, , ,


My second grader came home with his weekly spelling list. Typically, he’s to write them three times on Monday, sentences on Tuesday, rainbow writing on Wednesday–which is a repeat of writing them three times but in technicolor! And the words are simple enough that he knows their meaning.

Last night’s directions: Look up the definitions to the words you don’t know and write them down. For starters, he didn’t tell me the ‘write it down’ part.

So ROUND ONE: I double-click the handy-dandy dictionary icon at the bottom of my screen. (I love this app by the way–it’s standard on a mac.) He spends five minutes one-finger typing each word, me wanting so badly just to do it for him to be done…we do have other homework, tae kwon do, violin practice and dinner to make!

I remember in grade school teacher’s ranting on how you CAN NOT use the word in the definition. Well, every word we looked up used the word in the definition. Just how do you ‘get the meaning’ if you use the word you don’t understand to explain it? The words: zealous, conquest and another I can’t recall…I think I blanked out after it took ten minutes to look up ‘conquest’ and another ten for ‘conquer’. Same with ‘zealous’ and ‘zeal’.

Back to present day: We discuss the meaning of each word, go to tae kwon do, come home and he tells me: I need to look those words up again and write them down this time. ME: Are you serious? *WTF look plastered on my face* Could he not have told me this from the start?

ROUND TWO: I refuse to give up my computer, the one with all my writings stored in a chaotic jumble of blue folders all over the screen. I realize, with the attention span of the squirrel on my bird feeder, my son will click everything just to see it bounce to open and, in turn, blow up my computer! Can’t have that! I highly suggest backing up your manuscripts 🙂

I spend an hour searching the house for a real-live holdable dictionary, one that he can use by himself, but it refuses to show its ragged, shabby, faded cover. This is the dictionary my third grade teacher gave me (yes, I was the teacher’s pet). It was one of my favorite books growing up. I still have it but it’s buried in a box somewhere… MUST FIND! (though I doubt it has zealous or conquest)


By now I’ve spent two hours on three words and want to pull my hair out. And I really should bold, underline and neon-glow the word I. Because the homework was all me.

ROUND THREE: Success. I open the computer dictionary, again, and I type in the words. I read out the definition, spell out the words so he can write the definition in 2.2 seconds instead of 200.2 minutes of back-and-forth looks at the screen, his paper, the screen, his paper.

I’m exhausted from his homework, but you know what I realized: The boy’s getting his very own dictionary the next time I’m at the bookstore. And he better LOVE it!