Dick and Jane To The Rescue

He asked if he could read another story.

It was huge to me. It was a mind blowing, earth shattering, birds chirping around the world kind of statement.

My 5 year old son, Bency is in Kindergarten and is learning to read.

Unlike his older sister, who emerged from the womb and began her love of books and desire to learn to read Bency was indifferent about books.

He likes when I read him stories but he rarely picks up books during the day and tries to read them by himself. My daughter, by 2 years old had memorized the majority of her books and could fool anyone that she was a reader. She read from sunup until sundown and still does.

In Kindergarten they began by teaching the kids the easy words such as the, it, is, can, see, etc. Bency does have these memorized and so now they are moving on to simple books that contain these words.

Last week I brought out an old Dick and Jane book and told Bency I was going to have him read it for me. He made a noise indicating that this would be painful and threw his hands up to his head. I kind of tilted my head and gave him a look and he said, “Fine, but you know I can’t read yet.”

Fun With Dick and Jane from 1940

Lo and behold, Bency CAN read. He actually did quite well and only stumbled over a few words. The words he didn’t know he would only look at for a second and then throw his body back and whine, “I don’t know that word. I can’t read.”

He is seriously dramatic and stubborn.

I kept pushing on night after night. I was patient and amazed watching him get better and better.

Night after night Bency grumbled, moaned and threw his hands to his head like my suggestion for him to read Dick and Jane with me was on par with getting seared with a hot branding iron.

Last night something happened though. We got through the same two chapters we have been rereading for the past couple of days and I began to close the book.

Bency said, “Hey, wait…I want to read the next chapter. I think I know how to read now.”

A half hour earlier when I told Bency that it was time for us to go up and read he said, “Do I have to?” and proceeded to do a rolling flip off of the chair that I can only assume indicated that he would rather knock himself unconscious or end up in the hospital then have to go read what Dick and Jane were up to.

I’m hoping the future holds the constant request for one more story!

25 responses

  1. Just what I would expect him to say, “I think I know how to read now.” Your son cracks me up! So glad he’s decided that reading is good. My daughter just started reading recently and she is voraciously reading everything in sight. This weekend she read me “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back”, which I have decided is the longest beginning reading book in history! She doesn’t get all the words, but a good majority of them. It’s so exciting when kids learn new thing! Yay Bency!

  2. When things get difficult the hot branding iron does seem like a viable option. As you know, Bency is my favorite one of your children. (I’m not their mother, so I don’t have to like them the same!) I’m so proud!

    • You would be happy to know, I attended Bency’s parent teacher conferences last week and his teacher said he is a…. GEM! She said he is so respectful and sweet. In other words…he is a classic Eddie Haskell! I knew he had it in him but I didn’t think he would be able to pull of the charming act all day at Kindergarten!

  3. So cute! Love the comment: “I don’t know that word. I can’t read.”
    So typical for both kids and adults when we are standing infront of a challenging task which we see as a obstacle. Very good job of Bency that he jumped over that barrier and saw that he actually could make it! Yippie!

  4. You amaze me that you have the Dick and Jane book I had in kindergarten! I loved that book and can see why Bency is fascinated with the stories in it! A good book makes for a motivated reader!!! Yeah, go for it, Bency!!!

    • My mom found this particular one at a yard sale a few years back and gave it to me when my oldest daughter was learning to read. I have a few others that I picked up at yard sales many years ago so now I have a little collection! I LOVE old books!!!

      • Me, too! I have so many books- children’s books, cook books, coffee table books, art books, magazines, religious books, etc. If only I had more time to read!

    • Thanks Anka! I know millions of kids learn how to read every day and even having a older daughter who can read it still amazes me that these little ones can wrap their minds around it all and learn the process of reading! I think when my children are grown I will go into schools and volunteer to help other kids! It’s such a cool thing watching the kid’s eyes light up when the finally “get it!!”

  5. Oh my word that boy cracks me up. I can picture the body throwing and rolling flip. Can’t blame him for wanting to read more though. I want to know how Dick and Jane’s trip to the farm went too!

  6. Isn’t it fun and fascinating to watch them learn to read? Your Iris sounds much like my kids–early interest in books, words, spelling. I remember L. memorizing stories and now A. is doing the same. Its funny how something can be effortless with one child and tricky with the next! I catch myself comparing them mentally and I know I have to let them each do and grow and learn uniquely! I hope you are enjoying lots of happy reading with all your kids…it’s a sweet pastime!

  7. Kids can do your head in at times, trying to work them out. My daughter is aged 6 and in year 1 but reading at a year 3 level. She received an award for her reading but then sulked about how she couldn’t read and how she needs help with the words. I seemed to explain until I was blue in the face that she was reading more difficult books and so that even though she was a good reader, she was still being stretched and challenged. Well, all my coaching must have worked because a few days later, she announced that she was a better reader than me! Who does she think she is???

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