On The Verge


If kids are about anything at all, they are about teaching parents patience. And about letting go the reins now and then.
Tiss is now a gorgeous five, which means that in Australia he should have started school this January. I have been a little worried about the fact that in Latvia, kids start school aged SEVEN - so he's got a whole two more years of bludging before he starts his official schooling. I've been worried that he won't learn to read or write before then. But lately he has begun to prove all of those wise people right - the ones who have told me that things like an interest in letters or literacy just 'happens' in kids at their own pace. It's not something you can rush or force on a kid. Of course you can try, but you run the risk of it backfiring, and making them hate the thought of reading.
So at home we've been going slowly, slowly, with gentle nudging... For a while now (about 2 years!) Tiss has known his alphabet, but only recently has he started putting letters together. Thanks to our knowledgeable friend, Mara, we've been encouraging Tiss to do "think spelling" - when he gets the urge, to just write, write, write, however he can, no matter what the spelling is, so that he practises his letters and sounding out words and gets used to the idea of writing and communicating with letters. It doesn't matter if the words aren't spelled right. Or if there are no spaces between words. We'll get around to that a little later down the track. So this little gem (above) is what he wrote today when he was in the middle of an imaginative game. If you are trying to decipher, you need to keep in mind that in places he is writing English words with Latvian phonetics; and that for Tiss a "TH" sounds like a "D"... Anyone know what it says?

3 Responses so far.

  1. Jon's guess

    "Dad we have to destroy this robot"

  2. Mook says:

    YES!! Jon you're the WINNER! You get the grand prize of... an original letter from Matiss with a practically indecipherable message. What's your postal address?

  3. Marite says:

    oh man! I didn't even get a chance to guess! Oh well. Mine was going to be wrong anyway (I just don't think like a boy with all that destroying and what not...)

    By the way...that writing is WAY better than some of my students' are doing now, so he is doing FINE!

    Also, remember that statistics show that although children in some countries (Sweden, Latvia, etc) start out reading and writing later than other countries (USA, UK, OZ), by grade 5 students in the first group have caught up to and surpassed the latter group! So Tiss is set for success! :)

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