Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why Children Refuse to Read and Other Revalations

Please reflect upon this poem that my daughter's Class II book contains and which she was supposed to learn by heart for an oral recitation test-
Miss Tidy
I always make the bed myself
Without anybody's help
I spread the bedsheet nice and flat
And give myself a big,big pat
I have my bath and wash my face
And keep the brush and soap in place
I rush to have my breakfast soon
And sometimes wash my plate and spoon
Of my books and bag I take great care
And never leave them here and there
On getting up I wrap my sheet
And never leave till the room is tidy and neat
Now am I wrong in saying that such a poem would not enthuse me in the least if I were a seven year old?Apart from the fact that some lines like the last two do not make sense, I would certainly not identify with 'Miss Tidy' ,more likely I would like to wring her sugary sweet neck if I chanced upon her! This poem belongs to a lesson on moral science, there is no subtlety to it. An English lesson should be interesting and easy to learn, something that the child likes to read, some humour, some fun anything but this.
The heat in Delhi has become intolerable. Summer does not agree with me I breakout in rashes and am dripping sweat all the time, to have to deal with a belligerent seven year old at this time is killing! Teachers are springing one test after another on us moms and coupled with that are the pressures of sending appropriate craft materials as and when asked for. "Bring five ice-cream sticks and four buttons for activity tomorrow" says the teacher and unleashes the brat on us. The hapless mom runs pillar to post to procure the items with parents in law saying_" This school is no good!What has education come to? They do not do any studies and all they encourage is art and craft...." and the mite keeps whining "Maam says we have to get the ice-cream spoons that are broad on top and thin at the bottom. You always give me white buttons when everyone else gets colourful ones.....etc" With this droning background music continuously ringing in the ear coupled with the weather and a toddler to look after (who calmly throwns wrist watches down from our first floor balcony) the mom , that is me, is ready to commit suicide.
Unloading myself here has a calming affect. Please send your views regarding the poem and suggest ways in which I can help my seven year old read.

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