Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Lessons from my four year old! Choice Matters!

We have an excellent public library in Hickory, North Carolina, the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library. My four year-old son, Lucas, has enjoyed many aspects of the children's wing of the library for some time.  The puppets, touch-screen computers, lego table, puzzles, and bead mazes have kept him entertained and begging to come back.  However, until recently, looking for books has been a combination of me pleading and him running around in the aisles playing peek-a-boo.  Last month we ( when I say we, I mean I) finally settled on three books to take home, great pictures, and decodable words and sight words.  We got the books home, and Lucas didn't care to look at them once.... I was discouraged to say the least.  My husband and I both love to read, and I Lucas enjoys being read to, but he didn't care to take a look at the three books we (I) got from the library at all.

This week, we returned to the library, with baby brother, Griffin.  He too enjoyed the library, and used the little chairs to aid him in his journey to walking independently. Ha! But, this trip was different.  We played Legos, solved puzzles, drove wooden cars on the rug map of the city, and then (I) decided to look for books.  A light bulb went off in my head, as I was trying to coach Lucas into deciding what type of book he might light to look for, and it hit me...the boy loves trains.  I figured out that using the library computer to search for train books while juggling a feisty one-year-old, is no easy task, so we asked for help!  Roxanna was super, and led us right to the treasure that is number 385 in the Dewey decimal system, a number I will probably never forget, Railroad Transportation!  

Lucas was overjoyed!  He picked out 5 books to take home, and proudly carried his library card, while I toted Griffin and the carseat and bags, and Roxanna carried our newly found treasures to the check-out counter.  Lucas couldn't wait until we got home to look at his books, so enjoyed one in the car on the way home. Once home, he proudly shared them with his daddy, and insisted that we read one!

The morning after our library trip the first thing Lucas said after waking up was, "Mommy, let's read one of my train books!"  My response, "Let's do it!"  He was so excited.

So, there it is....  Were these books on his reading level? His instructional level? No.  They were dead center in his interest level!  He's picked up so much vocabulary, and can recognize new words by sight.  He's developed more book and print awareness, story elements, and text features, all at the age of four.    

As a proud supporter and advocate for Daily 5, I taught Lucas the three ways to read a book:
  • Read the pictures
  • Read the words
  • Retell the story
Check him out here retelling on of his books:

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