the word can and, without missing a beat, spelled it.
He’s never done that before. It’s a huge hurdle in the process of learning to read. When a child goes from only being able to spell words he’s memorized to hearing an unknown word, breaking it down into the phonemes and then spelling it! Wow! It’s along the same lines as watching a baby stand for the first time. Just makes a mom all gushy.
Learning to read is such a mysterious thing. Ever wonder why there are so many different approaches to reading and reading programs out there? It’s partly because different children learn to read using different methods, but also because we still don’t know for certain how someone learns to read.
Think about it. These little squigglies we call letters have no relation to the sounds they represent. They don’t really “make” sounds, and they often represent multiple sounds. I’m often amazed that humans learn to read at all. Reading is so cool!