Jake is such a good student. But he has a problem, on the level of a clinical disability, with spelling.
I gave him a spelling test. 20 words from the level lower than his other schoolwork. 10 words learned, then 10 more, then a test.
He got 3 words wrong–about 80%-ish, then, correct. So in a cheerful voice I said, “Time to learn those 3 words–the FUN WAY!” I took out paints and a paintbrush, and we went over to the easel. I had him write the correct spelling with a Sharpie, and then paint it all down the page.
On the second word, he spelled it at the top, and then was painting down the page, and I turned to help Clare with her assignment. Moments later, I looked back at Jake: the word was painted WRONG all the way down the page! As wrong as it was on the test.
I lay prostrate on the floor and prayed! Poor guy. I got up, went to talk with him, and we laughed and tried again. I told the girls to come over, and that the rest of the day, we were all going to learn how to spell “believe.” We sang it, we chanted it, we wrote it in 10 different ways on several different surfaces with several different media. I have a strong hunch that Leigh can spell it, but that Jake still cannot.
I love that little guy. He is SO GOOD at so many things. He is an amazing writer–fiction. He amazing at theology. He is outstanding at history and excellent at math. But he cannot play soccer and other such sports, and he cannot spell.
I will, of course, keep searching out every good technique out there for remedial spelling. But in the meantime, it’s all about loving him where he is, and not getting upset! God loves each of us where we are, and is whispering mercy to us from that place.