Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Spelling words belong in the dishwasher

So, I was in the car with the youngest on Friday night on our way back from LaGrange, there we watched the eldest wrestle (what an amazing sport - I have much admiration for anyone who is involved in wrestling - not that crap on the television though). We were talking about education. I am doing the foot work to get the youngest into the local private school & praying for a scholarship, he had about 10,000 questions. It was a really nice, comfortable conversation, those are the best.

We ended up on the topic of "Spelling Words", we both hate spelling words.

Out of his mouth comes this statement: "I just suck at spelling."

What do I say? "Yes, son, you do suck at spelling??????????? No, no can't say that....think........think........think "Don't worry, this will be the last year for spelling." NO, then he will think that spelling is unimportant! MORE think, think, think: "Do you know why that is?" MUCH BETTER! The perfect "therapist" answer.


Then I remembered back to a book I once read that has helped me a great deal, actually it was a series of books.

"It is just memorization, really not that hard, and you are a really smart kid (butter him up) why don't we try an experiment?"


"First, you have to stop saying that you suck at spelling, or anything else derogative in reference to your spelling ability."

"Why, its true?" My psychology 101, ten years ago, is about to leave me hanging...

"Just promise to try and I will teach you a little secret about how to remember things." Manipulation 101 still with me!

"OK, I can try." PERFECTION!

We talked for a long time about the mind and different memorization tricks that the teachers are trying to get him to do, writing the words, sentence writing, word search etc... and how these things are designed to work. We decided that it didn't matter why they did not work for him, they just did not work.

Then I told him to decide what building he would like to build his mind into. At this point he thinks I am crazy yet still participates. We decided that, as a start, his mind would look exactly like our house. Then we picked rooms for every topic in school and a few things that he/we just like to learn about. Then HE decided that his spelling words would belong in the dishwasher...I didn't ask. I had him visualize placing the letters of a few words, individually and as a whole into a specific spot of the dishwasher. It seemed to work. Now he can close his eyes and visualize those words, spelling them to perfection every time.

Oh, the series of books........................Written by Thomas Harris, Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal & Hannibal Rising.....please don't tell the Youngest!

1/10/08 UPDATE: Spelling test tomorrow....................I still hate spelling words!


MissE said...

I can just see your self-help book title now:

"Hannibal Lector Helped My Son!"

GUYK said...

I never learned to spell..I made straight "A"s in spelling in grammar school but it was just memorizing long enough to pass the test. Of course part of my problem is that I write a word just about the way I pronounce it...and I speak redneck..not English and of course I write redneck..and not English. But spell check catches me and sometimes I figure what the hell and correct it to English

Show in June 2007

Show in June 2007
Daughter of the Year!