Hare Krishna Dear Parents,
I can’t believe how quickly this term is moving. Our new entrant students are all settling in very nicely and we have established the classroom routines and learning schedule.
Welcome back to Lachlan who was away with the Chicken Pox. He is fully recovered and not contagious, but if you do detect any spots it could be going around!
A Glimpse into Our Week’s Learning!
Shastra – Learning About Lord Chaitanya’s Childhood Pastimes..
Radhanath Swami tells the story of two thieves who tried to steal ornaments of child Lord Chaitanya…
This is a pastime we enacted out this week! Revant was Nimai. Samba and I were the thieves and we carried him away to steal his jewels. Here Radhanath Swami relates it for you to enjoy!
One time when the Lord was playing near the bank of the Ganga, there were two thieves, they saw that Sachi Mata had put very nice ornaments – The lord had ankle belts, bracelets and little necklace, They wanted to steal it. And this is the easiest thing! – A little tiny child who is just learning walking, barely walking around alone! But there were thousands and thousands of people near that bathing Ghat, so how to steal from that baby? One of them had a plan, they got some Sandesh! They said, “O Child! You are lost? Child! Our Child! Our beloved family member! Let us take you home! Here have some Sandesh!” And they picked up little Nimai and put up him on their shoulders and as everybody was watching, they were saying, “Yes! Our little child! We will take you home. We are taking you home. We missed you so much.” And Nimai was smiling and he was eating Sandeshes. Meanwhile they were meditating, “I will get his bangles, and I will get his bracelet. There is some little jewel there that is going to be mine.” But for Nimai, he was just very happy, he was getting a ride on their shoulders. He was a little child and he was getting to see Navadwip from a little elevated position. And they were going to their secret hideout, they had been there so many times, they knew where it was.
Meanwhile back at Nimai’s house, the relatives were looking all over for him, he didn’t come home, and he was not around. They were asking everybody, but nobody saw Nimai. Time passed! They were searching frantically in all directions and there was nowhere else to search. How far a little boy can go? So they were sitting in their homes with their heads in their hands, weeping, “where is Nimai?” Praying to God to bring home Nimai. There was anguish, And Nimai was smiling! Dancing around on their shoulders eating sweets! They were, just to keep him from crying, they were feeding him. And then they came to, where they thought was their secret hideout, and they said, “O child! Now we have come to your home. So please now you can get down!”
And Nimai looked and they actually took him back to his home. They were under such an illusion, they were standing right in front of his front door and they are just a few feet away from where Jaganatha Mishra, Sachi Devi and all the relatives were crying, thinking “Where is Nimai? Where is Nimai?” And they thought this was their secret hideout. They said, “O Child! Now we are home. Get down!” Little Nimai said, “Now I am at home. I will get down.” And they brought him down and he ran inside and right into his mother’s arm. “O Nimai! You have returned! Where have you been?” and all the relatives were, “O such a relief.” They were celebrating. After that separation not knowing if he was safe, seeing him again was ecstasy. Somebody asked, “Where were you?” And somebody said, “I Just saw, two grown men just brought home” Meanwhile in the middle of all this commotion the thieves thought, “What Happened? What kind of magic spell came over us? This is not our hideout and this is his parents. We kidnapped him and now we are standing right in front of his parents. But seeing that they were all celebrating, and they were all looking at Nimai, let us escape.”
So while everybody was in their own commotion they ran away. They ran and ran and ran. They ran so fast in such fear and finally when they looked around a distance away and nobody was following them, they thought that, “Goddess Durga has saved us.” They asked Nimai what happened and Nimai said, “O I was playing near the bank of Ganga and I got lost and I didn’t know where to go and these two nice men picked me up and brought me home.” They were thinking we must reward them, they made nice beautiful, token turbans! They ran after to give to the men, but they could not find them anywhere. Those two thieves, they gave pleasure to the Lord, even though their motivations were very selfish, the Lord had fun riding on their shoulders and eating their sweets. Those two thieves, in the course of time attend the supreme perfection because of the service they had rendered. Vrindavan das Thakur explains, by hearing this story all inauspiciousness in our heart is stolen away and we attain firm devotion to the supreme lord. During these little childhood days of Nimai, every moment was something incredible. Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat tells, if the Vedas had 10 million forms and each form had 10 million mouths, they could not begin to explain the good fortune of Jaganatha Mishra and Sachi Devi that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was living like a little child in their home.
Learning to Spell!
Spelling – What to Expect from your Five to Six Year Old
Just as children reach physical milestones in the process of learning to walk, there are several important spelling milestones that a 5-6 year old child will pass through on the journey to becoming a successful speller.
All children develop differently. For some children these milestones will be reached easily as skills develop naturally, while other children will require explicit teaching. However these are the common milestones you will observe your child achieve:
A 5-6 year old is developing phonemic awareness
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear the single sounds within words. This skill is essential for spelling development as listening skills develop prior to writing tasks.
A 5-6 year old is learning about sound letter relationships
Phonics is the knowledge of which sounds match which letters, as well as knowing that single sounds combine to create different sounds. This awareness is just developing as children learn the letters of the alphabet.
A 5-6 year old will learn that language is broken into words
As adults it is easy to dismiss what an important milestone this is for a young child. Many children until age 5-6 do not realise that there are different words separated by spaces and that these words on a page are made up differently with letters. Tracing and copying of letters in words occurs at this stage and is important for consolidating visual memory skills in young children.
5-6 year olds are phonetic spellers
Phonetic spelling is spelling words exactly as they sound, for example love =luv or Elephant=LFNT. Rather than be concerned, celebrate these initial attempts at spelling as these efforts show a child’s developing phonemic awareness.
5-6 year olds use invented spelling
Children at this level understand that writing is purposeful and may have realised some simple spelling patterns exist. Children will attempt to invent words as they develop a sense of confidence and pride in their writing attempts. Encourage ‘inventions’ As they are a good representation of a child’s understanding of phonics.
5-6 year olds will leave out vowels
Spelling cat as ‘ct’ and dog as ‘dg’ is another significant milestone in this age group. Consonant sounds in the initial and final position within words are easier for children to hear. Vowel sounds in English are more challenging and are not yet expected in a child’s spelling attempts.
5-6 year olds will learn to spell their name
Children at this age are fascinated by names and personal differences. Highly motivated most children will learn to recognise the letters in their name and through repetition in the classroom learn to spell their name. Students will several vowel combinations will reach this milestone towards the end of this age group.
5-6 year olds will use environmental print to assist their spelling
At this age with spelling and writing skills blossoming, children will look for examples of print in their environment to copy. This is a sign that the child is searching to make connections between sound–letter patterns and their own writing.
Children enjoy finding their names and everyday words such as days of the week, colour words and items in the home such as beds in language, signs and print around them.
5-6 year olds will learn to spell simple, common CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. Once children are listening carefully and have a good understanding of sound-letter correspondence they will begin attempting simple CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) when writing. Children will have learned that vowels do belong in words and may attempt to use them.
Commonly spelled words at this stage are mum, dad, bed, pig, cat, pet, sit.
A 5-6 year old will reverse letters
Letter reversals such as ‘b – d’, ‘q-p’ are common when spelling skills are emerging. There is debate as to the reason however it is very common and is a milestone that is significant as children learn through their mistakes and by being able to recognise when a word ‘looks’ the same as modelled spelling and when it looks ‘wrong’. There is no need to be alarmed rather concentrate on tracing and copying activities presenting many opportunities to practice.
Spelling at this age does not occur in isolation. Your child’s spelling can be best supported by reading regularly and by modelling writing and spelling for children at home.