On the subject of reading, I want to record that Nicholas is becoming a great reader. At the beginning of the year he started asking to learn how to read. He was very persistant, so I began him on the same book I used when Thomas asked to learn how to read at age 4. The book is called "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons." It was recommended to me by several friends and it has worked well for us. I spent some time researching different methods before I started Nicholas, but I didn't find anything I liked nearly as much as this one (especially for young children).
Nicholas has loved learning to read. He almost always asks to do his "reading lesson" before I do. He is now on lesson 74 and has started reading the first set of Bob books. With the Bob books, there are three different colors of books in each set. I read each book of one color with him once to be sure he knows all the words. He is then required to read each book of that color at least two more times before we move on to the next color. I think that repitition really helps solidify things.
I have a hard time finding good "beginning reading" books. I think most of them are laughably inappropriate for beginning readers. I like the Bob books well enough, but I would LOVE to find something else to use also. Any suggestions?
Nicholas is so patient and calm about reading. He doesn't get frustrated when he can't remember a sound or when he has trouble figuring out a word. The stories at the end of each lesson are getting really long, but he doesn't ask to stop or whine that it is too hard, even though I can see that it is a challenge for him. He just patiently pushes through to the end. The biggest challenge for him is holding still enough to see the words :) If I can get him to sit on his bottom and just vigorously wiggle his leg, that usually works.
I am so happy that both boys have had a desire to learn to read, and have asked me to teach them. It is so satisfying to be the one that has taught them that important lifelong skill. It makes my heart so happy to see them progressing and learning to enjoy reading. Thomas will now stay up reading "Magic Tree House" books until I come in and turn off his reading light.