I’ve taken it upon myself to begin teaching Anthony some word origins and their definitions along with a few examples of each. And much to my surprise (or perhaps not), he’s taken a liking to it.
As it stands, we’ve covered quite a few of the list consisting of over 100 that I could think of. He’s fully aware of the differences between –ology and –onomy as well as knowing that when his grandfather had a quadruple bypass last year, he had to go and see a cardiologist (heart + science of + person who specializes in) for a complete diagnosis.
I’m doing this for a few reasons. First, because I know he’s sharp enough to grasp it. Anthony is one smart little cookie and will go much further than his old man ever did. It’s definitely not so that I can live vicariously through him because—let’s be honest—is being a wordsmith all that exciting?
No, it’s not. I mean, look around this place. Sheesh.
Secondly, it’s because I keep pounding the importance of proper communication into his head. Sure, we all snd txt msgs and use the acceptable shorthand when we do but I don’t want that to spill into his daily life nor have him forget what it’s like to pick up a pen and paper and actually create a manuscript (hand + written). Not like he has a cell phone or anything just yet…
As an accompaniment to what I already know, when we study we have his dictionaries opened in front of us for quick reference. It’s been a lot of fun sitting in the kitchen with him and watching him get passionate when he puts those word parts together, creating a word he’d probably never understood until then.
But despite his vigor, there was something bothering him the other night. We later got him to confess that a kid in his classroom has been a handful while they participate in their workgroups. This kid, whom I’ll call Vavoom because he’s got a loud mouth and is also built like said stout character, has been trouble since I first saw him in kindergarten. He was always in a time-out and never able to participate in any games and after seeing how he interacted with his classmates, I could see why he was always in trouble: Vavoom’s a flat-out jerk that appears to have little discipline at home.
This jerk is now Anthony’s partner, albeit temporary, and when Anthony came home the other day he told us that Vavoom had called him a few other choice words.
Sticks and stones, yeah, whatever.
Anthony wanted better.
In a quest to completely confuse Vavoom, Anthony took to the dictionary and found a word he thought would be perfect for him should he decide to cause yet another disruption in class.
And not surprisingly, the opportunity presented itself since Vavoom is a jerk. From all accounts, Vavoom called Anthony “stupid” and was just being his usual self. But this time, Anthony retaliated in a way that made me proud.
“Yeah? Well, you’re vacuous. Don’t know what it means? Go look it up in the dictionary!”
I don’t think Vavoom even knows what a dictionary is, let alone the word vacuous. Shit, I don’t think many adults know what it means.
The story was confirmed by one of the class parents who said that she had to laugh when Anthony laid the law down and broke Vavoom’s brain. And I’m not entirely sure of this was the cause of it but at the end of the day, Ann had told me that Anthony had one of his cards pulled (1st card = warning) in class.
While he was reluctant to give us a reason why his card was pulled, we explained that if it was indeed for telling this kid that he was lacking content and unintelligent, it’s a hit he should gladly take—and one that Mom and Dad would never be upset about.
By the way, Anthony will be 7 in March 🙂