Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Literacy problems in children

I am starting to get concerned about several literacy problems I have been having around here.  Two problems, really.

Firstly, it used to be that I could tell my husband time-critical girl-excluded messages by spelling strategic words out.  This is no longer possible.  I think Monster1 would decrypt the words faster than the husband (who is not a nippy speller).  Monster2 has not even started school and she could probably have a good go at some words.   If the husb. and I both spoke another language we could use that.  It would have the natty side effect of generating bilingual children.

My second literacy problem relates to reading.  For the first time this year I have had to hide my Christmas shopping list.  It is hugely annoying.  You don't have these types of problems with illiterate children. 

My mother was the fortunate recipient of an education in a particular form of shorthand that became fashionable in 1964 then disappeared without a trace. It must have been handy for hiding things from us when we were children.

My mother once went overseas for some weeks when my brother and I were at university.  We had been left some money to pay bills, etc but we were running out of money to buy food.  We knew she had a bag of small change and we knew she would not mind if we snuffled in to it but we just couldn't find it.  When the parents returned from dining their way around regional France, we said, "We nearly starved.  For lords sake, woman, where was the spare change?"

She picked up a scrap of paper from her dressing table containing several small squiggles, and said, "under the bed."

Yep, unless a passing burglar had done shorthand in 1964, preferably at the hands of the Dominicans, that change was safe, safe, safe.

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