Tuesday, April 12, 2011


We all learn differently and some of us take a little longer to pick up on things than other people. That is not to say that anyone is a slow learner, they just need more practice. They need to work a little harder to “get it.” Sugar is like this with her school work. Therefore, I feel it’s my job as a parent to help her as much as I can. I don’t make up assignments for her or anything like that, but every night we do her homework together. You’ve all heard about these stellar matches before. It doesn’t always go smoothly!

Something else we work on nightly is her list of spelling words. Each Friday, she takes a test, the test is graded and she gets a new list of words for the upcoming Friday. If she has misspelled any words on her test, they are added to the list for the following week. We have an entire week to practice each list of words.

Nowadays in school, each child is encouraged to learn at their own pace, so the list within the class varies greatly. Therefore, the students pair up and test each other. I won’t comment on this process, but if the experts think this works, then I’m all for it.

At home we test like I remember being tested. I say the word, use it in a sentence (sometimes it’s something like, “I have no idea what the heck cacophony means.”), say the word again and move on. I check her work and make her write each misspelled word five times. On Thursday nights, she writes them each ten times. It’s dorky as hell, but we enjoy doing this because my use of her words can be quite comical. Make it fun and they will want to play!

This method works for us. I prove this by saying that she’s gotten 100% on her spelling tests all year! Until last Friday. I knew when I picked her up that something was wrong. As usual, the rant begins before the car door was closed.

Sugar: I missed a word on my test!
Me: You did?! Which one?
Sugar: Impossible.
Me: Impossible?! It’s impossible you missed that word! You knew how to spell it!
Sugar: Here’s the thing, I spelled it right, but she said it was wrong.

Long, silent pause… Do I sense some drama?? I ask her to see the test. She hands me the test and lo and behold, it is spelled correctly. I asked her if she showed her teacher and she said she did. I asked what the teacher said and Sugar told me that the teacher reiterated that the word was spelled incorrectly. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one way to spell impossible, right?

I asked her what she wanted me to do and she started to get all wound up. I suggested writing a note to her teacher and she leapt at the idea. I thought all weekend of a way to politely write this note.

I conjured something up Sunday night and sent it in Monday morning. When I went through her stuff last night I asked if there was anything from her teacher. She said that the teacher hadn’t gotten the note until the end of the day so she didn’t answer. She did comment that the word had an “n” in it when she looked on Friday and therefore, was wrong.

I held that test in my hand. I looked very closely at that test. There is NO WAY that was an “n” and changed. Plus, Sugar lacks the conniving gene she would have inherited from my mother-in-law to know to change the spelling.

Today, I go through Sugar’s binder after school and still no response. I don’t expect an apology or even a long note. A simple email acknowledging my note would have sufficed.

Now I’m pissed. I think it’s rude that she blatantly ignored my note. This goes against several rules that I try to teach my girls… First, if someone gives you something, acknowledge it. Second, if you’re wrong, admit it!

See? Kids don’t learn everything they need to know in school. It’s still our jobs to teach them to do right by others. Pause for a moment and remember the worst teacher you ever had. Would you want your kids to grow up and be like them? Teach your children well... 

Ice Princess 

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