R Blends

Posted on | January 10, 2014 | No Comments

“Today, we went through some R blend words”, reported the English tutor. “Do you know what R blends are?”. I replied “No”.

One day last summer, my sister-in-law was busy and I was asked to pick up her daughter from a private tutoring lesson. My niece was going to enter grade one in a private school, which proudly claimed to push their students 2 levels more advanced than the normal schools. My sister-in-law was so worried that she arranged daily private English and Maths lessons for her daughter throughout the whole summer, including Sundays.

Fast forward a few months. Today, my niece came to my home after school. Her mother had some important things to do (again). So my wife took care of her and went over her grade-one homework with her.

Soon my wife cried to me for help. She was stuck in a crossword question on adverbs:

How owls act in stories? (a 6-letter adverb).

We gave up. We then quickly found the answer from Google. Then from the next exercise:

Unscramble the word ‘aptrusis’.

We gave up. We found the answer again, thanks to Google. The 6-year-old stared blank at us as we struggled through her exercises.

During this time, my 8-year-old daughter was quietly sitting in a corner reading an English book she just borrowed from the public library. It was from one of her favourite series. She enjoyed it very much. Then for her homework, she read a few chapters of a French book she borrowed from school. French was less appealing to her, but she still liked the story as it was her pick. She probably did not know what R blends or adverbs mean, but surely she had been enjoying great time with her languages.


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