Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

January 08, 2007

the alphabet song

Sesame Street's "Alphabet Song" brings back many happy memories for Linley, 18, not just because A she's adorable, B she's so beautiful and C she's a cutie full of charm - but also because the alphabet itself provided a innovative way of learning in her family.

"My parents restricted television viewing at home," explains Linley, "so we made our own fun rather than becoming couch potatoes."

"I had two older sisters and we amused ourselves - and I learned heaps - by playing alphabet games."

"We used up stacks of paper for the game, " laughs Linley, "but my parents didn't mind."

"On each sheet of paper we would write the alphabet vertically down the left hand side," explains Linley, "and then we would take turns to nominate a subject for each page."

"The aim of the game was simple. If the subject, say, was 'cars', we had to write a name of a car for each letter of the alphabet - and it was always difficult finding a word for the letter Q but it sure encouraged us to do a lot of research into each subject."

"Each game was timed and at first my sisters always finished before me," laughs Linley, "but as I got older and learned to write faster I got to be as quick as they were."

"It was a great game for winter and rainy days," explains Linley. "And we covered every subject imaginable."

"I hadn't yet started school and already I knew not only how to write but also a whole heap of knowledge that a lot of kids in high school wouldn't even know!"

"I remember very clearly that I knew the capital cities of every state and country - and all the animals and insects and flowers."

"With that sort of childhood I suppose it was natural I'd want to study to become a teacher," says Linley, "and when I get married and have kids that I want to introduce the game to them, too."

"The alphabet song is so simple and fun and educational too. It's also fun to sing with different lyrics,"laughs Linley. "When I'm angry with someone I like to sing something like - A you're abominable, B you're so babyish, C you're a cabbage full of crap!"

"I don't know whether Sesame Street would approve of me changing the lyrics," laughs Linley, "but A I'm assertive, B I'm so brash and C I'm a critic full of class."

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