The Boy Who Always Asks Me, “Adalah apa, mbak?”

His name is Rizal, a seven year old boy, second grader of Elementary School. He is one of my “baby students” who comes every 5 pm to study at Kupu-Kupu Buku Wilda. (I call them “baby students” because they are tiny and very crowded).

Rizal couldn’t read or write properly for the first he studied at Kupu-Kupu Buku Wilda. His mother said he would never want to practice reading or writing at home, (that’s why she sent him to me). But I believed that all humankind are basically able to READ. So I told him to read aloud one page every meeting, then write the first and the last paragraph of it. For one month, I see a progress from this method. He is now better on reading,

Rizal, the "adalah apa, mbak" boy.

Rizal, the “adalah apa, mbak” boy.

and faster on writing (although I still find some wrong words, but that’s better than before). Unlike the other second graders, he seems good at subtraction on Math. I knew, that he must be smart at some point.

Overall, he is still confused understanding questions. He’d read the questions while I’m teaching the other students, and at the end of reading he’d ask me, “Adalah apa, Mbak?” because most of those questions on the text books are ended with “adalah” which means “is”.

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