Saturday, May 24, 2008


Lydia and I have been working on letters this past week. Since last Sunday, when I realized that she actually knew some letters, I've been finding out what other letters she has memorized. So far it's J (she always says "Jesus!" when she sees it), A, B, D, E, L, M, P, S, Y and O (well, it's the one letter she can write, but she doesn't always identify it right off). Avram's mom sent Lydia a card game/flash cards with pictures and letters on them a while ago. Lydia has always had fun playing with them, but now I've been using them as flashcards with her, which she also really likes. We'll spend about ten minutes at a time, several times each day, identifying the letters on each card, and then usually I'll also write out the alphabet while singing the song to her, and then write out her favourite words (Lydia, Mama, Daddy, Baby, Jesus, Elisheva). It's like a baby form of homeschooling, and at least for this amount every day, it's fun to do.

The last week has brought a lot of progress in this; this morning at the breakfast table she pointed to the milk carton and said "P! S!" (from Pints), so she can see the letters not just in a "formal" setting.

The funny thing is, although she's totally getting close to reading, she doesn't talk in complete sentences at all, nor has she learned the Alphabet song at all either. I don't usually think about how Lydia is a really slow talker until I was looking at a lot of blogs from our old Wymount ward, where a lot of the women have kids right around Lydia's age. They often mention things that their kids say, and it surprised me a lot, because Lydia has never said anything close to that complex. In fact, she only speaks in nouns and the occasional imperative verb. She understands full well everything we say, but for some reason this hasn't transferred to speech. I must admit that as I've realized just how slow of a talker she is that I've struggled to not feel frustrated over it, or to not worry that Lydia will never talk, or talk extremely late.

So in a way it makes me glad that she's precocious on reading, because she's so unprecocious in speaking. Actually, Lydia is a darling girl, and as Avram's mom says, she's very good at making connections, but precocious is not really a word I would use to describe her. That's fine; every personality has its unique challenges and benefits, and although precocious children are usually considered "best" (by their own parents, at least; and maybe by themselves. I always wanted to think of myself as precocious, and whether I was really or not, I certainly was an outgoing, chattery girl), I think every personality type has their own things to offer. Lydia is really quite shy and quiet around groups; only in the last month or so has she even said any words at all in Nursery, and she still doesn't play with the other children, nor does she sing along with the songs. Although she does soak everything in; she's always singing songs from Nursery to herself, and absolutely loves to go to Nursery. But she has her other strengths, one of them apparently a love of reading and writing.

A blog that I read talked about how her daughter is loud and crazy, but also outgoing, etc. And as I read it, I realized how much this doesn't describe Lydia. Lydia will sit through sacrament meeting quite well; she just likes for us to show her her Jesus Book, and write words for her. And for a minute, I was worried that Lydia was on the 'road to nerdom' as the post says, but then I decided that on the other hand I really enjoy the ins and outs of her personality, although it's not a flashy one.

I wonder what Elisheva's personality will be like; will she be shy? outgoing? Already her and Lydia are different; Elisheva doesn't mind at all being laid down to sleep on her own, and she takes good, long naps. Lydia didn't lie down for a truly separate nap until she was about four months old. So who knows what the future will see for my two girls.

I guess as a parent one of the largest tasks and challenges is to bring out and help develop each of your children's unique personality, so that the best sides are dominant, and the harder sides are downplayed.


  1. The differences in personality from the moment of birth is one of the great testimonies of the preexistence. Children just come different. We see huge differences in the interests of the various grandchildren as they come to visit us. Lily is the one that is into absolutely everything although her all-time favorite is the key board until the rest of us need some respite from it.

  2. Hey, at least know that I'm terribly impressed with Lydia's reading AND speaking skills. Oliver still has no words. I really AM beginning to wonder if he'll ever talk! We got so excited when he finally made a consonant sound other than Ba and Ma. But like you said, every child has their strengths and weaknesses. I think it's amazing how Lydia is learning pre-reading skills already, and it's so great to hear how you are encouraging her. We have been considering home school for Oliver, but it will depend on what he needs in the future.

  3. Maybe Lydia isn't precocious, but I don't know any other 2 year olds who would insist on being carried through the Louvre on her back so she could see (and comment on) the paintings on the ceiling!