Spell Is a Four-Letter Word

Or, How My Boy Learns

 From Life’s Archives, June 6, 2011

I think the first word Cinder ever wrote was FART. He didn’t actually write it, if I recall correctly, but carved it into a styrofoam meat tray. For a while after that, he changed every “art” he encountered into a FART. Very joyously. Then he learned how to spell POOP. We still come across the odd random POOP smear—I mean, written on a wall, book or garbage can.

And he hasn’t precisely grown out of that phase yet. We recently started working with the All About Spelling programme, as Cinder started to stall and get frustrated with his progress, or rather lack of, with the next level of Bob Books and reading. We had been doing it fairly regularly in March and April, and then reached a frustration/stall point again, so took a break to let it all simmer and marinate, and I put it back on the table today. Flora’s working through the program with us too, of course, and I did the Step with her first, and it went sort of like this: I reviewed the concept, she repeated it or nodded her head, I read the three-letter word, and she spelled it. Then I did it with Cinder. I reviewed the concept of “sh” and “ch” and “th” sounds. He spelled “shit” to illustrate. I said ok, now we’re going to spell the “u” words from the Step. He changed “shit” to “Shut up.” Somehow—after grudgingly spelling gun, bum, and butt, and rolling his eyes at hug and tub—he ended spelling jack ass and asshole.

I was so proud. (Up to you to figure out if there’s a sarcasm sign flashing behind me).

Meanwhile, Flora was sitting at the kitchen table, listening to a book on tape and drawing rainbows, hearts and flowers.

Every Women’s Studies course I ever took? Lies. All lies.

2 thoughts on “Spell Is a Four-Letter Word

  1. Pingback: Keeping an eye on the big picture: why I don’t stress about my late reader | Nothing By The Book

  2. Pingback: How do you spell “nincom” and other paths to literacy | Undogmatic Unschoolers

Made you think? Made you laugh? Made you scream? Tell me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.