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Joey Lawrence: My Daughters Have Learned to Spell

11/12/2011 at 05:00 PM ET
Mark Savage/Corbis

Joey Lawrence‘s house has turned into a full-fledged spell-a-thon!

Whereas the actor and wife Chandie used the technique for adult lingo only, Lawrence admits their best-kept secret has become useless since daughter Charleston, 5, has caught on.

“My wife and I used to just spell everything, but now that Charli’s spelling as she learns to read, she’s starting to figure out certain words,” the Melissa & Joey star, 35, told PEOPLE at TV Guide‘s Hot List Party on Monday.

“So she goes, ‘Dad, you just said n-o. I know what that is.’”

And 20-month-old Liberty Grace isn’t one to be left behind! “[With] Libby, everyday is a milestone,” Lawrence explains.

“Charli says, ‘No, no, no. N-o, n-o.’ So Libby has now picked that up. I’ll say, ‘Libby, can you come here?’ She says, ‘No, no, no. N-o, n-o.’”

Thrilled with his elder daughter’s love of books, the actor says she amazes her proud papa each and every day.

“[It's] unbelievable. She knows, literally, how to read,” he notes, adding that another of Charli’s new milestones is learning to tie her shoes.

“She gets to pick out a new book every time she finishes one. She has the My Little Pony series right now — that’s her big thing. A couple of Beverly Cleary ones are coming up. We’re just getting into the juicy ones.”

– Anya Leon

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Showing 26 comments

Helen on

So? I have a three year old in my class who could read the Beverly Cleary books. Parents always think their child is exceptional…

Mommyof2 on

That was mean. Of course every parent thinks their child is special. What is wrong with that?

Kaloha on

Wow – Helen that’s snarky and unnecessary. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a proud parent. I am an elementary special education teacher and I am always happy when kids develop a love of reading early. I think it’s great that his daughters are growing up in a household that celebrates literacy and that he’s such an involved dad. Give the guy a break.

poppykai on

I have a feeling all of the “my child is better (more advanced) than your child” type comments are going to start, so I thought I would just throw in my 2 cents before that… EVERY child develops at their own pace.

I have 2 children and one has been behind (as far as books say) on just about everything (except teething!!). Needless to say, all of the milestones get accomplished anyway (just on his time). My 2nd child seems to be pretty much by the book for milestones.

Everyone is different (thank goodness) and I think it is wonderful that a Father is so proud of his child (at any age) for an educational accomplishment. He should be proud that she is learning to spell/read regardless of her age. I know there are children who can probably read Dostoevsky before they can even walk but I don’t necessarily think that makes them a more amazing child. Just gifted (or trained) in one area.

Ok, my 2 cents have been spent :-) Let the boasting begin ;-)

RKF on

Wow, Helen, you sound…like an infantile troll. Any child’s milestone regardless of when it is, or what it is, is a unique and joyous moment in life. Glad to see the proud papa is enjoying every second of it!

Shelby on

Someone needs to lay off the plastic surgery…YIKES!!

Sandra on

@Helen-Why can’t the man be a proud parent? and @Shelby-since when is it a problem to keep your body in good shape?

Anonymous on

A kid in my sons pre-school at 4 could do sign language even tho he was not deaf. My son could not. It isnt a competition.

My son is in third grade now and can read on a4th grade level. His best friend cant read AT ALL and she is the same age.

My friends daughter is gifted and could read at 4 while her second daughter is 6 and cant read a lick.

Every child is different and its nice that he is teaching his kids the importance of reading with all this internet shyt these days! Rarely anyone ever picks up books anymore! I buy my son books all the time! Thats one thing I never restrict. I restrict toys and sweets…but NEVER books. If he asked for 20 books, I’d buy them all! Reading keeps the brain and eyes stimulated.

k on

Helen, your just a mean person! I think its great when a parent is proud of their children! I have 2 beautiful girls and they make me proud daily! I have also taugh childcare in the past and was very proud of my kids when they learned anything!

Ali on

Helen, it IS a great accomplishment for a child to be reading and to actually LOVE it and thrive in it. Do you know that out of every 5 eleven year olds leaving primary school are illiterate? Literacy is a great endevor that we should praise and be vocally excited about with our kids whether they are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc, etc. You shouldn’t be so pompous about a child in your class reading at 3. Sure, that is a great thing worthy of commendations but you don’t have to KNOCK someone for NOT being able to read until they are a tiny bit older. Pretty rude if you ask me.

Helen on

It seems that Joey is a great dad! I’m so glad he’s growing his hair out. No reason to be bald when you don’t have to be.

Meela on

Holy eyebrows and a bit too much Tanorama!!!

Anonymous on

As a book-lover (and a fellow early reader!), it makes me smile to read about Charli not only knowing how to read, but being so into it already! :)

dani on

Is that his wax figure?

Shannon on

LOL children are hilarious! Joey is barely aging.

Mira on

Dsni, you took the words out of my mouth!

cct0303 on

Sandra I take it you have done some type of surgery to alter your body parts! I don’t think too many would consider plastic surgery as a form of “keeping your body in good shape”.. I just felt like throwing that in there;)

Sandra on

Why isn’t he allowed to brag about his children? I think it is adorable as long as it isn’t over the top.

On another note:
Is he wearing purple eyeshadow? :)

Amanda K on

What did he do to his face?? He used to be such a nice looking guy!

Anonymous on

ccto303- My take on Sarah’s comment is that perhaps Joey HASN’T had plastic surgery but simply looks so young and fresh because he takes good care of himself! At any rate, considering the fact that Joey is only 35, I certainly hope that he hasn’t had any plastic surgery!

Courtney on

To the Helen who made the comment about a kid in their class…Damn right every parent thinks their child is exceptional..If they didn’t something isn’t right…It’s refreshing to see a doting dad who is proud of his accomplishments…

You sound like someone who should not be a teacher because obviously you cannot understand why someone brags about their child. I am not saying that one is better than the next, but that every child is special and exceptional in their own way..I think you need to climb off your high horse.

Kristen on

He is just so plasticy!

j on

@Helen – Unfortunate to hear that comment from someone responsible for educating other people’s children.

Ags on

As a parent, we always are so happy regarding our children’s accomplishments no matter how significant they may seem to others.

Kudos to him for praising his children and not making it all about him as so many celebrities often do.

Amy on

Egads! He looks so scary! I don’t know enough about plastic surgery to know exactly what he did to his face but…yikes.

gottabelieve on

Let me guess………the first word was WHOA!

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