Back in July, when I was still sans computer, I scribbled this bit of journal onto a piece of paper, planning to blog it when I could, but of course I lost it instead. Anyway I found it yesterday, and thought I'd post it now. The photo isn't exactly related - but it's my sweet Jesse cuddling with Melanie, a girl we went camping with in Alice Springs, who became a good friend of Jesse's while we were there. I think this is among the best photos I've ever taken - there's so much mood in it. Melanie came camping with us with her grandmother, Lizzie, and I had a wonderful time chatting with Lizzie - she taught me several of the signs her tribe use, and it was so exciting to learn some of Australia's native sign language. I also grilled Lizzie about how she, her mother, her grandmother and other women in her culture care for babies - and collected plenty of material for my book. How satisfying.
Anyway, onto my scribblings from 14th July: Yesterday when we were organising his books, Jesse and I found a beginner level "reader" we'd borrowed from Jan. I opened the book and asked if he could read the first page. He could, no problem. I turned the page and he read that too. Last time I showed him this book he wasn't interested. At that stage he could have read the words, I know from his word cards, but he wasn't up for concentrating on a sequence of words like in a book. This time he was delighted and empowered to discover he could read the words, and the pictures really captivated him. The book is well designed and gave him plenty of practice at each of the words it introduced, and by the end he was already recognising them more quickly. Last night in bed we did the other reader, which has the same vocab with different pictures - he read the whole book easily. This morning he wanted to read it again and did so over breakfast. I also wrote him a story in a similar vein, with stick illustrations, which he really enjoyed. Tonight I borrowed the rest of the readers in the series from Jan, and when he saw them, his face lit up. Tomorrow we'll do more. I'm so excited to see him reading books at last. Well, not really "at last" since it'll be another three months before he turns four, but "at last" in the sense that he's been heading in this direction, with varying levels of interest, for almost a year now. This is one of the times I'm so happy we homeschool - I would hate to hand these "Einstein" moments to someone else and miss them altogether. I thought about leaving a reader with Jan to do with him tonight, but felt too selfish - I can't bear to miss a single step on this amazing journey.