I guess DD is a strong aural learner, (which perplexes me because I know I am wholly visual learner. I could write a novel about a how visual I am.)
She thrives on rote memorization. It is hard to describe, but when she discovers something that can be easily memorized in order, forget about it. We have gone through the alphabet, rote counting, planets, days of the week, months of the year, presidents, and states, etc. In each case, she just requests that it be repeated over and over until she is able to mouth along with me. She also memorizes long passages from books, especially books on tape. And I feel she had applied this swagger to reading.
Reading is really important to her. She wants to know how, but she’d rather keep it entirely conversational I think. She knows her phonics like the back of her hand, can recite the majority of the consonant and vowel digraphs in the English language, understands that some words just have to be memorized and does this. She never had trouble with consonant blends. She can explain how “silent e” works. (All of this with very little instruction or repetition, but she loves talking about this stuff.) She can also effortlessly break down a word into phonemes. She is in a phase right now where she seems to feel the need to do this with many words she hears. “Easter basket” becomes
She can also do the reverse of this easily. How odd is it that she gets basket out of me saying each letter sound? Or, a word like pink? To me /p/-/i/-/n/-/k/ sounds nothing like pink. It sounds like puhinnakuh. I even try to pause for seconds between sounds. She gets it effortlessly. Is this normal for an aural learner?
The most difficult thing for her to do in regards to reading is keeping her eyes on the page. I have been gently reminding her to actually look at the words. But, for the most part I have been catering to her style. I will read to her, point out an interesting word, ask her about a rule, and crudely sound out the word for her.
Me: Oh, here is a good word. What does SH say?
Me: OK, then we have /a/-/m/-/p/ and then double o.
DD: Shampoo. *without ever having looked at the page*
When she focuses on looking at the words, she is fine. Her reading lines up with her aural reading skills. She read her first sentence last week without me keeping her on track with my finger. But, most of the time it feels way too laborious for me to keep her focused. Is this just how a non-visual person starts off? I remember learning how to read. I wanted to stare at the letters and words for hours to figure it out. She seems to have it all figured out, but won’t look at the words. Is it an age thing, her learning style, or a vision problem?
I am actually thrilled and astounded with her progress. I am really proud of her enthusiasm and resolve to learn to read. If I leave her to her own devices, which I do for the most part, she happily keeps everything oral/aural, and picks out single words here and there. She picked up a newspaper in the car the other day and started sounding out words, even commented about some /ee/’s she found and a /ch/. She can also find any word on a page that I ask, and she enjoys making word lists on my laptop to print out and hang up around the house to read.
So, what is this? Has anyone else gone through this? Is this as weird as I think it is? Or, is this just foreign to me because I am so visual? Am I doing this right? I am a bit worried that us being on opposite ends of the learning style spectrum is causing me to believe she is a genius in my area of weakness and a dunce in my area of strength. So, I feel like I need another reality check. Thanks. Any insight, guidance, or stories would be helpful.