Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Words, Words, Words

It's been a wordy week.

Not only have I been surfing the crest of the wave on essay reading/evaluating, but it's been a delightfully wordy week for the sweet girl. In Latin, she's been having fun with derivatives, and in grammar, she's been learning how to find etymologies in dictionary entries...two activities that go together so well, and yet that just "happened" to come together in our curricula this week. Love those moments of serendipity in learning.

In spelling, she's been working with words spelled with "ie" and "ei" -- and you know, some of those words are tricky, especially the ones that simply do NOT follow the "i before e except after c, or when they sound like an a, as in eighty and weigh." A great mnemonic device except that there are still exceptions like neither and either, and today's bonus word...leisure.

I think I've come up with a couple of ways to help her remember how to spell believe and pieces, however. With believe, she has a tendency to drop the second e. I told her to look for the word "lie" inside of believe, and to think "never believe a lie." With pieces, she just tends to...well, go all to pieces. She's spelled it a couple of different ways, but can't seem to get it down. So I suggested she look for the "pie" in pieces, and remember that "we cut a pie into pieces."

Meanwhile, I had another realization today about the power of sometimes, maybe especially when we're tired, they evoke things for us on all sorts of levels. One of her bonus spelling words, an easy one this time, was "eighteen." And no sooner had the word left my lips than I was seeing, in my mind's eye, a beautiful bouquet of pink roses. I don't think I had consciously remembered, for years, that my parents gave me eighteen pink roses for my eighteenth birthday, but suddenly there they were, pale and lustrous, sitting on the shiny wood of the piano on Dustin Drive.

Words can be playful. They also have power!

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