Stick Ball Spelling

I spend some time tutoring students near my home.
I did not seek out this extra job, and to be honest, I am often paid with baked goods or
lovely artwork from my miniature friends.

This weekend my experience with an eight year old girl began painfully awkward.
Clearly she was not into getting school help. And the stress she was feeling from her parents was beyond overwhelming for her.
She was reluctant, to say the least.
I felt like I was back in my first week on being a Nanny. (This is an entirely different blog-worthy event).
While I feel we didn't go over as much as I would have liked, we did have a chance to review some information for upcoming tests.

As I tried to discuss school, and then had to turn that into hidden school talk... the kind where you are really asking about school but you never mention the words school, class, teacher, or learning... I realized that it was not going to get me very far with this child. But in this painful conversation, I learned that she loved (LOVED) field hockey. She even wants to be a professional field hockey player when she is grown up. What a heartfelt admission she gave.

We went outside, where she had two goals set up in the yard. I had her grab her field hockey sticks, and we batted the ball around for a little while. I have never played field hockey, so she spent some of our time together explaining how I should hit the ball, how to hold the stick, etc.

Eventually... way past my cut off hour... we were "dribbling" the ball down the mini-field, spelling out words and quizzing eachother about social studies. During our spelling field test, we were taking turns spelling words while we dribbled the ball with our stick.

I kept missing, and my ball would go flying past me and I would have to chase after it - which she LOVED. And of course, this really affected my ability to spell words ... since we had the rule to restart the word if we missed the ball.

After my 100th time of chasing down the ball in her HILLY backyard, I arrived back on our field with the ball in hand and the stick in the other. She then informs me:

"You would be a really good speller if you could focus on handling the ball right."

Not surprisingly, she never missed a letter. Or a question.


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