The Sewer in the Sewer – Fun with Heteronyms

images-3Double trouble: I’m sorry to subject you to the subject of the english language when you’re probably having a nice soft day. But sometimes I think the word-inventors were verbally insane or just plain lazy. Why else would we have so many words with the same spelling but different pronunciations and meanings? Was the project team simply lacking in brain cells and imagination? Or did they become bored halfway through the job? Perhaps it was an early attempt at recycling to save endangered letters?

These words are called heteronyms.  To better explain what I’m on about, there is no time like the present to present you with my story. Happy reading!


spool threadThe Sewer in the Sewer

Once upon a time, there was a Polish seamstress who liked to stay home and polish her husband’s boots. Okay, so she wasn’t very liberated, but she was working on it. She was a lovely little woman who would shed a tear every time she saw a tear in her man’s work clothes, hanging in the shed. Wasting no time, she would always repair to her sewing room to repair the damage. The little sewer also liked to grow vegetables and could produce lots of produce for her family. But she drew the line at taking out the refuse and would refuse to carry out the garbage. And try as she might, she could never teach the sow to sow. But that’s a story for another time.

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10 Steps to Making Children Life-Long Readers

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Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
          – Margaret Fuller

What I Know: I am not a language expert, a teacher or professional speech therapist. But as an author and storyteller, I do know that speech is the foundation of all social life. Why then, do we take it for granted? Research proves that when pre-schoolers have difficulty with oral development, they could be experiencing an early symptom of reading disability. This is an important thing to know.

What this means: A child’s ability to read is an important predictor of later literacy development and potential for academic achievement. At no other time do they learn as much as in the first few years of life, so what can we do to help our children during these critical early years? I believe we should be reading out loud with our children everyday, to develop a love of language – together.

Getting hooked: Reading is a significant family activity that, unfortunately, seems to be losing its place of value in many homes. With the ubiquitous allure of the electronic world at our fingertips, it’s easy to fall prey to the ease, comfort and excitement of it all.  But are children losing the art of language because of it? And if so, how do we get them hooked on reading, instead of watching?

Let the reading begin: Most parents already know that any shared storybook reading between child and adult is an excellent way to promote emergent literacy. So how do we compete with the more seductive forms of family entertainment and increase a child’s motivation toward book-reading? A good start is to be pro-active and encourage the child to take an active role in the experience.

So What Can You Do? 

Continue reading “10 Steps to Making Children Life-Long Readers”