This may be obvious to those of you who have had children, or who have worked with kids, but that wasn’t me. Even with five nieces, I didn’t see them nearly every day, so I’d failed to pick up the subtleties in their changing language skills.
For instance, in the last few months, Lydia has picked up the notion of the past tense. My wife, the English teacher, explained to me that, just by listening, they pick up the general rules, in this case, the -ed suffix. Then later, they, at least native speakers with people around them who give them examples of standard English, will pick up on the nuances in the language. So, I needn’t necessarily correct Lydia when she says throwed when she means threw, except to reply with the proper form. And I’ve noticed that this is working with growed and grew already. An interesting scientific laboratory in the home.
Meanwhile, she’s doing her numbers, though she seems to skip 14, for some reason. And she prints her name. The L she’s got down pat. The Y looks like an I with a little arrow quiver on the top. The D resembles a paramecium. The I is good. The A is fine, too, but then she augments it with little dots; maybe it’s an artistic statement.
As they say, Reading Is Fundamental. And we do read to her a lot. They are often the same stories, so that memorization often takes place. My favorite book to share with her is Madeline:
“In an old yellow house in old Paree”
“Paris!”, I’m corrected.
And later, I read “again” to rhyme with “rain”, and I’m corrected, well, again. One of these days, I’ll get it right. Or maybe not.