Tess is reading.

She was reading well before this summer, but sometime during the sunny months everything just clicked and she was off.  She is independent, stretching her literary legs, sampling chapter books and things that take more than 15 minutes to read.  This is huge.

A friend asked how we did it, the teaching her to read.  The easy answer is that we didn’t. Like the boys before her, she picked it out of the ether so that one day it wasn’t there and the next it was.  Sure, there might have been a few “lessons” along the way and it may have been a little later in arriving than the boys, but we knew she’d arrive when she was ready.

Has she ever.

Reading has entered her into the Big Leagues. The comics she has dibs on.  She can decipher menus and signs and mail and even read ahead in the books reserved for us to read to them.  When her younger sisters want to be read to and find their parents otherwise engaged, they can go to HER.

She indeed has the Power and the Glory of the moment.

Ellie is close on her heels, though, thanks in large part to Tess’s proficiency.  Tess is, like Philip, an entertaining reader.  She has pitch and tone and emotion, all things that make her fun to listen to.  And she is (most of the time) eager to share her skill.  She reads to Ellie before they get out of bed.  She reads to her when they should be napping.  Before dinner, after lunch, even in the bathtub if I let them (but I don’t because I’m a mean mom). Like the boys, the girls read long into the night until we confiscate the books or the lights or both.  All of this saturation has awakened the desire in Ellie. The spark is on the verge of flame.

Last week she had sight words down but no phonic skills.  By the end of the week she was sounding things out.  Simple sentences she is reading, really reading aloud.

“Is the cat on the cot?” “Is the ram in the pan?” Exciting things like this are being read and read and read all over the place. She waits for her siblings to finish fighting over the comics then brings them to me to point out the words she knows. She swipes workbooks from her brother’s and sister and seriously fills them out, much to their chagrin. Lucky for her she has 3 coaches aside from her parents to encourage and correct and work with her.It won’t be long until it’s her turn.

For now, though, we’ll let Tess reign and soak up the spotlight.  And someday we will tell her how when she learned how to read, she taught Ellie in the process.