Monday, May 31, 2010


I couple of nights ago I was discussing the english language with Noah. He was mostly asleep.

You see, I am not a huge fan of English. It just doesn't follow the rules. Now, I am also not really a fan of other languages either- mostly because I don't know them.

I guess I just prefer hieroglyphics. Only not really them so much either.

For the last 10 years while I have been out of school I have been able to forget about phonics. After all, the only thing I write are nursing notes and lists. Oh, and blog posts.

But now I am teaching Deacon to read.

Ugh. Phonics.
Ugh. Sounding things out.
Ugh. Sorry, kiddo, this word ain't right. Can't explain it, it is just one of those rule breakers.

Anyway, back to our convo (being cool allows you to shorten words and than you don't have to spell them. Just kidding. I do know how to spell conversation. And I know how to spell the leader of a school- principal- How do I remember that? Well, I vividly remember reading Ramona Quimbly and someone in there saying that the Principal is your Pal and that is how you remember it. Anyone else read that book?)

So I asked Noah why "Bear" and "Pear" are pronounced the way they are when "Tear", "Ear", "Near", "Fear" etc are all pronounced per their spelling and the rules of phonics.

He said he didn't know.

But the next day I brought up the subject again and he didn't remember ever discussing it. I guess he was more asleep than I thought. Which makes more sense because he usually has SOMETHING to say, even if he doesn't have a clue.

What happened next proved my point.

He said, "I have 2 explanations for this." He went on to the first one- something about root words being from other countries, blah, blah, blah.

Then he said, "But prehaps "Bear" used to be said like "Beer". But then when someone would say, "Bear in the woods, Bear in the woods"- everyone would get confused and run into the woods for some beer and then they would get mauled. So it was at that point they changed it- in order to decrease the number of maulings."

He is awesome.


Rachel said...

Check out "Spell to Write and Read." Though I'm just getting started reading the manual - it's supposed to fill those gaps and teach why words are spelled/pronounced they way they are. It's a reading program that teaches it through spelling. Very phonics based, but teaches all the rules.

Karla said...

Rachel that is what I used one year in Brazil. Julie- it is kind of like that red book mom made us do when we were a little older. They do give reasons for a lot of the weird spellings, etc.

Johanna said...

i'm going to have to start asking noah for the answers to some of my most puzzling questions!

all the answers said...

Johanna, I have answers!