Time for a cheerful post atlast ! I am pleased to report that S is much better as of last weekend and I am feeling so much better too as a result :).
Reading this post Books! Books! Books! from Aps' blog through Parentee really opened my eyes to the books by Indian publishers that I wasn't aware of! It also made me realize that I had not written about D's interest in reading on this blog. It started when she was around 4.5 which was before I started writing this stuff down.
During one of the Parent Teacher interactions at D's school I remember wondering about when children usually start reading in the actual sense of the word. Especially with the phonetic approach to things I was concerned as to when they would start putting letters together as there were so many rules and small quirks to this! Do any of us remember how we started reading as children? I definitely didn't - only that I was told by family that I started reading quite early and used to love all the Tinkles and Amar Chitra Kathas which were popular reading of the time.
Very soon after this, without my actually saying anything to her, it was as though she read my mind and started trying to put together words she was seeing on Magazine covers and newspaper headlines and so on! I was delighted of course and started explaining to her the best I could using phonetics as a guide and also throwing in a few rules of my own where I needed to :). Within about a month or so of this, she was stringing words together and reading sentences which was such a quick transformation that I was completely delighted and astounded. And of course determined to do as much as I could to help the process along further.
She was gifted the Ladybird Level 2 books by relatives, and waded through it really easily. By the time she was 5 even the Level 3 book was quite accessible and enjoyed by her thoroughly! I introduced the bedtime stories as a ritual around this time - one or more stories every night - no excuses especially from me being busy with something or to be used as a punishment for bad behaviour - only sickness or extenuating circumstances break this ritual. We read a variety of books like fairy tales, from the TimeLife values and other series and Bible stories which I wouldn't expect her to read on her own completely.
Now it amuses me so much that she wakes up in the morning and sometimes the first thing she does is pick up a book and browses through it. Sometimes when I'm reading her a book at night, I find she already knows what's coming as she's read it herself !! Am so thrilled with the way it is going and I hope so much that she sustains this interest all through her life.