Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So I'm pretty sure I've mentioned here a couple (or a thousand) times that Genevieve taught herself to read when she was 3-1/2. Exactly a year ago she started to read (correctly) out loud the text of her board books and picture books. By summer she was reading all our basic children's picture books and anything the girls brought home from the library--in other words, it wasn't that she had memorized all of our own books; she could read something she'd never seen before.

Last fall, with Julia well and enthusiastically into chapter books for third-graders (she's advanced academically, too), Genevieve slowly but surely started reading chapter books also--asking for a word explanation now and then, but definitely working at it.

Between yesterday afternoon and today, she's read the first three chapters of Ramona Forever, by Beverly Cleary (from the set we gave Julia for Christmas). Sure, she spells words aloud on a fairly regular basis, asking me what they are--expensive, for example, or misunderstandings--but for the most part she's sitting on the sofa reading silently in her head. And if you can't quite believe a four-year-old could be actually reading Ramona Forever, go ahead and ask her to read some of it to you. Or, hand her anything else she's never seen before and test her.

She's reading it. A chapter book that is categorized on Amazon as at the 9-to-12-year-old reading level. My 35-lb., youngest-in-her-class, frequently-mistaken-for-three, four-year-old.

And you should see her handwritten letters to her grandparents.

What is this child going to do in kindergarten? And is there any way to cash in on her freakish talents? (Just kidding on that last one.)


Mom/Nonna said...

Yes, this Gramma is very proud of those regular letters from Genna that arrive in our mailbox! I love to share them with friends! I have to say that Genna and Julia's mommy also taught herself to read at age four and their gramma did the same. So they come by it naturally. (Their daddy is no slouch either!)

Rita said...

My jaw is ON THE FLOOR. That is amazing.

You've given birth to freaks. Very cute, very smart freaks.

(and I say that in the most loving way possible.)

Shannon said...

Rita, oh I know. :) Also, she's smarter than I ever was. I learned to read at age 4, not 3, and I certainly was not reading Beverly Cleary in preschool! Then again, I did get a Ph.D., so.....I'd better start soon dissuading G. from that endeavor.