This makes my heart happy. Really happy.
Wenxin, adopted from China at age 7 1/2.
No spoken English. Zero. Nada. Zip.
He spoke Chinese, of course, but he'd never been to school in China and couldn't read his own language.
So for the last three years, I've had simple educational goals for Wenxin -- goals that will set the stage for a lifetime of learning.
1. Bonding and learning to be a family. This was really a goal for all of us, not just Wenxin. At first glance, it doesn't even seem educational. But if there was no attachment, no becoming a family, then nothing else would really matter. So for the first months home, while we did dive right into academic schoolwork, it wasn't all that important to me. Doing schoolwork together was just a means to another end. We were getting to know one another. We were growing to love each other. We were becoming a family.
2. Fluency in spoken English. Not much to add here because immersed in a family of big talkers, this one happened naturally.
3. Literacy. I wanted him to read fluently, and I wanted him to love to read. It was kind of like pushing a boulder up the side of a mountain.
So this morning, when he curled up in a chair with one of his Christmas books and read it from cover to cover, I ran for my camera to record the moment. OK, I'll confess that he only did this after I banned the new XBOX until everyone read a little. Still, he read the whole book in one sitting.
I see the doors of learning swinging open wide for my boy, and I can't help but smile.
BTW, did you see my Christmas in Photos post? Click here to take a look.