We have been reading to Lukas daily for a long time now. How long? Well, since long before he was born actually.
It's true. Mrs. LIAYF and I had ourselves read a lot about the benefits of reading to your baby in-utero and thus decided it would be a great idea to employ that practice. Quite a bit.
In fact, as silly as it may sound, for a long stretch of her pregnancy I would read 'Guess How Much I Love You' nightly to her ever growing belly in hopes that it would calm our yet unnamed baby and get him used to Daddy's voice talking to him.
Now, I don't know how much these neo-natal story times actually helped Lukas, but it sure made Mrs. LIAYF and I feel like we were proactively teaching and calming our unborn child.
The practice of reading to him didn't stop after he was born either. On the contrary, we have made it a habit to read to our son as much as possible in the intervening 4 years. We have also collected a large number of books for him, so that he has a large variety of material to choose from whenever he wants to hear dad or mom read a story. In fact, our hefty kid book count was once tallied at around 600, and we have probably added a couple hundred volumes since then.
And now that Lukas is 4-years-old, we may be seeing some of the benefits of all that reading paying off. That's because under the loving tutelage of his mother, and to a lesser extent myself, our son has been excitedly learning about phonics and has been doing a terrific job of associating the letters of the alphabet and their accompanying sounds. We have had many recent impromptu sessions with him where we have helped him sound out and spell words that hold meaning to him, such as the names of his friends from Pre-K.
Mrs. LIAYF even found a cool set of magnets to help us along with the process. They start with some basic word groupings. Letters can be then be added to create different words. For example, to 'ad' you can add an M, or a D, or an S and so forth. And Lukas has really enjoyed sounding out these different letters to reveal what the underlying word was.
All that being said, Mrs. LIAYF proudly came to me on Sunday and declared that our son had probably read his first real word. Not one he recognized because we had read it in a story, but one that he had actually saw written down and to which he had applied his emerging set of reading skills to.
And, what was that word?
Well, what sound does an 'F' make? Good job, and what about a 'U'? Right!! Now, what about the 'N'? Awesome job! Yay!!
Yes. It is FUN indeed.
And I couldn't have thought of a more appropriate word for him to start with.