October 17, 2006

Ciaran is reading!

Today was exciting for me - Ciaran read well and he was actually excited to read! It was one of the light bulb days when you can see it start to click for him. Those light bulb moments are some of my favorite moments in life. I love seeing people really understand and "get" something for themselves. The moment when the knowledge becomes your own. The moment when you have something that can not be taken away from you and you really grasp it - these are the light bulb moments and they have always been precious to me. They were important to me (and still are) when they are my own, they were so enjoyable to see when I was teaching and coaching college debaters, and they are precious and cherished when I see them in my own children.

To me I think there are three really wonderful light bulb moments that I love seeing in people above all. When a person understands and accepts Christ as their savior and make that personal choice. I have witnessed this only a few times and it is awe inspiring.

The second is when a person truly understands and grasps how to construct a great argument and communicate their point well. I have seen this many times over and know the value of that skill and can easily see now when someone truly "gets" it and has made the skill their own. This is a skill that can not be taken away and has great value in life therefore it is an important light bulb moment in my book.

Then of course is the moment someone learns to read. Of course these are all processes and there is no one "moment" for most of them but there is the point where it all comes together and you can tell that the concept is understood even though it is not mastered. We all need to practice our skills (even our best) over and over again to make them strong but we all have a moment in time when it all comes together and the skill is "ours" to refine.

Today was when I first saw that understanding of reading in Ciaran. We were reading a Primary Phonics storybook reader (my favorite phonics readers by the way) and Ciaran was able to sound out every word that was not a sight word. He was determined and focused and clearly understood what he was doing. I helped him each time with "the" he can not seem to get his head around that word yet but he read everything else.

Halfway through the book I urged him to stop and we moved on to other things. He kept asking to go back and finish the book though. I went to do a subject with Rhiannon and he was just insistent that we finish his book so we stopped everything else so he could read his book to me. He read all 16 pages (each page with about 3 sentences) and he did it right. He is still sounding out each letter and then blending them together but he is doing it all on his own and he is realizing that he can read and is getting proud of it himself.

Today he took as his "own" that he can read and he was determined to show me and himself that he could do it. It did not seem to be a struggle for him, as it often has been in the very near past, rather he seemed to enjoy it and he just worked steady at it. He had a confidence that comes from knowing you can do something and a determination to see it through. It was an exciting moment for me and for him.

These light bulb moments are some of the special blessings we get as homeschool parents. To see your child understand and take ownership of something new is a moment to be treasured. To see them learn to read is so powerful to me because the skill of reading unlocks so many other things for us throughout our lives. We have a long way to go to pass on a love of reading and the skills needed to be a lifelong reader and learner but we are well on our way.

Thank you Ciaran for sharing that moment with me and for your determination and willingness to see it through even though it seemed difficult at first!


  1. I can't wait till the next time we are together so he can read to GRANDPA. I am getting old and my eyesight is not what it use to be so it will be a blessing to be read to instead of the other way around. GRANDPA'S LITTLE YANKEE is growing up way too fast. Sirah please stay little until we all get together again. Rhiannon must be running out of things to read by now, so you can start writing your own stories for Ciaran to read.

    Mom - you and Serona are raising one great family that I am proud to be a part of

    Family Forever

  2. Empressbarb8:49 PM

    Hooray! I am very proud of you, Ciaran for reading on your own. And of you Tenn, for working so hard to give your children all these wonderful moments of discovery.
    Mom in Maine