Spelling Words

27 03 2015

Second grade spelling words can be tricky. I was with my little friend as he and his mom were practicing for the big test. There were words with different kinds of endings, double consonants, and silent vowels. He spelled, giggled, tried creative variations, and practiced extra on the words he missed the first time. He will do great, but it took diligence and practice to help him become proficient on this week’s list.

Spelling is about more than memorizing the order of letters. It involves learning the rules of language, the patterns of speech, and the rhythm of letter combinations. Over time and with practice, these spelling fundamentals become engrained so that we don’t have to stop and process through each rule before we spell a word. The rhythm becomes a part of the way that we think.

Listening to my little friend and his mom practice his words gave me a glimpse into how we can help each other look more like Jesus. First, they practice together. She put the words in silly sentences, he listened and laughed, and then spelled his word. He didn’t struggle on his own to figure it out. They walked the road of ‘ing’ endings and silent ‘e’s’ together. Second, they are creative about learning. Sometimes, my little friend writes the words on a white board. Other times, he spells out loud. He can write it in sand, use sidewalk chalk on the driveway, or call and spell on the phone. Third, cheering, encouragement, and celebration are essential. Mom is always honest when he misspells a word, but then they work to get it right. When he does spell a word correctly, cheering erupts and celebrations are planned for spelling tests proudly posted on the refrigerator.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be inspired by my little friend. I have so many things to learn about Jesus. I want His nature and character to become engrained in who I am. It is going to take diligence and practice. I need to remember the three fundamentals. Practicing together is always best. Creativity opens doors for learning that help the message stick. Encouragement and celebration fuel transformation in miraculous ways. Sometimes, I need extra practice. Sometimes, I don’t get it right. But learning to look like Jesus is a lot like practicing spelling words. Just keep at it and it will become a part of who you are.


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