My 6-year old currently struggles to read, letter-by-letter. Consequently, he doesn't get the emotional impact of the text. Whereas, I can just let the letters pass and I get it. I found an analogy to music.
When I first learned to play an instrument (piano), it made sense to me as an 8-year old that one would somehow need to provide directions, i.e., the written music - probably not intuitively, afterall I'd spent my whole life seeing my mom play the piano. I could read words by that time, but learning to read music proved very difficult, to get both the bass & treble clef going at the same time. It was (and to a great extent still is) like reading two different books at the exact same time.
Later in life, when I finally pursued wind instruments, and fell in love with music as a hobbyist musician, I finally learned to read music, not just notes.
The same child has recently fallen in love with playing on my electric keyboard (a residual tool from singing in a choir and struggling to overcome hearing my own voice on/off pitch). The other day, while he was playing around with it, I reached over and started playing a scale while concurrently singing it. He was astonished, but promptly remembered the scene in The Aristocats, where one of the kittens is practicing singing her "scales and arpeggios" while the mom-cat plays the piano.
So far, Jr.Gopher#1 seems much more fluent reading in German than English. I think I'll need to check the availability of more German-language kids books to entice him to enjoy reading. Unfortunately, all of the sources for them domestically are really expensive - - and the trans-Atlantic shipping prices from amazon.de are horrifically high since they don't do surface shipping. I guess I'll need to ship it free deutsche-domestically to OmaGopher and have her ship it to us cheaply. sigh ...
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