Category Archives: Homeschooling

“Th” versus “d” and “f”

In past years, Peter has been replacing the “th” sound with the “d” or “f” sound. “That” was “dat,” and “Bethany” was “Befany.” I worked on teaching him the correct pronunciation, and he was finally able to make the “th” sound.

During a reading lesson where he was introduced to the word “the,” he finally understood and is now able to make the “th” sound on a regular basis. And boy was he proud to be able to do it after so much hard work!

Unfortunately, that was not the end of this learning process. Now he is replacing “d” sounds with “th” sounds. For example, instead of saying, “the dog,” he will say “the thog.”

I am working to help him understand that “dog” and “the” have different sounds, and he is always able to repeat it correctly after hearing me say it. I believe his problem is that, since he is not reading well yet, he does not know which words have a “d” sound and which have a “th” sound. To him, he learned a new sound and now has to replace all of what he used to pronounce with a “d” sound and replace it with a “th” sound.

It is just going to take time for him to learn the difference, and hopefully it will work itself out as he learns more and more words. Meanwhile, I will be patient and gently correct him. And I might do a few lessons focusing on “d” and “th” words. What do you think? Will it work itself out? Do you have a suggestion for dealing with this letter confusion?

Pet Pine Cones

The other morning while at a park, Anna brought me a pine cone and said, “My friend Hannah told me that when a pine cone is closed like this, it is going to rain.” I looked around at the sunshine and white puffy clouds and said, “Well, I don’t think it’s going to rain.” She did not argue and went to play some more.

Within ten minutes, the clouds had turned grey and the sky was dark. Anna so conveniently happened to be next to me on the bench, holding another tightly closed pine cone. She said, “It looks rainy now.” I couldn’t do anything but respond with, “Yes, it does, doesn’t it?”

Within a few minutes the sun was shining brightly again, but because I was curious, I told her she could bring the pine cones home with us. I wanted to watch them to see if they opened up later.

We got home dry, but around mid-afternoon, we had a short 10 minute shower with the sun shining the whole time. (Don’t you love sunny showers?). And by early evening, the pine cone was beginning to open again.

Still extremely curious, I did a little research and discovered that, even when pine cones are no longer receiving nutrition from the tree, they still have the capability of closing on humid days. This protects the seeds and allows the pine cone to hold onto the seeds until a dryer day when the wind is more able to pick them up and carry them to a safe place to grow. So, there you have it. Your science lesson for today.

Here are a few interesting things I learned about pine cones while researching:

By the way, Anna has been taking care of her pine cones like little pets, and they did open up completely over the next day or two. They are now sitting (still open) on our deck, and for some reason they are still open even though it rained today. Too bad I already admitted to Anna that she was right. I might have a case now:) Just teasing. I mean, after all, she has the internet to back her up, so she has to be right. Right?