Tonight my six-year-old read me "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". And she read it happily.
For the first time, I saw it make sense in her eyes. I saw her realize that if she was willing to read, she could experience a story she loved entirely under her own power. Not a phonics-graded reader, but a story familiar and beloved. The familiarity lowered the bar enough that she saw she could get over it, and the belovedness made her willing for the climb.
This is a book she knows well, but doesn't have memorized. So it was real reading, not just recollection. But she knew enough that she was able to use her memory of the story to help her take the right course when she got to words that were hard to sound out.
I think up till now, reading has been drudge work for her - remember this rule, solve this puzzle, shoulder through it. There would be times a sentence here or there would make her laugh, and those were the best times (this is my girl who will learn anything if it can make her laugh - for some reason, btw, math has largely fitted in this category), but this time, she saw the whole story, and persevered through words whose rules she knew, words whose rules she didn't and words of impossible length. The way her eyes lit up when she read "refrigerator" and realized she'd got it right! I want to bottle up that astonishment and delight and hold high for a light on a dark day.
Just glorious. I'm so happy for her. It's so exciting. After a year of work, we have a reader! She gets it! :D
Peace of Christ to you,