01 July 2009

First Day of School!

Yesterday was the last day of third grade. Today is the first day of fourth grade! We're taking advantage of the older boys being home and reserving a few hours each weekday so that we won't get too far behind by Christmas. Teaching with two younger ones can be very difficult sometimes.

This morning, Elf and Emperor were sharpening their pencils while I swept the kitchen. I found a silverfish and was halfway tempted just to pop it in the trash. Instead (since I'm mean), I called the boys over and poked it with a Cookie Crisp that was on the floor so that they could be entertained.

It wiggled like a fish!

The boys thought that was awesome. They each wanted a turn chasing the little silverfish around with the Cookie Crisp. The silverfish got tired of playing the game and acted all stiff and dead. You wouldn't think they'd know to do that, but this was a smart one.

So we left it alone for a minute. Then we poked it again and watched it wriggle in surprise!

I was just going to sweep the thing up and throw it out, but the boys had made a new friend. I had to give it a home by our tree after popping it into the dustpan. So, there is a clump of hair, a Cookie Crisp and a Captain Crunch bit, along with some assorted flour fluff, housedust and bread crumbs, near our tree this morning. (I guess it matches the broken tennis rackets, worn-out mens' shoes and kids' toys on the porch.)

The boys wanted to learn allll about silverfish, and insisted that "that counts as science." You'd be surprised at the strange things we learn this way. Did you know silverfish moult, and it's only after three moultings that they take on their silver-grey colour? Our silverfish was sort of a clear beige with a darker brown dot in the middle, so by this information, we could tell that it was not fully mature.

Oh, and they like to eat paste. In your books, your wallpaper, your cabinets. They like to eat hair in your shower and tub. They also live in COMPUTER KEYBOARDS (yes, that's just how I read that sentence!). Scientists postulate these things have been around for something like 300 million years. Well, we don't believe in evolution, but I wonder where they'd get that idea, I wondered aloud.

"From their butts," Elf tells Emperor in a whisper. Yeah, I never claimed I was raising *tolerant* kids, but at least he didn't use the word "asses." This time.

In History, we're learning about the events that led up to the Civil War. We talked about Henry Clay and the Missouri Compromise. We discussed the balance of power between North and South and the cotton gin. Unfortunately, Emperor wanted to tell G alll about what he had learned. And G likes history.

G listened very patiently to the whole story and then said, "Do you want to know what happens next?"

NOOOOOOO!!!! Oh, Emperor is upset. You *do not* give away the plot to the story. It would just RUIN it. He wants to find out for himself when it comes up in the book!

"You mean about the Kansas-Nebraska Act? You don't know about that?"

Emperor is howling with his hands over his ears. I try to make G STOP this discussion of history. You'll ruin the surprise, G. Just quit it.

G shrugs his shoulders and laughs about it. "Well, OBVIOUSLY there isn't slavery anymore -"

(Emperor runs away) "DON'T TELL MEEEEE!!" And the kid's about in tears. G has been forbidden from speaking of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in Emperor's presence.

So he got Elf aside and told him allll about it. I'm thinking this isn't really how they teach history in public school. Mostly because they keep on with this idea that G is a student. :p


  1. Hey! We found a silverfish this morning, too (well, a Japanese version, anyway). Unfortunately ours didn't turn into a science experiment. It turned into a squishy mess. My husband has informed the kids that they sting (so that's where those mysterious bites on my torso came from!), and I am afraid that if any show their squiggly selves around here again they are doomed.

    Oh, and thanks for the history teaching tips. Can you send G over here to taunt my kids into never ever forgetting what the Kansas-Nebraska Act is? Please?!

  2. OH yuck! That's why were always silverfish in our old bath tub. Gross!

    Loved the history story. Had to read it to DH. He is still chuckling.

  3. lol. I did happen to know silverfish moult. Why are you not surprised? ☺

    I want G. He'd do well in our house ~ only it's me doing the telling while my kids howl they don't want to knooooow!!!!

    So much for the love of learning. :P

  4. Wow, Sue, I didn't know they stung! Tell Tono to update Wikipedia! It makes a comment to the effect that *your freakout* over the insect is the worst thing the insect can do to you. :p

    Bonnie, laugh away. This will be YOU in a few years LOL!!

    G would probably love all those outdoorsy areas, Ganeida. He specializes in American History, though. Actually I was surprised when I lived in Australia, how much American history everyone knew. Because my third grade classmates thought Australia was someplace near Germany. :] Really!

  5. You know, I have never heard of a Silverfish .. now I must Google them to see what they look like. Guess we don't get them here in NY or I just have never come across any..

    I have learned something new today~ :O)

  6. Count me as one of the people that had forgotten about the Kansas-Nebraskan Act.

    Being curious, I followed your link and in reading about the Senators in the 1850's read:

    ...In this era, congressmen generally found lodging in boarding houses when they were in the nation’s capital performing their legislative duties. ...

    Can anyone imagine ANY Senator nowadays living in a boarding house in Washington, D.C.? What a hoot!


  7. LOL Shelly, bet you've seen them plenty!

    Joe, that struck me in the article as well! We must be thinking alike on this. :]


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)