23 July 2009

Homeschool Rabbit Trails

I'm running in circles trying to teach the same stuff over and over.

What is the opposite of "shorten?" Emperor says it's "grown." It couldn't be "lengthen" as MOM suggested because, Mom, don't you know that "length" is just telling us how LONG something is? It's measuring something when you do that!

Silly Mom. I wonder when we're going to grow out of this phase. Emperor thought "thinked" was the past tense of "think," too. Thankfully, Elf corrected him by telling him nooo, it's "thunk." Emperor got his paper out to transcribe this bit of information.

Arg! No, stop that... Though in the old days, they'd have said something like, "thinkdid-ed-did." Really. I should be glad for small improvements.

Or we're talking about classifying plants. The teacher's book instructs me to chat with the children about classifying books as an example. So. "Where would you find a book about history?" is supposed to lead us into how scientists classify plants by shape, colour, stems or lack thereof, etc. because we'll talk about how all the history books go together, the science books go together...

Our world is an ordered place.

Instead, I get a small Elf telling me that George Westinghouse used science to change history, and he thinks the science and history books ought be together. That really, when you think about it, in his opinion there is no difference between science and history.

Well, I suppose you could have... well... you're ruining my analogy, kid. Scientists just like to group stuff, ok? Like... they like to group stuff in terms of PLANTS or ANIMALS. And they put living stuff into one of those two groups.

"But there's a third group!" interjects Elf. "People!"

"Nope. You're an animal. Now ---"

"I am NOT AN ANIMAL!" Elf folds his arms. "I object to that. People are not animals. They should not be treated like animals!"

(Oh, boy... Yep, Elf went on and on here for a bit. Those scientists are ungodly for even *thinking* of classifying him as anything but a person in his own special group, etc. etc. My, but he had a few things to say, but concluded with...)

"I want to find this scientist that says that and hit him on the head with a baseball bat!"

Linnaeus? Yeah. Good luck with that. But is that a nice Christian way to act? Especially if the Christian in question is really, really short and tiny and has trouble lifting the bat in the first place?

"Um... I guess not. Nevermind."

And so ends our science lesson for today. Next up is history, in which we learn that it's ok to solve our "some states are seceding from the Union" problem with lots of violence and bloodshed. It looks like things are going to go pretty badly for the South in this fight. We've looked at the "who has the factories, people and railroads graph" and kinda predicted that probably the North is going to win. Emperor says that he just KNOWS the North is going to win, because G mentioned it once and he heard it at the Jesse James Museum.

"Then do the Romans happen, Mom? What year was that?"


  1. Never a dull moment! I am so relieved to hear that the past tense trouble is not just a bilingual thing. I think they have mostly gotten the hang of it, but I was getting worried there for a while.

  2. I kind of like Elf's take on things. His associations speak of very "out of the box" thinking.

    Brace yourself. Some of them never outgrow it. My oldest was born knowing more than his father and me and never let us forget it. Among his first phrases was "I know dat awedy." I am sometimes amazed that he let me teach him at all. Living with kids with a higher IQ than you have is great--only as long as you've got a sturdy self esteem. :)

  3. I don't know how you do it. My kids would drive me crazy if I homeschooled them.

  4. *snigger* I love your kids ~ especially as they're not mine. For my sins I get Ditz! However, Ditz, bless her little cotton socks, is a random thinker so is unlikely to decide your civil war & the romans are anywhere in the historical vicinity of each other, thank heaven or I really would end up in the looney bin.

  5. Sue, I sure wish I could blame it on my children speaking another language! It has to come down to my bad parenting. :p

    Mary, I was wondering IF as well as WHEN on the outgrowing thing. It's cute, but if you have a lesson to get through, it seems nothing gets learned!

    DF, how could your kids ever drive you crazy? That implies that there is some distance to this destination presently in your case. :p

    Ganeida, you really should be glad because the children wanted to make authentic-looking "Civil War shields," so now I'm going to have to go over weaponry and everything. :]

  6. ...hmm... I would point out that "short" is an even worse term, then, since it is a description of a length in comparison to some arbitrary length... Similarly with the past tense of "think": Sometimes English is just confusing.

    And while it is helpful to be able to categorize topics in a way for easy grouping, I personally love how so many different subjects interweave with one another [smile].

    Keep up the good work, even if it is rough at times. Just remember: Scientists are people too--many of them Christians [smile].


  7. Thanks for the encouragement, Luke! You think in unique ways, too!

    I have no fear Elf is going to hit anyone with a baseball bat. Good thing he is not in public school. He would figure out that comments like that get him a lot of attention and a trip home, and he'd use them more often. :]


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