Friday, August 31, 2007

The End

This weekend is Labor Day, the traditional end of the summer. That's doubly true for me, as I am a teacher and next week I will begin teaching and my son will start the second grade. Since I was 4 years old, I've been starting school in the month of September. I did that for 22 years as a student and I've been doing it for 14 years as a teacher. So in very real ways, this is both the end of the summer and the end of another year.

With the end of the summer, it seems fitting to reflect on just what the summer of 2007 has meant for my son. This was a summer of big accomplishments for my boy. First off, he learned to read in a confident way. He has been reading for over a year now, but this summer, it really clicked in a substantial, life-changing way. He took risks and sounded out new words and he saw how much more of the world is open to you when you can read. He began to read chapter books to himself. He calls that "reading in your brain" ------ no longer reading out loud to prove to your mama or your tutor that you can do it, but now reading to yourself.

I think that the leap in reading was fueled by another accomplishment: learning to ride his bike without training wheels. The bike is a world of freedom and speed for JT and proud doesn't even begin to describe this accomplishment. If you come to our home, you will be hauled outside to admire JT's bike and then you will be told sit on the front steps while he goes whizzing by you in a burst of speed.

The physical accomplishment really informed the mental accomplishment of reading. And the two came together beautifully. So I have enjoyed a summer filled with long bike rides and leisurely conversations on those rides. And then, when we come home, we can curl up on opposite sides of the sofa, each of us with a book in hand. And we can read together.

It's the end of the summer and that's always bittersweet. But with the mastery of these two skills, a whole new world is opening up for JT, a world ripe with possibility. A beginning, if you will. And that is a most happy thing.

17 comments:

harmonyinline said...

it sounds like you and your son have had a wonderful summer ful of accomplishment.

Rena said...

What a great summer. I'm sure your son (nor you!) will ever forget it.

Gill said...

I love your post - it's filled with so much love for your boy. Good on him for accomplishing so much in a Summer!

gautami tripathy said...

Those times with children are the most precious. Cherish those. One great post filled with love.

Robin said...

Congratulations to your son! We've had a summer like that here too (the beginning of reading and learning to swim), so I could really "see" the joy in JT's eyes and his pride in his new accomplishments.

Pacian said...

I remember reading as a kid. Almost sad that those summers have ended now.

ren.kat said...

I hope he goes from reading in his brain to reading in his heart. With my son that happened with Charlotte's Web- but don't tell him I said that.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Oh, what a lovely post- kudos to your son! How proud he must be- and you as well!
Have a good school year!

paisley said...

three are so many posts today about people and their children... i almost feel guilty posting what i did... as it is such a bleak outlook of growing up to fast...

Patois said...

How great that he's reading so well. Sounds like he enjoys it too. It does feel like the end of summer.

Tammy said...

That's a summer you will never forget. Very cool!

Hope said...

Reading together is something we love to do. The house is so quiet and I look up and see each boy lost to his own world and know this will feed them at all levels.

Crafty Green Poet said...

reading in the brain (great phrase!) and riding with confidence - sounds like a great summer to look back on!

Miss said...

Sounds like a great summer... It's interesting, we have vastly different lives (I don't have children, etc.) but we've approached this prompt from similar angles.

boliyou said...

What a special summer you and your son are having. It's great that you memorialized it!

tumblewords said...

Bittersweet - The end of summer is always a 'down' time for me - I enjoyed reading your post.

Inland Empire Girl said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. What do you teach? I am a middle school language arts teacher and Title I reading/math specialist. Small district, lots of hats! I have those same feelings as summer comes to an end, but I look forward to greeting my same students tomorrow.