Spending almost every day with a kindergartner means getting back to the basics. By basics, I mean starting completely over with the English language.
Jayden, my 5-year-old nephew, is a kindergarten student and he is learning to read and spell. Almost every word gets sounded out and then spelled aloud. For someone like myself who is a big fan of words, it’s a lot of fun but also slightly maddening.
As with every 5-year-old, he thinks he knows everything because his teacher told him so. He doesn’t take into account that I started my educational pursuit more than two decades ago.
Last week, he tried to spell out and my name so he could write it down. The boys call me Brina, so he spells out B-r-e-n-u. I tried to explain to him there are some exceptions to the rules, but his teacher hadn’t told him that yet, so it couldn’t be true. The hardest part to grasp for him was the “a” making an “uh” sound. He was not having it.
But, to appease me, he wrote B-r-i-n-a but wrote the letter u above the a, so ultimately we both got our way.
On Thanksgiving Day, Jayden came running up to me unprompted and said, “Brina! I know my vowels! A, e, i, o, u!”
I didn’t bring up sometimes y though, because unless it comes from his teacher -- whom he absolutely adores -- it just isn’t true.
I love watching Jayden and Bryson (he’s 2) learn and finally get things. They both get this look of pure excitement when something finally sticks.
While Bryson likes to sit down at the table and also pretend to do homework right next to his bubby, his current courses of study include yelling random colors at things and learning to use the big boy potty. (He is getting quite successful at the latter of the two.)
Have I mentioned being an aunt is the coolest? It’s pretty much the best title I’ve ever had.
Sabrina is the editor at the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 812-847-4487.