She Phonically Ready

Just to clarify: we didn’t let Fin actually eat any of Delph’s puke. This was after my mum wrote to me to tell me my last blog was disgusting. Ha! Sorry for any potential loss of appetite. It’s just that once you clear out the confusion of chaos, it’s a lot easier to walk to the edge – of disgusting!

With our common sickness bug, Delphine and I threw school out of the window by mid-week. I got back out of bed today with a re-jigged sense of determination. C’mon Delph.

In fairness to her, Delphine did sit down to work. It helped that the books we were working on are the books Linda recently recommended to us. It only took her a year-and-a-half to find us the material we needed. It’s ok. Linda probably won’t get offended.

Still, it’s almost been worth the wait. Finally, we found phonic books for older readers! Thank you to Phonic Books who aren’t thinking about producing books only for the early years market. Thanks to Tiffany Haddish too, the actress-comedienne, who has become our official, if unexpected hero on this matter.

Why Tiffany Haddish? This is because she revealed that she didn’t learn to properly read until she was about 15-years-old. She said she was in tenth grade – year eleven in the UK. We watched her explain it on Red Table Talk, our hearts speeding up as she explained.

Up until Tiffany was in tenth grade, she said she could only read simple, three-letter words and words she encountered all the time. She’d been winging it with a mixture of copying and bluff, which itself must have taken ingeniousness. She explained she’d been told by so many people that she was stupid as a child, she’d believed them. Then her drama teacher found out. At this point, Tiffany began to finally get the extra help she needed and she was accepted into college at NYU just three years later. Three years of catching up and then an NYU offer! How cool is that!

This inspired me to think about milestones. Thinking about the way children are processed through education. In order to cope with the national curriculum, progress is calculated by averages, the average age of each developmental milestone. Milestone literally being a series of stones, the child jumping from one to another. A mile apart as well. Damn you, stream of consciousness – the answer was right there in front of me!

But what if your child doesn’t fit into this system of jumping stones? Is there another system which can compensate for a new stoney course? I know, through Delph and my experience of learning together, the very simple act of removing these stones (literally slung round our neck) is one of the most freeing things we’ve done.. Age = level of progress is no longer applicable. If you can remove the pressure where people are supposed to be ready at a certain age to be able do something, then what happens? Tiffany’s motto has a whole new meaning for us. When she ready! Back to work. Thank you for inspiring us Tiff.







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