Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Little Adjustment here And There

If only I had known about those popcorn words. Well, I coulda used them. That's what!

We drew the letters on the blackboard with chalk, on paper with pen, on cardboard with crayon and on the moisture on the car windows with our fingers. We practiced that alphabet on any surface available. Numbers followed and then shapes. We held play school times and practiced being quiet, raising our hands to speak and request permission to go to the bathroom. If only we had known about those pesky popcorn words, we could have connected every thing up and been reading.

Carrie brings home a list of words. They call them popcorn words; we called them verbs and prepositions, nouns and pronouns. They are the little words that connect the more substantial words thereby forming a sentence. It's all the "to, he, her, she, it, him, the, at, can  and "and" that keep those sentences together. Flash cards are created and each night we recite these words then force them into simple sentences and look for them in the bedtime stories.

Carrie can read. Yes'm, she can. She knows her popcorn words and phonetically she sounds out the bigger words. A big smile crosses her face as the words make sense; I see her looking at the picture on the page to match it with what she has just read. That look is one of discovery and she glows. 

We worried about her first year in school. Carrie didn't attend any pre K  so this Kindergarten year is her first exposure. Was she going to be behind academically? I spoke with her teacher a few days ago. 

She had nothing but praise for Carrie. She is ahead of most of her class academically. Her behavior in class in stellar. 

I'm not only relieved but I'm very proud of this little girl. 

Each morning when she dresses for school or anytime we refer to school, I never say "you have to go to school. ". It's always "You GET to go to school today." I want to keep this a positive experience for her. We, her mother and I, listen closely to her recounting her day.

I didn't expect Carrie to be so serious about this part of her life and I was alert to her conversations, expecting to detect any reports of bullying. It's exhaustion. She gets up so early and by the time she gets home, she is tired. As the evening progresses, homework done and a bath taken, she is looking through droopy eyelids that signals an early bedtime. 

I remember those days. They continued through my school years and right up until I retired. 

Carrie is fine. I'm alert but I'm not worried too much about her. She is adjusting fine to this change in her life. I'm working on myself now. 

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