I am a good speller. Nay, I am a GREAT speller! I can't take any credit for this skill... it just always came naturally to me. English words and the way letters come together to make them just clicks somewhere in my brain. I don't remember getting less than 100% on any spelling test, ever. This brings me to my boy. NOT a great speller. The kicker... I have no clue how to help him. Since my spelling skills were not honed by lots of repetition or practice, or hard fought, or learned from a brilliant teacher, I'm not sure how to impart them to someone else. I suppose being a voracious reader and just being exposed to a lot of words might have been part of it, but for Pete's sake, my kid reads daily, and huge books to boot... somehow all that reading just isn't translating the same way into his brain as it has into mine.
This morning we were both sitting on the couch with our laptops on our laps. I was composing an email and he was writing an essay for his English class.
Tim: "Mom, do you have to capitalize Wal-Mart since it is the name of a store?"
Me, trying to disguise a sigh, "Yes."
As he is typing in the word, his computer auto corrects it and adds in a hyphen between Wal and Mart where he had left one out.
Tim: "What?! That is stupid."
Me: "What is stupid?"
Tim: "The computer just added a hyphen."
Me: "It isn't stupid, the word is hyphenated."
Tim: "But it is stupid that it has a hyphen to begin with!"
Ahhh, now we are on to something. I am thinking this issue with spelling has less to do with Timmy's skills and more to do with Timmy's attitude! He wants things to make sense to him and when they don't he has no desire to just embrace the idiosyncrasy, make mental note of it for later, and move on. He would rather just get frustrated and call it stupid and pretend like he'll never have to deal with it again.
Hmmm, now THAT I can relate to! Life doesn't make sense. There are times when I run up against a situation and I'd really rather not learn from it. I'd much rather just call it stupid and move on, pretending like it was a fluke and I'll never run into that type of situation again. Perhaps Tim's problem (and mine as well), isn't with spelling, but rather with a teachable spirit. Some things come easily and we enjoy learning them. Other lessons don't make sense and are tough to submit to long enough in order to learn from them. It isn't that we can't learn from it, or that it isn't worth learning from... it is a humility issue and a patience issue. I think I know how to approach this one now.
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!