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The Spelling Candy

Posted by Patience on February 19, 2010 at 10:48 AM in Kid problemsParenting tipsSchool
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It was Wednesday again, the homework day that Jack dreads each week. I have to be honest, I do not look forward to it either. It's the day when he must write five sentences using his spelling words. Reading has come very slowly to Jack so forming words is like his worst nightmare.

"It's so hard! I'm so, so frustrated!" he says with his palm on his forehead. We sound out each word slowly, he writes until we get to the third sentence. I suggested a break but he just wanted to be done. There were computer games to be played and outdoor sword battles waiting for him.

"I think I know what you need." I said.
"You do?" he replied somewhat intrigued.
"I think you probably need some spelling candy. It may or may not work, but it's worth a shot. Whaddya think?" I waited to see if my very alternative idea would work.

"Yes! Whatever it is mom, I'll try it. I mean, candy sounds good anyway." he said.

I went into the kitchen to dig through my junk basket. My house is way too small to be provided the luxury of a whole junk drawer, so basket it is. At the bottom I found a very tacky diamond shaped plastic box I got months ago in a gift bag I received from an awards event I attended. It was from a local jeweler hoping I'd come pick out some lovely ring or anklet I'm sure.

I remember thinking how nice the bath salts would be but when I opened the tiny box to smell them, I quickly realized much to my disappointment, it was rock candy. It seemed though the entire repurposing made total sense for this moment.

I handed him three little tiny candy crystals for his last three sentences. He held them like he had just discovered the holy grail and promptly returned to his work.
"Mom, I think this spelling candy is really working. " he said.
"Oh, I'm glad. I thought it might but I was a little worried it wouldn't. I'm just happy you are feeling better about the whole thing."
In just a few more minutes he was finished.

He still asks me every now and then for the spelling candy when he feels a little stuck. Jack carefully rations the candies out as I told him he probably won't even need them by the end of the year. I sometimes wonder if this is a terrible idea on multiple levels but he has seemed to find the balance of not relying on it too much yet finding a tiny bit of power in the jewelry store swag.

I remember the kindergarten days I made power pancakes for Josiah when he was struggling to find his own. What do you think of this alternative parenting idea? Is it misleading or just creative?

What do you do when your kids get stuck? Tell us your ideas and thoughts in the comments.


Jennifer writes...

Your idea is brilliant!

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