Sunday, November 24, 2013
What drew me instantly to this fabric I used for my latest bag? The nursery rhymes. Despite being an adult and all, I find it impossible to walk past anything related to nursery rhymes. Like once I walked past a shop that had a pair of humpty dumpties sitting on the wall and I immediately went in to ask for the price. It was $25 EACH so I had to not buy them. It was heart breaking...
My love affair with nursery rhymes started when I was 7 and I entered primary school. I had skipped pre-school because my mother has so many kids that she only let my youngest brother attend kindergarten. When I was 7 I had no idea that most of the kids in my class had already had some form of education. I didn't even know I could have gone to kindergarten. So all in all a good thing because being ignorant helped a lot in those days.
Soon enough my form teacher (I had one teacher who taught everything and one teacher who taught Chinese) discovered I was not mute. Just that I had never been educated. I spoke no English. I mean zero. At home in those days we spoke our Chinese dialect which has no written words. But Miss Read was a patient little woman. Looking at her class - a mishmash of kids who knew the entire alphabet and kids like me who stared blankly at everything she said, she decided the best way to teach was via nursery rhymes.
Now I know some teachers teach English using methods like flash cards or A is apple, B is for boy. But based on my experience nursery rhymes really worked for me. Every day, Miss Read would use a giant poster with gorgeous illustrations of a nursery rhyme and pointing to the words, she would sing out the rhyme and our job was to mimic her.
I thoroughly enjoyed her class. We sang, we made ridiculous actions, we laughed. After a while, the written words started to make sense. In those days we did not have to learn to write until the second half of the year. First we wrote on a mini chalkboard. Later we wrote with pencils on a single lined exercise book. Even writing was fun because we got to write out the nursery rhymes.
Certainly we had reader text books to learn from but they were really basic. I even remember the first book. The first page said "A house." The second page said "This is a house." And that was chapter one.
So thank goodness we had nursery rhymes and really that was how I learned English. Every day we would shout or sing every single nursery rhyme we knew. By the time I got to learn to write, I already knew enough words to read every single book in the class library. It was not a very big library.
This is one side of the bag - Mary had a little lamb. I remember we loved to bleat like lambs when we sang this rhyme. Primary One was the best year of my school life.
I remember for Ring Around the Rosy/Rosie (or Ring a Ring o'Roses) we would do the ring and dance around and then fall down on the ground. But Miss Read never told us the kids (in the rhyme) died from the illness so we always, always laughed very hard when we fell to the ground. I guess she did the right thing.
It's Sunday here and originally I planned to go cycling with the kids. (I haven't cycled in decades) But hubs went to climb stairs (vertical marathon) and take a selfie of (with) the sexiest Singapore man alive and my girl stayed up last night to catch Dr Who plus it looks like rain. So it's going to be a stay home Sunday. Oh, my mother said it's perfectly alright if I don't do any housework since I'm busy sewing. So I'm letting the mess carry on.