When Spelling is Everything

Krystal is in second grade. As in first grade, she has a spelling test every Friday. They get a list of words on Monday, along with other homework. The other homework is due back on Thursday, and the spelling test is Friday morning. I like that we have the week to manage the work. It’s easy enough that if we have a lot of time one night it can all be done then, but we can spread it out too. Though I suppose that might mean it’s not quite challenging enough. But on with my story!

On Wednesday night I gave Krystal a practice spelling test with her list of 18 words (nearly double the first grade list!). She missed 4 words, and had a total meltdown over it. She wanted to retake the whole test then, but I could see how tired she was (pretty good detective work, eh?) and suggested we do it the next night. Oh no, she wanted a “smiley 100 percent” now! Well, not tonight.

Thursday morning she spelled the words orally as we got ready for the day, and again this morning. I knew she could spell them all, I knew she was “ready” (one of the words), but there were also a few I knew could trip her up if she went too fast or didn’t stop to think.

When I picked her up at school, the first thing I asked her was about that test. She claimed she hadn’t looked at it yet, but pulled it out for me to look. It was marked 17 out of 18 correct, but the missed word, everything, was spelled correctly. Except, it looked funny to me. The “er” had an erasure underneath, and was written with a lighter hand (or pencil). I asked her about it and here’s our conversation:

K: You’re allowed to erase during the test, everyone does.

Me: Well of course they do, honey. That’s fine. But this word is spelled correctly on this paper, and yet your teacher marked it wrong. Did you change it after she handed it back?

K: No.

Me: Well, it looks funny. See these letters?

K: It looks funny?

And then the landscape of her face changed, and she admitted that she did change it after she got it back.

I asked her why she changed it, but I waited till later. At first she thought I was asking because I was going to tell her teacher, but when I assured her I would not, she said it was because she knew how to spell the word and she wanted it right on her test.

Maybe so. But I have to say she was really quite sincere with her story and the only reason I kept questioning it was the physical evidence didn’t match. She will totally have the ability to snow me if I have no information to refute what she says. I am in trouble.

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One response to “When Spelling is Everything

  1. Oh dear. I think I am raising one of those myself. The Queen is quite sincere when she’s telling tall tales. I’m hoping she can parlay this talent into a lucrative acting career, and that I survive her teenage years until she gets there. I was that way about spelling though. I was mortified if I ever missed one.

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