Over the Rainbow

My mind was blown by the fact that Kristine, who is FOUR YEARS OLD, had instantaneously groked that the colors, all of them, were some kind of system.

Over the Rainbow

This afternoon, I left to see Poppy a little later than I had planned. It was raining here, not the soft, summery monsoon rains I am besotted with, but a more driving rain, brisker, from the remnants of tropical storm Kay out in the Pacific. My housekeeper had opened up all the windows today to air out the house. She knows I love the smell of rain. It didn't smell like petrichor, though, like it does when the ground and the granite boulders have been parched for a couple months; it smelled like fall. And it didn't feel like the heat-cooling relief of a monsoon, but damper and chillier.

I love everything about the fall except the fact that it leads to winter. I love back-to-school everything, the crisp new folders, a pristine set of highlighters, a color-coded schedule. I often miss being on a buzzing campus, and I love listening to my students tell me about their commutes and their classes and their teachers.

I was trying to wait for the rain to stop before heading over to see Poppy, but it wasn't letting up. I waited long enough that she was done at daycare for the day. "Poppy is at the nail shop," Millie texted me when I was on my way. "Tks." She always thanks me with that same abbreviation.

I realize that working with Poppy is not exactly the same as working with a young dyslexic reader. I've always said that the writing system is ultimately the same regardless of who's using it, but I also recognize that what makes literacy challenging for Poppy is not the same set of circumstances that make it challenging for emerging monolingual readers with a learning disability. Poppy is getting pretty standard phonics at school (more on that shortly), but I can see that she needs grammar support and language-rich experiences that she may not have access to at home. So today, I brought my Hands-On English Linking Blocks, and a story to read, to try to scratch both of those itches.

Here's how it went:

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