I've suspected this was happening for a while. At first I convinced myself he was just memorizing things until he'd come out with strangely difficult words I knew he was seeing for the first time.
Then I'd randomly hear him say a word here or there and I'd ask him what he'd just said or why he'd said it, and he'd respond, "Oh nothing".
So I tried putting him on the spot. "What does that say Asher?". I'd be met with a red face and a head shake and a quiet "I don't know".
But I knew he knew. So I tried a different approach: open a book and start pointing to the words. I'll let you see what happened (make sure you've got the sound turned up)....
Sorry for the quality of the video, but I didn't want him to know I was recording or he would've stopped. For the record, that is the first time I've ever tried to have him read to me, with a library book he hadn't opened until just then. He had never seen this book before, other than the few minutes he spent picking it out during library time. So officially - he reads!! How cool is that?! And he learned so quickly (or more like over a long period of time but he didn't let on).
Now I realize this doesn't mean he's a certifiable genius, and other kids learn to read this early into kindergarten (or sometimes even before) but really, how clever is he?! I mean Rio is a smart girl and has read far beyond her grade level since she was officially "taught" to read in Grade 1 - but in kindergarten she could not do this, not even close. By the end of kindergarten she was reading "cat" and "bat" and "can" and "ran" and that was about it. Which is where I expected her to be, and where Nolan is approaching without any struggle. But as you can see, Asher skipped riiiight past that.
I am so, so happy for him, and so thrilled that his childhood of staring at books has paid off in a big way. And if anyone deserves for something to come easily to him for a change - shouldn't it be this guy?