What to do if you have to start for the 2nd time in Primary 1, because you still don’t know the letters of the alphabet or can’t read a book?
In November 2018 I discovered that a girl in my village wasn’t able to read the letters of the alphabet, but also she wasn’t able to skip a rope, to bounce a ball with her right hand (let alone the left hand…), she couldn’t draw with her left and right hand at the same time (symmetric drawing) or do cross walks.
In the long holiday I gave her homework to do: rope skipping, bouncing with a ball, cross walks and some other left/right coordination exercises. She had to do this in the morning, during midday and in the evening. Like taking medicine. Her brother was helping her (because I gave him the same support before). By the end of the holiday she was able to skip the rope and bounce a ball!
Since January 2019 she visited me, together with some other children, almost every week for extra remedial playful activities. We didn’t focus on reading. We did all kinds of different games and activities that stimulated the coordination between the left and right side of her brain. We spent only a little time on reading letters and words, and always in a playful way: using beans to shape letters, memory games with letters, letter cards, etc.
Two months later we observed a big change! Her motor skills had improved, she knew the letters of the alphabet and was able to read simple words, but most important: She started to smile and believe in herself!
The girl her name is Keza. It means ‘beautiful’. This little girl who was unsure and dreamy, had not enough self-esteem and wasn’t happy, turned into an active, engaged and cheerful girl.
Now frequently she shows me her wonderful smile and happy face. Isn’t that beautiful?
From a muzzy caterpillar she turned into a beautiful butterfly!
A child is like a butterfly in the wind.
Some can fly higher than others,
but each one flies the best it can.
Why compare one against the other?
Each one is different.
Each one is special.
Each one is beautiful.
I know that there are many other children like Keza. They deserve also a chance to turn into beautiful butterflies!
That is why I believe that my work is important and worth doing it!