Because I learned to read at an early age, I have been excited to see Curly Miss learn building blocks toward the same goal. I always felt secure in academic settings because I was a good reader so I want to give my children the same gift. In our information age the importance attached to reading is greater than ever.
For age 3 1/2 her skills are fairly impressive. She knows all of her letters, the order of the alphabet and can write them all. She knows the sound each letter makes and can spell easy words by sounding them out. She also recognizes familiar street signs and brand names.
Another important step is pretend reading which she does daily, usually reading books to her little brother, always a delighted audience. Little Mister, too, absorbs stories and is already interested in letters, pointing to my shirt and saying "d, d, d" although I can't tell if it was coincidence that he was actually pointing to a "D".
Curly Miss, in conjunction with her reading readiness skills, shows a greater interest in numbers and counting than she does in reading, to my surprise. I was never a math lover and haven't really pushed for it, possibly the reason she likes it; anything that is her idea is better. She has chosen a favorite number, 5, and will gladly count to twenty at the least excuse. I wondered how much actual math she knew until I was watching her count her trains with a perfect 1-1 relationship. I asked her some simple addition and subtraction questions (I think involving macaroni noodles) and she answered correctly with numbers under 5.
It is so fun to watch her learn; I so enjoy learning myself. It is fun to watch the light dawn on a new concept and to anticipate the world of books and numbers about to open up to her. Reading has been the most consistent passion in my life from the time I myself was three and sharing that with my daughter brings me immense joy and satisfaction.