Thursday, November 1, 2007

What Sup? Vocabulary Fraud Exposed

We use Sequential Spelling in our Home School. The concept of this product is that spelling is taught by using word families (bat, bats, batted, batting). It really works. I am surprised at how well the boys are spelling after just a few weeks of using the program.

A tutorial was included for the first seven days. Here's an example: "The last word for today is spin. I would like to spin the wheel on Wheel of Fortune." spin. After day eight I was on my own. You may think that teaching spelling to a 4th and 5th grader is easy. Think again. Some days within the list of 25 words I give them, there may be a word or two unfamiliar to me.

When I come across these words, I have a hard time putting them into sentences. Rather than take the time to find my dictionary and the definitions, I revert back to what I learned in High School, to scam my way through. One particular day, a strange yet seemingly familiar word was listed. "Word number four is sup. What sup boys? sup." Squire and Scribe gave me a funny look, but didn't say anything...probably because they were fearful I would assign some dictionary work after spelling. After a few moments they both spelled the word accurately.

There was a second word on that list that had me stumped. Would I be able to hornswoggle them twice in one day? "Word number eighteen is flout. I hope you know what flout means. flout." They blankly stared at me. Neither one of them attempted to write the word. Finally Squire broke the silence, "You don't know what that means do you?" Pandora's box had been opened. Scribe grew increasingly confident as his brother confronted me and chimed in, "You didn't know what sup was either." I had been exposed. I was a vocabulary fraud.

I had no choice but to pull out my Webster's, look up the words, and try to redeem myself. "O.k., flout. When you flout, you are mocking or insulting someone. flout." They patiently waited as I flipped through the S pages of my dictionary. "When you sip liquid into your mouth, a little at at time, you sup. You also sup when you make or provide supper (the evening meal)." They were satisfied with the definitions and didn't question any of my other sentences as I made my way to the bottom of the list.

I learned a couple of valuable lessons that day. First, I need to make sure I am prepared for our spelling class. Now that I have been exposed as a vocabulary fraud, the boys will no longer be so easily conned. Secondly, it is best to not flout your children's intelligence by asking, "What sup?" Instead it would be better to ask them, "Hey boys, wanna help sup?"


  1. Oh, I love this! What's up next???

  2. Hay Michelle,

    Thanks for not flaunting, and letting us all in on the meanings :)!!

  3. LOL!!! You should find the youtube video of the the "what sup?" commercials and show your boys - maybe then you could lose your vocab fraud title. he he

  4. That was great Michelle! I help with the vocab studying sometimes around here too and I have not heard of LOTS of the High School words. How did we ever pass vocab??!! Two words....Don and Dan!

  5. Thanks for this post. Christopher struggles with spelling and I was just looking at Nicole's copy of this last week and am thinking of ordering it.

  6. LOL - I forgot to mention that we have a word like that in Spelling Power that we used both last year and this year and I still haven't gotten up to look it up in the dictionary.

  7. HA HA HA HA HA!!!
    Sup whichu?

    HA HA HA!!!


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