Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Witnessing a light bulb moment

I grew up hearing the term "light bulb moment." Some people call it the a-ha or eureka moment. You know, the moment when your face lights up and your brain suddenly shouts "I get it!"

I think we witnessed one of those light bulb moments last night at dinner with Luke. We've been working with him on his letters. He has most of them down pretty well on sight (frequently confuses M with W, but that is perfectly normal at his age). We're still working on connecting the sounds with the letters. He has improved greatly on that in the last couple of months, and we've started practicing sounding out words. He's not really all that close to actual reading yet, but every little step forward helps.

Yesterday, as we waited on our pancakes (IHOP was Luke's pick for a special first day of school dinner), DH was working on letters and sounds using the placemat. Somehow, Luke brought up Spider-Man, so DH spelled it out and walked him through the letters and the sounds they make. Then, on a whim, I wrote the word "IRONMAN." What letter is this? "I" What sound does it make? "Eye." And what letter is this? "R" And what sound does it make? "Rrrr." So put them together. "Eye-rrr... Ironman?" His eyes got huge and round, and he broke out into a huge grin when we confirmed that it did indeed say Ironman. You could practically see that his brain had made the connection. Letters make sounds, sounds make words. Saying the sound of each letter that you see helps you figure out the word that is written, and that's how you read.

Now I admit, he was primed from the previous word being a similar word from a category perspective. It would be easy to mentally connect the two and make an educated guess at what it says. Had the word been "irony," his guess would have been wrong. But still, it was pretty amazing to see the realization of how reading works cross his face. Gave me goosebumps!

Currently feeling: witnessing the making of a reader?


  1. that's good. Well done!

  2. I get lightbulbs moments quite often

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