I decided to write for a few entries about my reading life, and I found this hilarious photo among my collection. Here we are camping in the Oregon woods, and my parents have put my potty chair on the ground for me to use. I have no idea if they dug a little hole too! I thought that was a pretty creative way to go camping and do potty training at the same time. And they have handed me a book to pass the time.
I learned to read on my own at a very early age. Somehow linking those squiggles to meaning came naturally to me. That same ability exists in some of my family members and is completely absent in others. But it wasn’t anything I had to work at, and I have no idea how it happened.
I faced a real problem when I entered first grade and the teacher was handed the task of teaching 25 kids how to read. We used the Dick and Jane primers, and during reading time that was the only material available to me. Not only are the Dick and Jane books totally stupid, they are very short and I would finish the entire one in a couple of minutes. All around me kids were on page one sounding out J-a-n-e. I hadn’t learned to read using phonics, and the pace made me extremely restless. Finally, out of desperation, Mrs. Brandt let me go in the back of the classroom and listen to records very very quietly.
Here’s kudos to a teacher who recognized a little girl Withering Away With Dick and Jane.