About six months ago I realized that Jasper didn't know the letters of the alphabet. He could sing them, of course, but at four he had no idea what each letter looked like. The classic second child, he had a mom who had checked out a little between being pregnant and having a new baby. Ruby was already reading Dr. Suess at his age and though I am a big believer that they all hit that window of readiness at different points, I also knew we could easily work on it a little. So between reading lots, which we love to do anyway, I used a little ABC chart to practice for a few minutes each day, each letter and then its sound. It didn't take long for him to catch on and he'd giggle delightedly when he mastered letters and I'd exclaim, "What!!!?? How do you know that already??" Miss Debbie, the nicest children's librarian around, pointed out these little Flip-A-Word books to start on. They basically have word families and are perfect for my boy who is just beginning to sound things out. Crab. Dab. Slab. Blab. The "Ot Family" was a favorite and the "Snot Pot" page was a huge hit.

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Here's the baby brother, who's been a bit of a "snot pot" lately.

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I am hearing him try and sound things out all the time now. It is so exciting to see the lights go on for him. Being such a lover of books myself, I am thrilled to see him catch the bug of reading.

He's also been working on his name. His wonderful preschool teachers have him "sign in" every day at school. It's great practice.

For the first time he wrote his own name on his stocking chalkboard. Oh my, was he proud.

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Jasper is using his newfound knowledge to impress the cute little lady that he's had his eye on. Her sweet mom drove him home from school one day and Jasper boasted that he was reading. She handed him one of her books, which he quickly realized was above his "Flip-a-Word" level. To save face he then said, "Well, sometimes....I just like to read quietly to myself."

That's my boy.