Teaching the Scientist a lesson in phonics the other day, the idea of words that don’t follow the rules came up. This idea fascinated him and he was vastly amused by it. We talked about how sometimes, a “signal e” is not actually a signal for anything and that the vowel preceding it does not, in fact, make a long vowel sound. For instance, words like “come” and “some”. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Sound out this word — “come”
Him: C – C – C – oh – mmmm. … Comb.
Me: Good try, but not quite. Maybe try another vowel sound. Maybe try it with a short vowel sound.
Me: What do you mean why?
Him: Why? It has a signal E, Mom.
Me: Would you just try it? C’mon! (Yes, this is when my voice started to go up a little; he is smart but can be oh so frustrating at times!)
Him: C – ah – m. Cahm.
Me: Oooooh. So close. Try again.
Him: C – uhhh – m. Come.
Me: Ding ding ding ding ding! We have a winnah!!! (Yes, I did actually say that.)
Him: But that doesn’t follow the rules.
Me: What can I say, bud? Some times words don’t follow the rules.
Him: They don’t follow the rules?!
Me: Not all the time. They’re more like guidelines.
Him: But you call them rules.
Me: I know…Goodness gracious why am I out of coffee? It is too early in the morning for this. (That comment about yelling during Math? Could be phonics or any other subject and I was so very close to it at this moment.)
Him: *Thinks in silence for a few moments while I get my second cup of joe* Mom, if they break the rules, why don’t we just put them in word jail?
Me: I love you.
Being able to share moments like this (minus the almost freaking out over stuff parts) are why I love homeschooling.