Every night Mum or Dad reads
to two little girls before lights out.
Grown up visitors used to be
pestered to read aloud also.

Older sister started school, brought
home little books, read to Mum
every night, Dad too. She wrote stories,
letters to fairies and grandparents.
Mum helped with the spelling.

Younger sister turned five, started
school. She could write her name
on cards to grandparents, aunts, uncles.
Yet there were many squiggles called
letters, in books, on the whiteboard.
She was told to write them herself.

She had to read to her teacher each
day, to Mum after school, all those
squiggles, she much preferred pictures.
She remembered a book’s words, but
when reading to Mum she stared out
the window reciting the words,
vaguely waving her finger over them.

Meanwhile big sister’s books were
longer and harder, she read them easily.

After some months of puzzlement
the five year old read a new book
fluently to her teacher one day. How
did she do it ? She didn’t know.
But she had finally cracked the mystery.


12 thoughts on “Reading

  1. At five, I was reading books by Enid Blyton. Mostly. I also read, Child’s Encyclopedias and I was a voracious reader of other stuff. Regarding Enid? Famous Five, Secret Seven, Noddy, and on … She was a prolific English writer … If it was today? I could not stand her …. Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed the poem, especially when she cracked the mystery! How true that line! I remember how I felt the first time I understood letters on a page, and it was just that way. (It must have been a huge moment in my life as it was 64 years ago..!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the poem. I taught five to nine year olds for much of my working life, and five year olds for some years. Some just gradually built up skills and vocabulary and eased into reading. Others built up the skills and vocabulary and one day had a light bulb moment, put it all together, read from that moment. You and younger sister in this poem were the second kind of reader.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting! I wonder if the second child, like me, thought she could fly if she ran into the wind, extended her “wings”, and hopped?! Until someone told me little boys couldn’t fly – the dreaded realists – I could. Ha! I still have some of that other sense about things, which, I am sure, is a large part of my quirky sense of humor.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She is certainly an energetic child with a very vivid imagination, and rather impatient with having to sit still to focus on the details required for reading and writing.


  3. I couldn’t wait to read as a young child. I remember when the magic of real words made sense to me as I learned. I couldn’t get enough children’s books but when it was time to foray into the adult section, I was a little bit frightened. Maybe afraid I wasn’t ready for whatever adults might be reading? It proved to be groundless fear, as most turn out to be. God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

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