So it took a night of crying to convince Avery that he was going to participate in “advanced spelling”. His school, which is already academically intense, offers students the option of regular spelling words or advanced spelling words each week. The teacher sold it this way: If you participate in advanced spelling you’ll have more words each week, they’ll be much harder, and you’ll have more homework each week and that homework will be much more difficult. Good job with that – I’m sure all the students were as anxious to participate as our son.
So I tried bribing Avery to participate. Jermaine (admittedly the wiser of the two of us) informed him that he will not be getting any prizes or special gifts, and then reasoned with him (you should participate because doing well in school will help you get into a good college and then help you get a good job). No go. Then he basically said, you have to do it because I say so and I’m your father and I know what’s best. Then tears for hours.
The next day things were looking up ..until we started on the homework: Use each spelling work appropriately in a sentence. The first word was “standard”.
Avery: What’s standard mean
Me: Ummm….hmmmm…..it’s like “the regular”….hmmm…like…..ummm…go ask daddy.
Jer: Ummmm…hmmmm…(to me) look it up online – see what m-w.com says…
Of course we know what “standard” means, but how do you explain it to a 7 year old?
Then there was “slovenly” I don’t know what that means. TGFI (Thank Gore For Internet) hee hee. I mean, if I’ve gotten through 34 years of life without ever using this word, why is my 7 year old learning it?
Then I had to explain “slipknot” (umm…it’s a kind of knot…I think), and “swindle” and “switchboard” - c’mon. Switchboard?! Who thought of these words!? By the time these kids are old enough to use a switchboard, believe me, they’ll be obsolete. ...and the whole reason why they're in advanced spelling is so they will never have to use a switchboard - that'll be their secretary's job.
I want out of advanced spelling, I’m definitely not smart enough.