Thursday, October 12, 2006

We’re too dumb for advanced spelling

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…’s like “the regular”….hmmm…like…..ummm…go ask daddy.
Jer: Ummmm…hmmmm…(to me) look it up online – see what 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.


Kristy & John said...

Spelling has always been the easy part for me (except for scissor(s)!)- it is the meaning of some words that is the tricky part! I actually had to take a vocabulary test for the job that I just got and I honestly thought that I was going to fail it! Can you believe that John used to read the dictionary like it was a novel or something - I have no time for that. If you start using these words that people don't know anyway - everyone is just going to be confused!

FloridaMom said...

I'm glad it is you and Jermaine dealing with these words. No babysitting for me on the nights that Avery has spelling!

TheKeyRing said...

Bet you can't wait for math. I was a physics major in college and still sometimes struggle to help Hannah with 5th grade math. I think they make these changes to the way things are taught just so parents will feel increasingly stupid and continue to respect the teachers who, by the way, probably wouldn't be any better at determining the pattern that gets you from 16 to 57 in four steps if they didn't have the answer key.

TheKeyRing said...

p.s. -- I love teachers, nearly my entire family is full of educators, including my in-laws (Kevin's mother, step-mother and father were all teachers) so I'm not trying to offend the teaching profession, but I assure you I've never felt as stupid as I do when trying to help anyone from third grade on with their homework and projects. They even have new and different ways of doing book reports now. Who knew we were all so deprived by the "olden times" teaching methods.

T5M said...

Hi Pam,
I totally agree with you - my master's degree means nothing when I can't help my daughter practice reading her phonics ("NO" is "Naw" in the word of phonics). Go figure that out!!

I've also failed at cursive writing, I couldn't remember how to make a V properly - Avery is now actually teaching me - and I'm listening. Last night he told me that the word "mom" is suppose to be capitalized and then I wasn't so sure that it wasn't....

I wish they had HR in elementary school - I think I could actually help with that. Either that, or I wish I had gotten a MS in Spelling.

MaineMomKC5 said...

I find it un-PC of you to say, "that'll be their secretary's job."

Kristy & John said...

I'm still trying to figure out how to make a cursive Q so that I can sign my new name (Quinn) Apparently there are lots of different variations

T5M said...

I'm reckless - I don't play by the rules of political correctness. Here's more:

I think abortion is bad.
I think gay men are feminine.
I voted for Bush and I don't regret it (he's terrific entertainment!)
I think Catholics have a lot of crazy rules that cause a lot of people to walk around scratching their heads (or hating religion).
I think baby girls looks good in pink and baby boys look good in blue.
Hmmm...what other topics get people uncomfortable...
Oh, I like when my husband opens my car door and I don't like female sportscasters..
...I have more...I am very UN-PC and I LOVE IT!!

Kristy & John said...

Wow, for once I can only disagree with you on the Bush one! I think the only reason females become sportcasters is b/c they can - I also think that the only reason that girls get all giddy and excited about playoffs and superbowls is to impress the guys...I mean, yeah girls, you can like sports, but let's face it unless you're already playing for the "other team" you enjoy shopping, the spa and any channel but ESPN much better!

MaineMomKC5 said...

Of course you do!

T5M said...

C'mon Kristy, you have to admit that Bush is a hoot! I was just in a store yesterday that had two books on "Bush-isms" - he's the only president that I actually like to listen to - just to see what's going to come out of his mouth! He's such a wildcard!

I recently caught a bit of a press conference and he was bantering back and forth with a reporter, she said something like, "We're a friendly newspaper", and he was like "If your newspaper is friendly, I'd hate to see how you treat your enemies!"....hee hee...that was in the middle of a press conference. Oh, he's a hoot!