I was only twelve when I taught my first student to read using phonics. And my student was four. Hard to believe? Okay then, read on and I’ll explain.
My mom is a very wise mother. :) She gave us children many opportunities to learn and grow all along our growing years. Under her watchful eye, we played, learned from one another and taught each other more than we were aware of.
One of our favourite games was, naturally, “school.” The younger ones were the students, and the oldest child involved in the game was the teacher by default. Sometimes, we tired of teaching things that everyone already knew… and ventured down new, exciting paths.
Such was the case one eventful afternoon. My baby sister was a rather patient student for such an energetic and excitable teacher as I was in those days. Having had three to four years’ worth of phonics background, I knew phonics like the back of my hand.
That afternoon, I decided that it would be pretty neat to teach all that I knew to my youngest sister. So, out came the magic ink markers and the whiteboard propped up on a chair in our study room at home. You can just imagine the scene: one rather little teacher with just one even littler student in the middle of the study room. I’ve always wondered what Mom thought of us monkeying around that day.
Excitement mounted in me as I walked my little sister through the beaten path of blending (she already knew her letter sounds). Breathlessly, I watched her blend /c/, /a/, /t/. You can imagine my triumph when recognition of the word dawned in her face. It was one noisy moment!
For the next eight years following that day, I pined for a chance to teach phonics again. Well, in God’s time, I was able to begin phonics classes in April ’10.
I’m loving it, and so are my students! Come learn with me! You’d be most welcome.