It’s a cool autumn day. By my estimation it’s a day that ought to be spent tramping through the leaves, perhaps making huge piles and jumping in them, gathering acorns, or enjoying the last rays of heat to be felt outside for months.
However, for right now, we’re all stuck inside mastering times tables, learning to read, studying the skeletons of the English language, or trying to remember which hands of the clock mean what — depending on which child (and therefore grade) we’re referring to.
My mind spins as I struggle to explain to a young mind that c-a-t spells cat — not because I said so, but because those letters make those sounds. My other ear is listening to the older child explaining why she can’t possibly understand her English lesson — and refusing to pronounce predicate, pre-di-cate.
Mission sufficiently accomplished for the time being, we move on to some arithmetic. “Now, remember. When the long hand points to the number 12, it means that it’s something o’clock. The short hand points to the number that you read as the hour.”
“No, 7×4 is not 30. You’re close, try again.”
“No, you read the hour from the short hand, not the long hand.”
“YES! 7×4 is 28. Great job. Now try the next one.”
“Alright let’s try some adding. Grab some toys.” And, I proceed to explain that when you have two trucks and add one more, you now have three trucks— that’s the same as 2+1=3!
That’s my description.
Perhaps you’d like to hear the 6-year-old version:
“We do descriptions that are very fun and I write ‘sis’ now. ‘Cause you made me get out cars, toys. We used them for counting. They made a road ‘s,’ and a road ‘t.’”
“The short hand and the long hand are hours. Wait, o’clock. Wait. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no …. The short hand is the time, and the long hand is the hours.”
“At school I write about my room. I have shelves under my bed — toys on my shelf under my bed — and I have drawing books and pencils and pens. I’ve got a dresser with three shelves.”
“Mommy reads a book to me when I’m done with school, and Sis takes me out to ride my bike. It’s fun, I like it, and it’s sometimes miserable.”
(On second thought, he says …) “That’s horrible! Take the miserable out — it’s fun!”
by Samantha Edeliant
(homeschooled graduate and daughter of blog author Sheila Edeliant)