In Theo's second-grade class, students have a list of twelve words to study for spelling each week. They also have three additional "challenge" words, which are optional for studying, but their teacher still wants them to try the challenge words on the test. Theo is pretty happy with the arrangement.
So, here we are with the first spelling list of the new year ... and those pesky three challenge words. I suggested that maybe he try practicing the spelling words this week. Crazy Mom logic says, since he'll be trying them on the test anyway, it can't hurt to study them during the week, right? However, this means EXTRA work for him - three extra words to write with each evening's variation on the homework. And I saw the heels digging in.
I was tempted to back down, and then I started thinking about this article that a friend posted about last week. And I thought, what kind of parent am I that I'm going to let him slide on writing three extra words, all because I'm worried about hurting his FEEE-LINGS?
Here's the thing with Theo: he tolerates school. He doesn't enjoy it, but he always does his best while he's there. He works hard when he has to. He is a dream on homework - I never have to remind or nag him, he always comes home, gets out his folder and works happily without prompting. I love that he's embraced his responsibilities with such ease. But to suggest doing EXTRA work? He flips out.
His best argument? "Mom. I don't HAVE to learn how to spell those words this year. I can learn them NEXT year."
I'm wondering if I should push him to take on the extra challenge, or is the easygoing approach the way to go this time? (Or am I just being a wimpy parent?) There are many (many) times that I will insist on an action or behavior, but I don't feel too strongly about this, so is it worth the fight? What do you think?