Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reading in English

As we were sitting at the table this morning, Naomi dropped her spoon and since it was on the other side of the wheelchair from where I was sitting and there was no access to that side of the wheel chair from my side of the table, I asked Rhiannon to pick the spoon up.

She said no.

I said fine. I will pick it up, but the next time you ask me to do something, I will say no to you. Having just put away her strawberry smoothie only second before, since she didn’t want any more if it, I added to my sentence, “like when you want the rest of your strawberry smoothie, I will have to say no”.

"I want my smoothie ... and I won't pick up that spoon."
At that exact moment Rhiannon wanted the smoothie right way. Of course, at that moment, Mary called from work to hear Rhiannon wailing for her smoothie in the background.

Well, that trouble between Rhiannon and I got sorted out when I saw a pencil underneath the table. I asked Rhiannon to pick it up and put it in the pencil box, and then I would be able to say yes to something she wanted. No one was happier to pick up the pencil, nor to get back the smoothie, which she had rejected less than five minutes beforehand.

Then Naomi and I went back to reading English books, a task we had just begun. I thought she had a big problem, since she just kept saying Da, Da, to the word Dan. We got that sorted out when she told me she has never read English, she can’t read English, and why am I making her read English books.


Da is a good way to say Dan, if you are speaking in French. I jump started her into the world of reading English by showing her how to pronounce Dan ... when we read in English and we began to read the first of the nine Itty Bitty Phoenix Readers that Mary had given to me the night before.

Two books to read and then she would get to watch T.V.

Reading in French is still more fun .. so far.
At the end of the second book, I added in one more task: finish off the book right to the end, by reading only one of the columns of Vocabulary words at the end of the book. She began to cry. I saw two big tears fall from her cheeks and glisten on the tabletop. I was reminded of my dad saying to small children who were crying, I will give you a nickel for every tear you can catch in a cup. I told Naomi about this. Then I saw her getting out of her wheelchair. Wait Naomi. You can’t walk around in that cast, I said. Your parents will kill me if I let you do that. Well, she replied, I am going to get a cup to catch the tears in.

Oh, I will get the cup for you, I said. I returned with a dry green one – no use paying for moisture left over from a cup that has not yet dried. She caught a tear, laughed, and now has gone off to watch a few episodes of Bugs Bunny.

Score for Naomi: 10/10 for reading two of the Phoenix Readers in English in what her Grandmother is now calling Home School.

Score for Arta: 0/10 for adding in the last task of looking at the vocabulary words– such a boring task if I want her to love reading in English.



  1. Aren't you glad that I never said 'NO!' to you? :-)

  2. You had a hard struggle. You had to pave the way for 7 others who came after you, all of whom had to learn to say no. That word is a survival technique for children. Thank you for helping me with that.