Thursday, January 07, 2010


ALPHABET


Yesterday when the grandies came and I was to babysit for a few hours, Kaya (9) and one of the twins (Mitsuki, 6) set immediately to playing with the toys, while the other twin (Miasa, also 6) sat quietly at the kitchen table, hunched over a notebook, drawing-- or so I thought.

When I happened to walk by and glanced at what she was doing, at first it looked like English words... But that couldn't be of course, since she doesn't speak English - though she has expressed a desire to learn English... Besides, she's only 6, and 6-year-olds often say things... But they WERE English words, beautifully printed and she was printing them! Beautifully! Huh?

One of her sisters was jumping rope and the other was rolling around the room on the big red ball, which are essential activities in themselves, but have the addictive quality of being fun. In stark contrast, Miasa had, before coming to visit, made ruled lines in her blank notebook, asked someone to print an English word on the left of each line and was now intently copying each printed word carefully and in surprisingly expert fashion, over and over till she reached the end of the line, when she would start on the next line and word. She wasn't having fun or showing off, she was just doing it, and had started doing it the moment she'd arrived. While her sisters were playing noisily, she was quietly studying English!

I... I... I was speechless. I just stood there. I... I had never seen a 6-year-old focus with that much intensity, for that long, on a real grownup study task. I... I waited till she had finished the whole two pages (without looking up even once!), when she ruled fresh lines on the next two pages and held it up to me, asking me to print some new English words on the left. I... I... I said: This is fantastic! You are amazing! You are ... This is... Wow... and so forth, at which the other two girls looked up to see what all the praise was about, and later after dinner, when they were about to watch the Wizard of Oz they insisted on watching it in English.

Later, when Kasumi came to pick them up and take them home across the Lake, they had fallen asleep... Out in the car Miasa lifted a sleepy hand and said "My notebook..." She'd left it by the warm wood stove, where she'd been ruling in more lines, just before falling asleep...

My English fails me...

3 comments:

Maggie said...

Did you go back? Can you overnight it to her?

R. Brady said...

Yes, I ran back into the house and got it for her (plus pencil, eraser and ruler), all in English.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I find it hard to believe that the twins are already 6. I remember when they were born and it seems like just yesterday.

Happy New Year!