Monday, June 20, 2011

Motivational Monday #49 - Time Honored Torture

When I was growing up my mom had a crazy way to celebrate summer vacation.  Every year she would drag out the workbooks, and proceed to teach me to spell correctly.  I guess I should be honest and tell you she attempted to teach me to never did work, and spell check is now my best friend!

I remember long hours (okay it was probably 20 minutes) sitting at the table trying to make it through the world's most boring spelling assignments.  I was sure she was trying to bore me to death. It was torture by spelling, and I hated it.

Fast forward 30 years, and what am I doing?  Yep, you guessed it!  I am torturing my own child.  As I type, he is sitting at his desk, staring at worksheets and wondering why I hate him so much.  In fact, he admitted today that he thinks I make him learn just to make him miserable.

So what is it that I learned from my mom?  I promise it was not how to spell...

I learned that if you do not use your knowledge, you lose it.  If you do not continue to add and subtract, you forget how.  If you do not spell challenging words, you forget how.  If you don't use a second language, you forget how.

This is true when we are in school, and it is true our whole lives.  We must continue to practice our skills so that we can keep the knowledge we have.  If we walk away, be it a week, a few months, or years, we lose the knowledge we had and erode the skills we fought so hard to achieve.

So I have taken up the torch, and decided to torture my children, just like my mom tortured me.  They will stretch their minds, sharpen their skills, and develop their talents.  Just because I never learned to spell doesn't mean my kids won't turn out to be rocket scientists...or at the very least, another generation of tortured (but educated) children.

P.S. Please don't think I have them chained to tables spending their days with an abacus.  The learning is nestled nicely in between swimming, crafts, library trips and game time.  I'm really not that mean!


  1. T.O.R.T.u.R.E.. i hate spelling but love spell check. You know your bad when spell check don't know what your talking about..

    But i do torture my kids..i guess i do it to toughen their skin as we need thick skin as adults. My usual torture is ensuring if something i know they don't like i make sure they do, eat and enjoy it. Like yesterday for father's day my eldest did not want to visit guess what we went and she had a blast. So no whips and chains but plenty or emotional pain (not scaring just uncomfortable)

  2. If we only ever did things we were comfortable doing...well we would never learn or grow. Our job as parents is to stretch our children's limited view of the world and themselves. So today my son can consider himself stretched!