Spin on spelling

Maly’s a first-grader. Every week her class has a spelling test. Often I’m surprised with the words that she’s required to memorize. I think when I was in the first grade, I proudly knew how to spell “dog” and “fart.”

I’ve taken on the role of schoolwork whip-cracker for our offspring. Elise and I share the same values and appreciation for hard work and commitment to our children’s school work. I’m the diligent, meticulous & methodical one when it comes to just getting things done, so Elise and I have an unspoken agreement that we want our children to be trained, honed, and follow suit in being diligent, organized and committed to their studies. When Maly brings home her new list of spelling words each Monday, I enter them into Things and we begin committing the words to memory.

Here is this week’s spelling list:

living things

Some of the above words are tough, and Maly has a tendency to want to spell them phonetically. For example, she wants to spell “joint” as “joynt.” I pointed out that a lot of this week’s words have the oi sound, like “oink.” So, now she remembers “oink” when she here’s a word with the oi sound.

IMG_2561She wants to spell “haunt” as “hont.” I really didn’t have an explanation as to how to remember the au sound, so I just repeatedly slapped her on the back of the head until she remembered it.

She had a hard time with “shawl” because that word just has some weird sounding stuff going on at the end of it. So I taught her the concept of the acronym: “A shawl is a little afghan blanket thing that little old ladies wear in the winter to keep themselves warm. So think of this: SHAWL – Stays Hot All Winter Long.”

This week’s spelling words were a bit more tricky than usual and this morning Maly struggled with one of the easier words as we were doing a quick quiz before heading off to school for the day. We use a Boogie Board to do our spelling quizzes. Maly misspelled “royal” this morning. It was a word she hadn’t had any problems with up until today. I was concerned, so I decided to flip our roles. Instead of me grilling Maly, I decided to let her be the proctor. I gave her my phone with the spelling list and had her quiz me. She told me the word to spell, and I had to write each word on the Boogie Board. I intentionally misspelled every other word. When my “quiz” was over, I had her return my phone to me, I handed her the Boogie Board and said, “Okay, check my work to make sure I got them all right!” She found and corrected all of my errors. Hopefully she’ll be proud of her hard work and diligence when she gets her graded spelling test from her teacher this afternoon.

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