Ben is really reading now! This morning he read a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. with almost no help at all (the word "celebrate" stumped him!) and he has been reading easy reader books from the library about a worm who does all manner of things.
The difference I saw between him and the older girls learning to read is that he was less interested to begin with. I had to keep reminding him to look at each word--sometimes he would guess wildly, words that didn't make sense. Rachel and Julia were both very focused when they wanted to read, and would pay strict attention and try to get everything right. Ben was much more fidgety and needed more reminders.
Now, however, something seems to have clicked and it's like a switch has been flipped. Maybe patience has paid off, or maybe now his interest in reading is higher. Possibly his recent successes have encouraged him to try harder. But now I see him looking at each word, sounding out longer words, using pictures in the story as clues, and above all not getting frustrated and walking away when it doesn't come in a snap.
I am so proud of him! And being that he isn't even five and a half, it isn't like I was thinking he had some kind of disability or anything. It's just that since Rachel and Julia were both reading before their 5th birthdays and because it came so easily to them, this is my first experience with any sort of reluctance to learn to read. Also, because he absolutely loves to be read to (in other words, it isn't as if he has no patience to sit and listen to a story or to look at the pictures himself) I was wondering why he didn't seem terribly interested in reading by himself. I guess, as usual, that it was just going to come in its own time.
Three out of four are readers---and my guess is that Miss Emma won't be so terribly far behind!