Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kindergarten Conference

The Matron had been under the impression that young Merrick, following in his older siblings' footsteps, was a reader at 5. Why? About a month ago, she witnessed Merrick rip through three Bob Books for the first time, no problem.

So she was puzzled during his parent/teacher conference. Why did Merrick's report list about half of the alphabet as unknowable to that child?

Teacher (incidentally, exactly as sweet and soft as you imagine a 1950 stereotype of Kindergarten teacher to be): "That's because he doesn't yet recognize the sounds for all of those letters."

Matron: "But he reads Bob books?"

Teacher: "The same two or three?"

Matron: "Like a pro!"

Teacher: "Trust me. He's memorized them. He's not reading."

Earlier today, John and the Matron queried their youngest. They pitted Merrick against the Word.

Matron: "Honey, what sound does this make: I

Merrick: "AH?"

John: "How about sounding out this: K I T

Merrick: "Sun?"





Just this letter? What sound? U

"Ppppppp PEE."

Whereupon the Matron handed her son his favorite Bob Book: "Can you read this?"

Without nary a glance toward the page, from Merrick: "Sam and cat. Mat and cat. Sam, Mat, and cat. Cat sat on Sam. Mat sat on Sam. Sad Sam. Sad Mat. Sam Sat. Mat sat. OK, Sam. OK, Mat. OK, Cat."

Scarlett: "You really are a Meatloaf Head."

Yes, in this household Meatloaf Head -or MLH or Loafie or Meatloafie for short--has been the most enduring term of endearment for Merrick.

The Matron is pleased to see that he is apparently living precisely up to that expectation.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I don't know--he had you all fooled!

Anonymous said...

Hahahhahaha! That is the funniest story! I thought Mr. B knew sign language--he was totally faking it--so I know exactly what you mean.

JCK said...

Little gems. Perhaps he will be a quick study like Scarlett?

smalltownme said...

Good memory, Merrick!

Eric Smith said...

My youngest, Sam, did the same thing, and fooled us about it for a few months. He was convinced that reading meant memorizing books. It was actually pretty painful for him until we finally convinced him there was an easier way. He thought everybody else could memorize books instantly except him, and that he just had to fake it as best he could.

Mrs. G. said...

This is exactly how kids learn to read. Your little meatloaf head is doing exactly what he's supposed to.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

If he can memorize Bob books, those Dolch sight words got nothin' on him. He's a reader.

Love it!

Anonymous said...

Yes. In our home it was the train book. And yet, as a senior, he's not a bibliophile, but he can read anything he's interested in.

And there, my dear, is the rub.

Heather said...

My son has a few books memorized too. But he will only get about half of the letters right if you ask him what they are.

I love that he had you fooled.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I love it when they memorize books. They always snow us.

Jocelyn said...

I often think reading is too pedantic for imaginative five-year-old boys. They'll get to it when they've run out of windmills to thrust at and robots to build.

This is my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Peggy Sez.. said...

I'm wait maybe not.
Aren't you supposed to memorize stuff at school/home/bathtub/etc. in order to learn?

Go Meatloaf Head!

Anonymous said...

You know, I have a son who memorizes, so we started putting words on things around the house (i.e. we wrote the word "lamp" on a recipe card and stuck it onto the lamp, etc.). Some kids are just better at picking up whole words through memorization than they are at learning letter sounds. And the amazing thing is, they can learn the sounds of the letters by knowing the words. The two things (memorization and sounding-out) have generally gone together at our house.

Then, too, as Mrs. G points out, he's doing exactly what he's supposed to, in the way he needs to, and he'll figure it out for himself before long.

Your lovely Merrick is in one of my favorite childhood stages....


Anonymous said...

Remember Waldorf education doesn't expect kids to read until, I believe, end of third grade. Look at the big picture of him-just keep exposing him to books and read to him as much as possible. He is fine-remember you can't teach what he has-a great imagination.


Anonymous said...

lol i have the opposite problem. max CAN read, but pretends he can't. he has to be in the right mood. it's really embarrassing when i'm trying to show him off and he turns into a babbling toddler.