Oi. Remember how I said Emily was on the second, harder spelling list this week? She’s having an awful time with it. The lists are 10 words, but if you’re on the second list, you also have the words you missed from the first week. Em missed 2 so her spelling list is 12 words. She’s consistently missing 5 of them. And it’s not always the same 5. She’s getting really discouraged and I’m kind of at a loss. I want to help her learn them, but I can’t think of anything else to try. Right now, what we do is every day, I call out the words for her like a spelling test and she writes them down. I “grade” her paper and then we go over the ones she’s missed. Yesterday, what I did was start with the ones she missed and have her try it again twice. She’d never get it right either of those times, so I’d then tell her how to spell it and have her write it 5 times. We did that with all the words she missed. Today, after the initial “test,” we tried talking them out. I had her try to spell it again out loud (and later when that wasn’t working, on paper) and I’d encourage her by nodding at the letters she got right. Once she hit a wrong letter, I’d stop her and get her to think about it and sound it out. This wasn’t doing much, so I started writing down the letters she got right. Once we got the whole thing down, I’d point to each of the letters and have her read them out lots of times. Then I covered it up and had her tell me from memory. This worked, but when we went back to the words, she’d forgotten again. After we went through all the words, we did another test of the full list. She missed 5, but two of the ones she’d gotten right before she missed…though she did get two of the ones we’d worked on right. She was frustrated and I was trying not to be, so we stopped and decided we’d ask Chris for some ideas when he gets home, but this homework stuff isn’t his strong point. He tends to WAY over-explain anything and explains on a level that’s not appropriate for the subjects knowledge base. I say it that way because he does it to me too and it annoys the piss out of me, but I’m kind of at a loss here on how to help Em. So, if anyone has any ideas, feel free to send them my way. There’s a reason I’m not a teacher.
I did write Em’s teacher a note letting her know what problems we were having with the list. I told her that I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. I mean, Em’s used to trying things and getting them right with little effort. It’s the same issue we had with soccer, where she gets extremely upset when she can’t “get” something right away. So this is another instance where we have to show her that she’s not going to excel at everything and sometimes you have to work for it. So, yeah. It still makes for some frustrating afternoons. Memorization/spelling is not her strong area at all.