My Spelling Hero

Get ready for some bragging from a devoted Mother…….Jasper is THE MAN.  He’s my wonderful wordsmith, my clever cutie and a surprisingly good speller. Very surprisingly. When we left Melbourne he was nearer to the bottom of the class with his reading and had very little interest in letters or words. He did OK, but there was little enthusiasm for literary pursuits.He then started in Year 1 in London, and after a few weeks of settling in was given weekly spelling tests. At first I would sit with him and practise his ten words for the week. He had to learn to read them all, then spell them all out loud, then write them all. It was no easy task as he’s quite particular and needed to use a specific pencil that was sharpened to his standards and then he needed a clean sheet of paper with no marks on it (my little OCD boy).Even after we had spent several afternoons learning the week’s words, and he had memorised them, he would sit the test at school and only get 8 out of 10 (OK, OK, I’m a tough parent with high standards). It was frustrating because I KNEW that he knew how to spell them, but he struggled with the pressure of writing the words within a time frame. He also hates making errors, so if he writes a word and makes a mistake part way through, he needs a new sheet of paper.Then, one day, he got 10 out of 10!!!! Bloody amazing!!!Then, the next week, he got a perfect score again. And this has continued for 8 weeks straight. And, he only spends about 2 minutes learning his new words each week.Nowadays when he’s presented with the new list of words, he tells me, “Mum – I already know all those” and when I test him on a few hard words, he really does know them! Words like ‘suddenly’ and ‘people’  and ‘again’. Something just clicked in his brain and he recognises patterns in language. This means that he can read a word he’s never heard and pronounce it correctly because he uses his knowledge of sounds and similarly spelt words.What I like most is that he reminds me of myself – that affinity with the rules of words and how to spell them. He really is my son.