Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reading and "Writing"

Have I mentioned that my girl is learning to read? She's very phonetically inclined, so much so that she can spell MUCH better than her sister ("I think you left out the 'n' in 'January', Willow," she says), even if she can only read the phonograms that I've explicitly taught her:


However, although her code-breaking skills are still very limited, my girl is already a writer like her Momma (with a better imagination and better sense of pacing, too). Here's the epic work that she spent the better part of a week creating, staying up late and then sneaking it into bed with her after Dadda's patience finally collapsed of an evening, being excused from schoolwork to work on it by decree of the Momma, taking it with her in the car to get a few more pages done while running errands:


I'm sorry that her voice isn't as clear as it could be, but to be fair, that was probably the tenth time that she'd read that particular nine-minute book out loud that day. I'm also sorry that it's recited so down-tempo, with Willow falling asleep next to her, but it was also, for various reasons unrelated to our current story, vastly past the children's bedtime.

And, of course, the story isn't written down--the child can't write all those words, nor spell them, nor read them once written, quite yet. Instead, her work is relayed through the oral tradition, just as some of my favorite Anglo-Saxon and North tales were, so many millions of years ago when I studied them in grad school. As well, when I listen to her read her creation, my nerd-mind goes, quietly inside my head, "Oooh, a hero myth! Oooh, the archetype of the wanderer! OOOOH, a QUEST!!!"

Oooh, a monster with eleven eyes and two claws and it lives in a cave and wants to eat unicorns!

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