Reid has had a couple of show-and-tell activities lately for which Reid has had to bring items that begin with a particular sound.
I have to confess that I don’t always read Reid’s communication book as soon as she gets home. Thursdays are a particular challenge since we go straight from school to Kindermusik and don’t get home until after 7:00. I was feeling lucky one Thursday evening when I read the note in Reid’s communication book at home instead of at school the next day and it said that she needed to bring “a” sound things for show-and-tell the next day. There wasn’t any indication as to whether the discussion would be in English or French. Reid supplied the answer – French – and we gathered a few Playmobil people. Three kids in a Ziplock became “les amis” and some grown ups in a separate bag became “les adultes”. I added “une assiette” (plate), “un alligator”, a picture of “un athlète” and Reid was all set. At the last moment, Reid asked me to write the names of each item on a piece of paper. I complied after only a brief discussion of the fact that she can’t actually read.
Most recently, we were collecting “j” sounds and I was glad that they told us on Wednesday. “Jaune” was obvious and “jupe” came quickly but then I was stumped. It’s harder than you’d think, trying to brainstorm words that:
* begin with a certain sound;
* are spelled in a “normal” way, e.g. giraffe doesn’t work because it has the right sound but not the right initial letter;
* have physical manifestations, e.g. “jolie” has the required sound and letter but how do we put “pretty” into a sandwich bag? and
* are things known to Reid.
And all the while Ken and I are working in our second language.
Despite the fact – or maybe because of it – that we were running late, Reid insisted on writing the list of the things that she was taking herself. She patiently, precisely, though not necessarily accurately, formed each letter as I spoke it. Ken, meanwhile, fidgetted for a bit before resigning himself to being really late. On the bright side, Reid got to practice making her letters. She makes pretty much every letter in a manner contrary to the learn-to-print workbooks that I’ve purchased but never had Reid complete. I don’t know whether to speak with her teachers – maybe they are following a method that I don’t know of – or try and interest her in the workbooks. I don’t want her to spend 2 years developing bad habits that will then have to changed in grade 1. And, yes, I know I worry a lot but it’s part of my charm ;+)