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As a 5 year-old girl, I remember sitting beside my dad, as I learned to read. It was one of those “Janet & John” picture books, and the text read, “the aeroplane went up”. Somehow, I was able to read the first 3 words, but would struggle as I tried to pronounce the last word, “up”. 

You see, my daddy was an unusually calm man, but frustrated after several attempts of teaching me the word, he bellowed “up, up, up”, as he taught me the word one more time.

For the longest time, whenever I read the word, I would repeat it 3 times (“the aeroplane went up” became “the aeroplane went up, up, up”).

Many years later, I am my 4 year-old son’s homework teacher and I have felt the frustration of my father.
My son would rightly pronounce the “phonemes”, and would somehow pronounce an entirely different word (which has completely different phonemes) much to my frustration. e.g. Guided by the picture, I can ”h-o-p” becomes I can ”jump”.

I feared the most; will this child ever learn to read? Will he be like my friend Mr. Morgan whose teacher allowed him & a friend to “cheat” during spelling tests, as their combined efforts at spelling would usually result in spelling ”dog” as ”d-z-g”.

I did not inherit the calmness of my father, and after loosing my cool one too many times, at the start of our reading sessions, I would ask my son to say a simple prayer for me – “Dear God, please help my mummy to be patient, and a good teacher.”
As we sat reading another book a couple of weeks ago, much to my delight, my son was able to read every word in the book (after rightly pronouncing phonemes for the new/more difficult words).
Much like me, after stumbling and failing, my son has hit this reading milestone.

Milestones are achievable!
If you’ve had a few failed attempts, it may be a good idea to get help (even from a less qualified source; as I did by asking my son to pray for me).

Whatever 2021, I hope it’s better for you, me & the rest of the world.
Whatever 2021, I hope you achieve your milestones. And if there is jollof for the chopping, be sure to invite a sister (me).

See you soon in 2021.

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About the author
BLP is the owner of this blog, which she developed out of the need to present news/stories with a focus on Africa and the black community in an easy to read format.
BLP has a keen interest in solving problems in the developing economy through the use of technology. Of all BLP’s passions, she finds loving and looking after her daughter, her 2 sons and her husband most rewarding.



Beautiful piece of work by BLP… Wishing you all the best life has to offer, while we all look forward to 2021 with great expectations.

Amazing is the “word” ! Helps me to put a lot into perspective ! I lack patience with my daughter sometimes ! I was also a slow learner like the person in the story ! It actually helps me to empathise with the kids

I pray for patience as we’ve all become 2020 teachers. I, like you didn’t inherit my Pop’s patience but we have to keep matching on!! So help us God. Looking forward to a fruitful and peaceful 2021! Merry Christmas to you and yours and a happy new year in advance!

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