reading · slice of life


Sometimes Isabelle surprises me.

Take this morning, for instance. After a rough start to the day, I found Isabelle reading books quietly on the living room floor. I asked her what she wanted for breakfast. She responded, “English muffin with cream cheese, please,” and went right back to her book. So, when it was time for her to come to the table, I was met with, “Not now, I’m reading a book.”

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to stop her from reading, but she needs to eat. So I invited her to bring the book to the table for breakfast. Unlike the other times I’ve made this offer, she opted to come to the table with the book. Despite the fact it was a book (one from the Katie Woo series) she read before, Isabelle was glued to it throughout breakfast. AND — she ate without any reminders, which is almost unheard of. Who is this child? I kept thinking to myself throughout the meal.

After school, and after Isabelle finished her daily reading, I called her over to my desk to look at her spelling words. I offered to make her a word sort. I thought she’d decline, but she said “yes.” I typed up all 15 spelling words in large font and then cut them into pieces. We talked about the word endings (-ed and -ing) and how there were at least three different patterns to the words. She found four patterns independently, but after having a calm discussion about the words, we discovered six different patterns since some words had double letters before the suffixes while other letters lost the e of their base word. Not once did Isabelle push back or argue with me. She stayed engaged the entire time.

School isn’t always easy for Isabelle. Reading and word work definitely don’t come easily for her. But today, she was eager to engage in both things on her own terms and with a positive attitude. Both were small, surprising victories on my journey of raising a literate human.

9 thoughts on “Surprises

  1. You are a good mother, she is a wonderful child. We’re lucky to have a peak at you as mom and her as she grows. Both mean a lot and teach a lot in the process.

  2. I’m eating these words for breakfast,
    nibbling on an assortment of characters,
    spreading the story along
    the corners of my toast with the
    soft edge of the butter knife, and
    this jam, it tastes of familiarity,
    a mix of imagination and wonder,
    something best chewed slowly
    with passion

    — a poem as comment and I absolutely get that conflict of “you have to eat” with “I love that you’re caught deep in the story” as a parent ….


  3. We had a reading dinner night and a game dinner night weekly when ours were young. In high school, I used young kid games like Rat a Tat Tat since we were short on time. Many lifelong readers read at breakfast, love that she is developing this disposition. She is growing up so fast!!

  4. I love it when you write about your family. Not things don’t always work out, but for this moment, they did. It is definitely a sliceworthy moment to share with us. And for that, I thank you! 🙂

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