If you were to ask Noah today how old he is, he would answer you with convincing precision: "Six and a half." Ages ago, when he had just turned six, he did something that surprised even his mother, Libby, who happens to be my daughter.
One evening as he jumped onto his bed with a book in hand and his older sister, Madeleine, next to him, Libby sat down beside the two for their regular evening story. But this was to be no regular evening. Noah took the book back from his mother, proclaiming, "I'll read to you tonight." Libby humored him, remembering that he did recognize a few words, his own name among them, and that he could sound out a few others. Hardly enough to read the book in question. As Noah opened the book and began to read, first haltingly and then with more conviction, Libby sat stunned. Where had this come from? The answer came when Madeleine broke into a smile and finally began giggling.
Libby remembered that throughout the summer on the days when she was busy with laundry or house cleaning, the two siblings would entertain themselves, often playing school downstairs. But what she hadn't realized was that this was not merely play; this was serious stuff. Madeleine, two years older than her brother, had made herself the teacher with Noah her only and willing pupil.
Today, six months later, Noah is an avid reader, tackling beginning chapter books. For example, he enjoys reading, "Our Haunted House," the chapter book that I posted on this blog several weeks ago, admittedly with some help from his favorite teacher.
Do you know some young teachers, either at home or in the classroom? I'm wondering what makes that teaching take so well.
P.S. Here's a note I got recently from Noah that apparently went out to a number of people via the internet: