Clemson Reading Camp

I know…I know…the words “Clemson” and “reading” placed next to each other is an oxymoron…but this isn’t a misprint. And Chris…I knew you would need to be out of the country serving in a war zone for anything in our family to be associated with Clemson, but it isn’t a bad dream…Tucker is really attending a Clemson Reading Camp.

Tucker and Clemson actually have a long history. While we were living in NC, Tuck attended a preschool where his teacher was a Clemson graduate. To tease us as Gamecocks, the first color she taught Tucker was of course, ORANGE. It sounds harmless enough, but we endured about 2 years where every time you would ask Tuck, “What color is ________” his stock answer was ALWAYS…you guessed it, “orange.”  It absolutely drove Chris crazy, but Tuck thought orange was the most beautiful color ever created.

Fast forward a few years and now… Tuck is attending a Clemson Reading Camp.

I thought it would be great for our “reluctant academic” to get a jump-start on school and have a little phonics refresher in the form of a camp. The only option for something along those lines, just happened to be offered by Clemson University. I guess they are experienced in remedial teaching techniques (sorry, that one was for Chris!)


Tuck was thrilled to learn that he would be going straight from preschool into college (or at least that was his interpretation). I was thankful to have someone else take a shot at teaching Tuck. It was a win, win situation.

Or so I thought…

The first day of class, Tuck and I arrived early. I had packed his book bag with “fresh” magic markers, a new notebook and sharpened pencils. As a former teacher, I love buying new school supplies. It’s a rush of sorts. It also must be genetic because Tuck opened his new notebook and immediately sniffed the page (anybody else love the smell of fresh paper…or am I alone here?!?). School/Art supplies are something Tuck and I completely connect with and LOVE. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and said, “Mom, you even bought me new markers!!!”… We were off to a good start in terms of supplies. The class was another story.

The teacher walked in and immediately began singing and rhyming. Tuck looked up from his drawing with an annoyed expression. Apparently, her “noise”  had interrupted his artistic flow and vision….  I began to worry.

The teacher started a rhyming game. The goal was to say as many words that rhyme with the word, “bat.” All of the other kids started raising their hands and offered other words like….cat, hat, sat, mat, etc… I was excited because without prompting, Tucker raised his hand. I held my breath when she finally called on him. Tuck gave her his most serious look and said…..”owl”  


Obviously the teacher was as confused as I was based on her facial expression. Tuck picked up on it and offered an explanation, “It flies at night”

I’m not sure if the teacher got it. Tuck thought she hadn’t….so he gave another example, “possum”

Yes, that’s right….while the other kids were rhyming words with “bat”… Tucker was classifying nocturnal animals.

I have a feeling this is a taste of what our next school year will be like.  Help me, Jesus!

In all seriousness, please pray for Tucker and his new teacher. We really need someone who will appreciate his “unique take” on life and learning. He’s one of a kind and if he doesn’t learn to read soon…he may be going to Clemson for real!

Just kidding, Clemson friends…I couldn’t resist (it was another one for Chris!!)




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4 responses to “Clemson Reading Camp

  1. Boots,
    It sounds like Tuck is taking a first semester reading course for Clemson University football players!?!
    Love ya,

  2. Leslie Daniel

    Got to love the kids who think outside of the box!!! Hang in there, he will get it. Love the blog. Hope we can get together before school starts or shortly after. I too get the “rush” this time of the year buying school supplies. Yesterday in Walmart, Noah said, “Come on mom, you don’t need another pen or sticky pad.” lol. Love those boys!!

    Miss ya,

  3. Kelli

    Ok, for real, enough is enough! Win a National Championship and get a little inflated, heh? All I know is, it was your precious “Gamecock-loving, Tucker” that INSISTED on outfitting himself with all the Clemson garb he could get his hands on at my house…and that was not all that long ago, my friend! Complete with orange crocs, he was outfitted for a big game, and HE chose the Tiger-wear. This is my take. A kid always reverts to his roots, to those impressionable people/events/moments that forever shape and impact. And that preschool teacher of Tuck’s? Well, she was the real deal. Deeply affected him. Huge impression. And with a Mom who sniffs paper product, he’s having to dig deep, recall the experience of old, the only logical one hidden in the recesses of his memory. So, Clemson it will probably be…probably the only place on earth qualified to educate and guide the natural tendencies and qualities within…and the only place capable of providing the long-term counseling necessary after growing up in a home who roots for a team with a yard-bird as their mascot. Just saying…

  4. Andy Lancaster

    Eye 2 like tha Klempsun readin kamp. iT wuz Goode.

    Klempsun is a Goode sKool 2.

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