Turnabout is fair play.
I have been quizzing my son, Ryan, for quizzes and spelling tests for several years.
This year, I get to quiz my son, Ethan, as well.
As a first-grader, Ryan really liked this time with me. He also felt very grown up having homework and tests to study for at school. The older he gets, however, the less he wants to be bothered with homework.
Ethan has pretty much felt that homework is a bother from the beginning.
While I really enjoy studying with the boys, they would much rather play video games.
In my house, however, homework and studying comes first. Period.
Ryan’s enthusiasm for being quizzed on his spelling words is particularly lacking. Especially if we’re going over words he initially struggled with for a second or third time.
“I know that one!” he’ll say.
“Good. Prove it,” I’ll say back.
After a long-suffering sigh, Ryan usually complies. Or flees. But he always gets good grades on those spelling tests!
I recently returned to school myself and I try to grab study time whenever and wherever I can.
I have two science classes with labs this semester which means lots of work, quizzes and exams. And reading. Lots of reading. My anatomy textbook alone weighs more than Ryan.
It’s the beginning of the semester and I’m usually very tense and apprehensive at the beginning of the semester, but then I settle down into a study groove after a week or two.
I have my first quiz in my anatomy and physiology lab this week. In order to accommodate the on-campus classes, I have to work Saturday and Sunday nights. I already work Monday nights so study time is hard to come by.
Imagine Ryan’s initial surprise when I asked him to quiz me while I finished getting ready for work last weekend.
At first, he struggled with pronunciation, which was no big deal because I do, too.
He switched to spelling the more difficult terminology, which actually helped because it forced me to concentrate on the vocabulary I was learning in another way.
“Skip that one,” I said, admittedly more than once. “We’ll come back to that.”
After I’d gone through everything once with Ryan, he went back to the questions I didn’t get the first time through.
With a few hints, I got through those as well.
Ryan started quizzing me a second time on the words I’d skipped.
“I know those now,” I said.
A delighted, and somewhat evil, little smile spread across his face.
“Good,” he said. “Prove it!”