Well, we turned up at the library after piano and found some home schooling friends with an almost 9 year-old-daughter. For some reason, Laura grabbed a new Magic Tree House book off the shelf, and she and the other sat together in one chair and after about 50 minutes Laura raced up to me at the computer and delightedly told me that she had read the whole book.
Bingo. Ever since, my formerly reluctant reader has been an avid bookworm and has been gulping down at least a book a day. This, after I considered everything from eye doctors, bribing her with money and treats (which didn't appeal to either of us, though for different reasons), plying her with books on all of her favorite subjects and interests (horses, princesses, history, etc.). She'd read when she had to, but not on her own time. Now I have to pull her out of bed in the morning, where she's hunkered down with her bedside lamp and another book. She's rereading -- her own idea -- a lot of things she read before when she wasn't particularly interested in the reading process, which is a rather interesting development.
I'm dizzy and delighted at the change, especially so soon after the unsuccessful visit to the optometrist. I don't know what happened -- if there was any physical change (the letters not looking so small) or if she just needed the confidence to see that she could read a book on her own (and then realize that it was fun). Laura is busy making piles of books in her room -- what to tackle when the Magic Tree House stream dries up -- and lists of possibilities for me to order for her via interlibrary loan. And books she wants for Christmas. And supplementary SOTW3 books she wants to read on her on. The only thing I'm not too crazy about is her self-imposed absences from our family absences so she can read on her own. But I can't really complain about that too much, can I?
Another thing to be thankful for this coming weekend. Happy Thanksgiving, eh?