March 30, 2010

"Mom, how do you spell...."

How many times a day do you hear those words? I hear them often. Each time I remind myself I am thankful my children want to spell correctly so they ask. I am thankful that I can answer their questions and help them. Sometimes though I grow weary and want to secretly mumble under my breath or pull my hair out after being asked how to spell every word in a sentence, knowing there are many more sentences to come.

Today I introduced my son to the Rainbow Dictionary and my day became a bit quieter. This is an old school kids dictionary published in the 1940's so it is not up to date. Really though how up to date does the dictionary of my 9 year old need to be? All of my kids have enjoyed this dictionary because it has pictures, not many words but all the ones they seem to need, it is easy to use and understand.

After being asked about 10 words in about as many minutes I showed him the dictionary and taught him how he could use it himself. He actually enjoyed doing it, I think he liked the freedom of being able to find out his answer and not needing to admit he was unsure of how to spell words he was writing in his letter. I still got the occasional follow up question but only about 3 more times through the course of the letter. Then I only had to give him the first 2 or 3 letters of the word and he looked it up and copied it himself.

Ahhhh the joy of a dictionary. Maria at about this age decided she wanted to read that dictionary for fun so she did. That always made me think of the scene in Say Anything where Lloyd flips through her dictionary amazed at how many words she read. I am doubtful Ciaran will make the same choice but I am happy he is excited to use it and was able to learn the skill quickly and now my day is slightly quieter in that one area.

I will still hear "Mom, how....." probably another 20 times today at least but that is what I am here for. I will take joy in the small victory in this one area today.

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