Friday, January 4, 2013

All In His Head

I know my children are intelligent. I have no question about that. Or at least they are both as intelligent as most other children. I see it every day when I practice reading or work on flash cards with them. Yet sometimes I wonder what that really means.

Matthew's latest line is that he can do things in his head only. I am amazed at what he can do in his head only but not out loud for anyone else. Here are some examples:

-Matthew has some beginning reader books at school. When asked if he can read the words (they are in Spanish and he is still learning the language), he stated "only in my head." I asked if he reads them to his teacher and he stated "No. I can't read them out loud. Only in my head."

-Matthew checked out an adult level Star Wars novel from his school library. When asked why he chose that book he stated, "So I can read it." I explained that it was a little too long for me to read it to him in a week. He stated, "No. I can read it to myself." I asked him to show me and he stated, "I can only do it in my head."

-Matthew is convinced he swims well enough to join swim team. I asked him to show me that he can swim the length of the pool. He stated, "I can only do it in my head." I told him he will need to be able to show me outside of his head and in the pool before he can join the team.

Matthew is a smart kid and reading will come to him. He is in a dual language program where they teach literacy in Spanish. Since Matthew is just beginning to learn Spanish, he doesn't always know what the word he is reading means so picture clues don't really work. He can read many of the words for objects he knows such as colors, numbers and a few items he uses every day. The rest will come as his Spanish improves. He does understand a lot more Spanish than I thought he would at this time. I speak Spanish to him occasionally at home and he seems to understand a lot of what I say. The reading will come. The experts state the children should be caught up by the end of 3rd grade and most are advanced in reading by the end of 5th grade with the goal that the children will be fluent in English and Spanish by the end of 5th grade. Matthew is in kindergarten so we have a few years to wait to see what happens. Of course, I will continue to work with him over the next few years and he has an amazing teacher who will also continue to work with him.

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