Friday, February 1, 2008

Phonics Er-ant

My boys have a Leap Frog Fridge Phonics set. I'm not big into the "learning" toys, but this has been awesome. They love it, and have known all their letters and letter sounds since before they were two.

So, why am I about to embark on a rant? I just can't help myself! See, I don't expect perfection in a children's phonics toy. I mean, phonics are confusing, and it would hardly be fair for them to have to cover every single sound "y" makes in their "Y says..." song. (For the record, /y/ quite commonly says a long E sound although their song only tells you that y says yuh and y says I).

But, there's one hugely glaring error. R. According to their song, /r/ says -er. Um, no. It doesn't. Do you pick an er-ed er-ose? No. The -er sound is only if there is an r-controlled vowel, like in butter or mother. And here in Boston, even that's debatable. Hee, hee, I just teased about the Boston accent! But back to my point, /r/ never says -er on its own...there always has to be a vowel with it for it to say -er. On its own, r more commonly says something closer to ruh, especially at the start of words. So that's my rant. Or er-ant, as Leap Frog would have you believe.

Does this really matter? No, it just grates on me. I've gone so far as to hide the R from their phonics set, but then I feel all guilty, like N-man and B-man are going to have to recite their ABCs to graduate from preschool or something and they'll be all "A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q ummmmm, uhhh, what comes next?" So then I give the R back. And it ends up being their favorite and they play it again and again and again. And I slowly lose my mind until I'm forced to purge my insanity via this blog.


Random Unrelated Thought: We finalized our preschool plans, and are pretty happy with our decision to go with our second choice preschool. At least this way we know the boys have a slot for the fall, and I don't have to spend all summer wondering and hoping, and we don't risk them not getting into preschool at all. However, I did get a call from crazy preschool with the ridiculous "lottery" that is so biased against everyone who doesn't live in their pricey neighborhood. They wanted to know why we hadn't turned in an application. Um, if I could afford to put down a deposit for two kids at one preschool while sitting around with my fingers crossed waiting to get into your preschool, I'd just move to your overpriced town and then wouldn't be stuck at the very bottom of the lottery. Well, that and the fact that I'm a total control freak and can't stand the uncertainty of a wait list. So in exciting news, our boys are officially preschool bound come September!

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