I have come to the conclusion that childhood phonics curricula and Southern accents do not mesh well. Over the course of the past year, Lydia and I have run into multiple anomalies with sounding out words versus the word as we know it.
Earlier today we were working with words that end in ‘ch.’ I wrote out a word for Lydia on the board:
Lydia sounds it out. “Buh. Buh-rrr. Buh-rrr-ah-nch. Buhrrahnch.” The sound of this still makes no sense to her, so she throws in a little ‘y.’ “Buhrrayy-nch. Buhraynch.” She finally gets it. “Branch!”
Earlier this week she was writing some thank-you notes for Christmas, signing the letters “Lydia and Sam.”
“Mommy,” Lydia asks, “Why do I hear a ‘y’ when I say ‘Sam’ but there’s no ‘y’ in it? Listen: Sayy-um.”
Well, in reality,” I explain, “It’s supposed to be ‘Sahm. Sahm. Just one syllable. We’re just Southern so it comes out with a ‘y’ in it, because we talk lazy. Sayy-um.”
“Don’t worry about it; you won’t be able to shake it.”