After all my obsessing about the Tall Kid starting high school, it’s the Short Kid hitting third grade that’s caused the most upheaval. He moved into a new school (we have a preschool-2nd building and a 3rd-5th building), but that wasn’t a big deal. Actually, since the first school was an ancient three-story job and the oldest kids were on the top floor and the new building has NO stairs, it’s a nice move.)
But, for our kids, third grade brings…*cue dramatic music*…homework. And, WOW, does SK not have homework skills. He’s always been of the mindset that school is for work and home is for play, and he’s not liking this at all. The fact it takes him ten minutes to do the work and fifteen minutes for the reading makes no difference. He’s yapping and walking around and playing with the dog and fiddling with things. It’s killing me.
But the issue of spelling words is especially trying. His lists…let me show you them:
Now let me show you the first ten words on the “typical” third grade spelling list from all-about-spelling.com:
On the one hand, I have an eight-year-old boy who is not happy. He sees the list the other kids are getting and this is the first time he’s ever felt resentment his work his harder. But it’s a lot of resentment. Even though he’s with the same kids, third grade comes with some changes and some upheaval, and maybe burying the kid under spelling words like that isn’t the way to go. And his spelling assignment, which required him to write sentences for each word, was a horror show. Why? Because he doesn’t know what a lot of those words even mean, therefore his sentences made no sense so, after I explained what each meant, he had to rewrite them.
On the other hand, he took his Week 1 test and only got one wrong: coincidence. And he knew how to spell it, but the teacher went on to the next word, rushing him, and he got discombobulated. You know, because when a boy is eight and the word is eleven letters long, it might take more than fifteen seconds to actually write it on the paper.
And on yet another hand, because let’s pretend I have three arms, I do want him challenged in the classroom. He’s been skating and taking the ease with which academics come to him for granted and he needs to learn how to deal with things being hard. I know that. Honestly. And he did only get one wrong. So do I want to intervene and have it taken down a notch? How can I claim they went too far in the challenging department if he only missed one? (Especially since it was kind of a handwritten typo more than a misspelling.)
(I’m not even going to go into my conspiracy theory about SK and the standardized testing of a School In Need of Improvement. He was only 98th percentile in his vocab, but 99th in everything else. Hmm…)
Oh…and meanwhile, they’re throwing math sheets at him that are ridiculous. 5+2=7. 6+2=8. So this is specifically a spelling (vocabulary) thing.
So, hey, if you made it this far, what do you think? Don’t those words seem a little out there for a third grader?