Not quite long ago, in the town of Cocobell, there lived the Smooth family. In the Smooth family, there was daddy Mr. Danny Smooth, mommy Mrs. Nancy Smooth, and little Ms. Gloria Smooth. Little Gloria was a fun loving, and happy four-year-old. But she was a bit scared, scared of school, and primarily, she was terrified of reading. Well, she was still in preschool. She was not yet expected to read indeed. That’s what she was going to learn in Kindergarten anyways. (Isn’t that true?) Kindergarten that seems like a strange, unknown world - like a planet in a far, far, far away galaxy.
“Mommy, do I need a space suit and a rocket for Kindergarten? Will I be ok in a galaxy far away?“, asked Little Smooth to her Mom. “No, Darling, why do you ask?” said Mrs. Smooth, dropping down to her daughter’s height. Her eyes met that of her daughter’s scared ones - it instantaneously melted her. “Oh, sweetie, you are just scared, aren’t you?“, she said, standing up, and gently leading her kid by her arm, towards the backyard.
Mommy and daughter quietly walked into the backyard, and under the shade of the giant tree there. The beautiful swing hanging from the branches was usually very inviting for Lil’ Smooth. But today, she was just not in the mood. Nancy gently placed Lil’ Smooth on the swing and sat beside her. She took the little girl’s face in her hands, and lovingly and kindly said, “My dear! What’s scaring you about kindergarten? I thought you loved school”. Tears welled in the kid’s eyes. “Talk to me, baby,” said Nancy.
Lil’ Gloria looked up and sobbingly hugged mommy as tight as she could. Mommy hugged her closely and gently patted her on her back. “I can’t read,” whispered Lil’ Gloria, “Words scare me.” She paused, sighed, and said “A lot! A LOT!“. Mommy took a deep breath, made her child lie down on her arm, and gently rocked the swing. She wiped the tears off with her other arm. They were both quiet for two seconds. Now, that seemed like an eternity. Mommy then whispered, “But baby, you know the alphabets and the sounds. You’ll learn to read words, in Kindergarten. That’s what kindergarten will teach you. Don’t worry.” No, wasn’t even a teeny tiny bit convincing to the kid.
“No, mommy, some of my best friends can read,” said the girl crying on mommy’s shoulder. Nancy asked her, “May I suggest something, darling?“. The girl who had now stopped crying nodded consent. “You know that you can say the sounds for each alphabet. A word is just a few alphabets put together. Each word that you see, you can cut the word into its alphabets. Say the sounds of the alphabets and join the sounds back. There, you would have read the whole word.” Sounded very simple, but is a very tall order to a four-year-old, intimidated kid. The kid didn’t say a word, and her mother allowed her, her space. They both rocked quietly as the cooling evening breeze touched them ever so gently.