The picture of Joseph counting was taken almost a year ago. He can now count to 100 independently and is quickly picking up the pattern to count over 100. He also recently started reading. All the sight word and phonics work of the past 4 years has really paid off. I actually saw the moment when reading clicked for him! It was amazing! He was looking at a book that we have read a thousand times (wish I could remember the exact book, I was to excited about the moment to remember that detail) and he was going along half reading, half repeating the memorized story when he came to a word he wasn't sure about. He stopped, looked at it, and then sounded it out. He looked up at me for approval, I gave it, and he smiled a huge wonderful smile that told me how proud he was of himself in that moment. Then his reading became slower as he thoughtfully looked at each word as if for the first time. Saying them slowly. Looking at each letter and word come together to form a new world. At only 4 years old, he is an independent reader who can take almost any book of his shelf and happily read it to himself. He has even advanced to the point of being able to read silently to himself! Simply amazing!
Leo isn't too far behind. While Joseph is extremely determined and focused once something has grabbed his attention, Leo is a creative dreamer. He likes to look at the pictures of a book and make up his own stories, or variations on the current story. The perfect example of the difference in their personalities came during basic math last fall. The was 1 green worm and 1 blue worm. I asked the boys how many worms there were. Joseph quickly said "1 green worm and 1 blue worm is 2 worms!" and then Leo replied "The green worm is the mommy worm and the blue worm is the daddy worm. On Sunday they take their little worm baby and put him in his little worm car seat and get in their little worm car and go to little worm church!" I said I really liked his story and asked him how many worms their were. He said "3! The mommy worm, the daddy worm, and the baby worm!" I've told Leo he needs to work on writing his letters and words so he can write down his stories so other people can read them. He liked that idea a lot.