Memorize an 8-line poem, copy it out in your neatest writing, familiarize yourself with the definition of any word in the poem you don't already know and then -apparently- memorize the spelling of every word in the entire poem to be ready to fill in any missing word or words of the poem. By Monday.
I'm so thankful that M can at least read Thai- this weekend is going to be a lot less fun for those kids in the class who can't (if their parents can even muster the energy it will take to help their child prepare for a test so far outside of their ability range.)
Even so, so many of these words are not first-grade level. There are silent letters, diphthongs, obscure words...
Needless to say, they have not yet been taught to read or spell anything like these words in Thai class (though they did begin learning to blend one consonant with one vowel during second semester last year).
Anyway, our work is cut out for us this weekend as it is.
But, to make it worse, when he started his copy work yesterday afternoon, I told him to write "properly" i.e. to write using the full space between the top and bottom line. It was a long, frustrating process, and I corrected him dozens of times as he wrote his letters over and over using only 2/3 of the line.
When he was done, with a heavy sigh, he showed it to Whim to check for errors.
Imagine my regret when Whim looked at the page and asked him why he had written it so strangely.
I was wrong. He was right. You don't use the whole line when you write in Thai. I couldn't believe it. All that work, for nothing.
He wasn't happy to see those words rubbed out after he had laboriously copied for so long. There were tears and talk of not liking first grade after all. I felt awful. I hate being wrong, and I hate seeing my kids upset, so it was pretty much the worst I could possibly feel.
Last night he got some extra pampering before bed- a long snuggle, a pair of "special" socks, and some plans to make today more fun as we begin the copy work again, along with the rest of the memorizing and spelling practice. I know hot cocoa and cupcakes were mentioned, along with making videos of ourselves saying the poem, and games where we take turns saying it and I am truly all too happy to oblige.
On the positive side, before he fell asleep he was able to recognize a silver lining- even though he would still have to write it all again in the morning, he had already memorized most of the poem just by writing it out.
I better get to work on some cupcakes. Poor boy!
Edit: Phew! Whim just realized that the kids don't have to have the definitions and spelling memorized until Oct. 1st. Only the copy work and memorization is due Monday.
My perspective has now totally changed. I said I hate being wrong, but I didn't mind being wrong about this. Instead of this being the most frustrating assignment ever, now I love it. He is going to learn so much this year in Thai class.
And! Without me interfering, this morning he recopied the whole thing in less than 10 minutes without a peep of complaint!