The words for this week’s spelling test are…

What do the words mendacious, jocular, desultory, insouciant and furtive mean to you?

For some it might mean their ex-husbands, but not for us at Chez Us. The words for this week’s spelling test are…



Yep. Seriously.

I put this to Twitter the other night, in the following way:


I received a number of responses, from parents, from those in the teaching profession and from some who’re both, and all seemed rather surprised that these words were in a spelling test for 9 – 10 year olds.

Should we be? Should this be so surprising? Do you think this is too much too soon, or do you think this is about right?

I admit I was surprised, but only because my stepdaughter was asked to spell them yet couldn’t use them in context, nor knew what they meant. Surely it’d be more appropriate for them to know and understand the meanings of the words they’re spelling before they’re asked to learn how to spell them?

We had a teacher at school who would brutalise you publicly if you didn’t know a word he used. ANY word he used. He was however a relentless psychopath.

What do you think of your child’s education? With official assessments of 3 and 4 year olds being introduced in schools from September, is too much being asked of children? Not enough? Is it easier than when you were younger or much tougher? Is the focus in the correct area or do you think it’s all rubbish and you’ve opted to homeschool?

All comments welcome, even if you wish to be anonymous, and if you want to debate the subject here then please remember to respect other’s opinions. This isn’t the Daily Mail comments section.

So, please tell us what YOU think about education, education, education.


7 comments on The words for this week’s spelling test are…

  • Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    Crikey! I consider myself an avid reader and a fairly good writer, but I don’t actually know what two of those words mean! I agree – I think the emphasis should be on the meaning of words, and using them in context – in this day and age we have spellcheckers most of the time to pick up on spelling, but if you’re not going to use the word because you don’t understand it, what’s the point in knowing how to spell it?
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…The Liebster AwardMy Profile

    • @adadcalledspen

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, and that’s an excellent Crikey! you have there. I agree with you. The onus should be on the understanding of the words in all senses. Spelling and definition and usage. Otherwise it’s just rote learning.
      @adadcalledspen recently posted…Friday Stylefinder: Blush Capsule CollectionMy Profile

  • The Reading Residence

    My 6 year old had ‘apostrophe’ as one of her spellings recently, and I thought that was a bit much. I then wonder why they need to know the names of things like ellipsis, trigraphs and conjunctions, all seems like overkill to me. She’s also in a class where some of her classmates are being privately tutored already, lest the fall behind in their ‘crucial years’. I think it’s tough on kids these days and all a bit crazy, really. And those spellings there are harder than any I can recall ever having!

    • @adadcalledspen

      I remember a few like this when I was at school, perhaps that’s why I’ve never really had problems with my spilling. 😉

      Thanks for commenting. I think they are hard but, as I mentioned, it’s not understanding how to use them that irks me. Perhaps they’ll learn that in next week’s lesson.
      @adadcalledspen recently posted…Write, right?My Profile

  • Sarah

    I teach English to Year 5 and these words are not on the curriculum spelling for this age group. Or any age group. Apart from ‘furtive’, who even uses these words?

    Giving kids spellings or words they don’t use in every day writing or speaking is pointless. They will learn for the test and then forget them immediately. Even if the word is an example of a particular letter string that they are learning, if it’s an unusual or different word, there is no point in using it.

    • @adadcalledspen

      I’m with you. I just wonder, playing Devils Avocado for a moment, if they’re part of something like… how do you think you’d spell the word, never having heard it before, based on what you know about word endings and so on? Dunno if that makes any sense to you but it’s kinda there in my head.
      I’ll try to find out, but you know what it’s like getting information from your kids about what actually went on at school. Not easy right?
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      @adadcalledspen recently posted…Write, right?My Profile

  • Jolene monaghan

    I had a teacher who was into making a bit of a spectacle for you if you got a spelling wrong.. and being dyslexic this happened me on a regular basis … i still shudder to think of it!! luckily for spellcheck.. ive made it through life with limited ability in this area,,,
    Jolene monaghan recently posted…One Yummy Mummy One year OnMy Profile

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