Monday, 6 July 2009

Vocabulary aaargggggggghhhhhh

I’m laughing a great deal less, however, on the Friday, when J is sent home with a German test to repeat despite him having achieved a 4 (out of 6). I’m pleased with the result, but if the teacher isn’t and he has to repeat it, then he has to repeat it. Punkt. In fact, I’m furious, not with school, but with him, as we have had a specific argument about vocabulary learning approximately every 6 weeks this year, which has done nothing for my blood pressure and caused a great deal of ill feeling on both parts.

I had asked him every single day of the week whether he had any vocabulary to learn for a test (as we have devised an effective but traditional method for learning it in our household, crafted out of a great deal of struggle and frustration as the year has progressed) – and the answer had been no. So when he comes home having had a vocab test that he had avoided telling me about, there is an almighty explosion from me, as I feel he has, once again, tried to learn it his way, ie the ineffective way, and in so doing has again doubled his work load by having to repeat it. And he has been dishonest with me, in saying that he didn’t have any vocab to learn when he did.

So, blunt (and loud, and angry) words are spoken on the topics of honesty, ineffective learning methods, wasting my time and his etc. He finally admits that he was trying to get away with it.

I stomp out of the house for a girls night out feeling thoroughly fed up and absolutely not in the mood for partying. I’ve had enough of this wretched struggle.


Kimberly said...


I would be grateful for a description of your EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT vocab learning technique. I have a feeling we will be in need of it. ;)

Does their vocab seem to be more nouns with das/die/der deliniation or verbs, or all over the place?

KT said...

Hi Kimberly

It's not rocket science, it's just the way I had to learn it when I was at school learning French.

What we do is this - assuming that you have 7 days between tests ;-)

Day 1 write out the article and word 10 times to start with

Day 2-6 (give yourself Sunday off LOL) read through the list and then Mum (or whoever) says the word and J has to spell it and the article back to me.

The problem comes when you're set 10 words and articles per page, double sided (20 words) and 14 pages to learn in a fortnight, making an overwhelming amount. Most weeks it was 4 sides (c. 40 words and articles - still a helluva lot).

However, I've spoken to parents of kids in local schools elsewhere in the Kanton and they don't get anywhere like the same volume of homework, so perhaps it's just our school & teachers

The only way to cope is to break it down and rote learn it - for us, anyway