Friday, 28 September 2012

Phonics: The sound of alphabets...

When we first came across the word “phonics”, we were intrigued. Even we had studied English and can communicate fairly, but we are not aware of the phonics. So how can it be beneficial for your child? Does he really need to know it? Will it make a difference? When we did our little research, we felt it has great benefits for our kids. Thus today in our blog we will talk about our experimentation with PHONICS.
Steps undertaken by us:
1.     Learning it ourselves: The first step for us was very challenging. Browsed through various bookstores across the town. Found nothing. Even if there were some they were not the right medium to convey the SOUND. Our research further led us to some audio-visuals on the Internet. It was an eye opener for there were innumerable things we weren’t aware of ourselves. Our initial misconception of phonics believing them to the Hindi translation/ pronunciation was cleared. Phonics just means saying the sound of the letter and not the name of the letter. And then it was all about practicing ourselves.  
2.     Sharing it with our kids: In the process we learnt that the sounds of the letters need to be taught FIRST, instead of the name of the letter. But since we had already crossed that stage we proceeded with making them aware of the Sounds. It was an awesome experience as more than learning it was fun to make those sounds. “Spoken English” is easy for them to understand because now they know that words we speak are nothing but a combination of sounds of the letters. Phonics is all about practicing the sounds in your daily routine rather than attending a two hour phonic class elsewhere.
3.     Refining it: To make it more fun for our kids we designed special textured phonics flash cards (sample pics below). These cards helped in not only understanding the sounds but also getting more versed with the words which begin and end with these sounds. The texture is helping in knowing the flow these letters are written in. Once the basic sound was clear to them, the time came for combining these sounds to make simple 2 and 3 letter words. And believe us it’s an enjoyable experience for us as well as them.

4.     Finding new things: There is much more to it. Just imagine there are around 72 sounds in English language, of which 46 sounds are from the single alphabets only (for eg letter A has 3 sounds). The remaining 26 sounds are formed using multiple letters (for eg: sh, ck, ing etc). We are still in the process of learning the advanced stage and are confident that we will get through this.
Results so far:
The above experiment started almost 6 months ago and the results are overwhelming. The kids are not only enjoying it, but are also making efforts in forming simple 2 -3 letter words. It’s a long way to go but we have begun our pleasant journey together.

PS: We personally don’t external recommend phonic classes for such young minds.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

A simple thought..

"Your children will become what you are. So be what you want them to be" - By David Bly

our kids observing centipede.. 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Curious Minds

 “Why is the sky blue? Why is my blood red? Why it rains? What is life? Why is the moon orange today?” Etc etc…

Then comes the dreadful ones the questions of life and death!

All the parents have been in this place. Once their toddlers start to talk there is no stopping them. All the Whys and Hows and Whats need to be addressed too. It’s just they want to be more acquainted to their surroundings and it is quite a reasonable demand considering they have just started their lives. But how many of us really listen to them and pause to answer them honestly? We all fear to let out more than they would need to know.. but that’s a chance we can take to open all the communication routes between a parent and child.
Lets analyse our response.

The parents are a child’s first teachers. The answer we provide helps them build the trust and confidence in us. It also increases their interest in their surroundings. Ignoring these simple questions will curb their curiosity levels their observation skills and eventually turn them indifferent towards their surroundings.

The complicated questions are about their bodies about life and death. These  are very sensitive questions, any wrong information about these can settle in their sub-conscious and they may grow up with the same wrong notions. The key is to LISTEN, PROCESS and then ANSWER honestly. Let’s think about it like that, IGNORING will shelve it. Wrong information will RUIN it, and the SIMPLE Truth will get them back to you always!

Don’t brush the questions away just because you don’t know the answers. Communicate to your child that you don’t know about it but you can surely find out the answer.  And once said that, please do find an answer and even better if done together. This will enhance and encourage his quest for learning. By brushing it aside we are putting an end to it.

To deal with a question coming at an inappropriate time the key is patience. They should be told that they will be answered but at an appropriate time and then try to raise the topic once u have time. For eg. you are in middle of the telephone conversation and your son pops up a question. Take a minute to tell him that you will soon get back to him once you have finished your call.

It’s tough being a parent for sure but it’s even tougher being a child who is so new to this world and as parents we can only help them and encourage them to be a well Aware and a Confident person.­


Happy day :) 


The giggling fades in the background as the swarthy clouds gather right ahead of us and little drops of heaven sprinkle on my windscreen.
I hear little yelping of cheer with the drizzle falling on our angels faces, “Mamma its drizzlinggg” and the cheer is infectious. Suddenly its all quite and each lost in their own space maybe thinking varied. I hear a little sweet voice singing and my hands froze on the steering listening to the words, “ MERI HALKAT JAWANI..”. Through the rear view my eyes met my friends eyes whose daughter had just broken the silence with her little jig.
I saw a sense of pride in her eyes for her daughter and she left no time in mentioning her daughter’s mastery over such ITEM songs.
Shocked and appalled I almost missed my turning point, still gathering my wits to what just struck me. Is it just me or the world has lost the innocence of a 3 year old to such vulgarity? Believe me it wasn’t cute neither pleasing.
My worst fear were the questions MY 3 YEAR OLD, who is not had such exposure, would ask me. Did I have an answer? I guess no. I wasn’t prepared and thought that the world was same with the innocence intact.
Do we want our little ones to objectify their bodies? Is this should be their anthem in growing up years? Is it ok for the parents to let their kids get away with what they say?
I surely am not. And I am thoroughly appalled as the singing in the car just doesn’t stop!!!!

Still shuddering with the thought, Mother No. 2
(Awaiting an experience from Mother No. 1)

Sitting at the back of the car, gazing outside the rainy afternoon ahead of us I was thinking to myself about the lovely afternoon lunch shared with my son and his friends and their beloved mommies. How wonderful it was to hear the chattering of the little sweet voices talking n singing their rhymes as we mommies couldn’t help but admire the little angels seated besides us.
I was unwittingly distracted from my thought by singing of the little girl next to me with her mommy. The song…. Latest on the chart buster was on the tip of her tongue like she’d been known it long. My face numbed as I reached out to cover my little boy’s ears so as to stop him listening to such an expletive song.
I silently prayed he never heard it so I could be saved from the agony of explaining him the meaning of the words so innocently chanted by his friend. Thankfully all he could muster in surprise was “mamma what is she singing?” and like my prayers answered I thank God for the monitored tv time he is allotted and his minimal exposure to hindi language as of now.
My sanity is all lost at such unawareness of parents to push their children in watching or listening anything beyond their age n little minds can process. Why not channelize such tender minds to positivity and sensibility they demand instead of the “jawanis” (Sheila or halkat or badnaam) the AVs rant about.
Is this how we endeavour our little ones to grow up? Is this their food for thought? It’s not just appalling but also sad that the kids are forced into a time leap.
The car pulled up in the garage and I look at mommy no.2 frozen behind the wheel trying to grasp what struck her.. and I knew at once we were on the same level thinking about the song so innocently sung now but the impact it could leave.
Still Numb with Thought                                                                                                                                  Mommy No.1