Emily and Phoebe

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Spelling test

Phoebe is very good at getting her homework out of the way. Quite often on a Friday afternoon she will sit down and make a start on a worksheet so that her weekend is as free as possible. Similarly, she rattled through all the work her teacher had set her for the Christmas holidays on the very first day, and had a lovely two weeks of not worrying about school. Until now. She has just come to me in a panic because tomorrow is the first day back at school and the one piece of homework she didn't get out of the way two weeks ago was to learn some words for a spelling test (very sensibly, she had left it until today so that the words would be fresh in her mind tomorrow). However, although she knows that has a spelling test, she can't remember what words she has to learn. She has called her friend George, who told her something, but she didn't really understand too well what he meant, and when we tried calling him back there was no reply.

We have looked through her language book and found a sentence in bold in the last reading text they looked at last term, which usually indicates something to be copied and learnt for spelling. She is worried that there might be something else she has forgotten, though, and the later it gets the more she is fretting and she has become quite tearful.

I decide to help her put things in perspective.

"Darling, let's suppose that you haven't learnt the right words and that you get to school tomorrow and you get zero on the spelling test. What's the worst thing that can possibly happen?" I smile encouragingly.

Her eyes widen, aghast at a possibility that had clearly not previously occurred to her.

"The worst that can happen? I will be completely humiliated in front of the whole class." She commences a new round of wailing.

It seems I may not have handled that one as well as I might...


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