|| ON THE OTHER HAND
A CONTRARIO SENSU
Amazing inventions of the 16th century?
My daughter and I were discussing the importance of the Reformation. She realized that because of Martin Luther's translation, the German people could read the Bible in their own language—but she thought that he copied the Bibles by hand for each person. I explained that this was not necessary because of a contemporary invention (the printing press) and asked what she thought that invention was.
After thinking hard for a moment, her eyes lit up. She smiled and confidently replied, "Oh, I know—the copy machine!"
— Lisa Barnes
Eating like a bird
My 9-year-old son, Joshua (who is always hungry), had been reading about the hummingbird and its eating habits. His answers to the discussion questions at the end of the text were amusingly personal.
Question: "What would happen to you if you ate 50 meals or the equivalent of half your weight every day?"
His answer: "I'd be happy!"
— Patty Ostrowski
Carol Stream, IL
Improvisation on the spot
Bethany was to perform in her first piano recital one Sunday afternoon, so she was playing special music in our morning worship service to get a little practice before an audience. I am the church pianist, and noticed as I was playing the congregational music that one of the keys was sticking. When Bethany came to the piano to play her solo, I quickly whispered to her what the problem was, and she assured me it would not bother her.
As I sat down in our pew and listened proudly to her performance, I was aware of some strange-sounding notes in the music. Without missing a beat, Bethany finished and returned to our pew, smiling broadly.
Later I asked her if the sticky key had bothered her at all, but she shook her head. "No," she replied. "Every time I needed that E, I just played the F right beside it!"
— Adethia Rudd
When phonics doesn't work . . .
Stephen's older brother and sister had evidently been trying to teach him some phonics when he came to me and said, "Mom, Brian says car starts with 'kuh,' but it doesn't."
"Well, Stephen, then what does it start with?" I asked.
"Vroom, vroom!" he replied.
Imagine my surprise a couple of years later when Stephen's little sister Sharon brought me a similar complaint: "Mom, Stephen says horse starts with 'huh,' but it doesn't."
"Well, Sharon, what does it start with?"
—Mrs. Robin Green
Stopping the aging process
My 11-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was marking her schedule on the calendar. Nearby, her 3-year-old brother, Isaiah, sat playing with his Legos.
"Isaiah," Elizabeth called, "guess what? I'm taking your birthday off!"
Bursting into tears, Isaiah ran into the other room where I was working and blurted, "Mom, I won't have my birthday this year 'cause Elizabeth took it off the calendar. Make her put it back!"
Moving up in the world
Our boys have helped with chores like dusting and vacuuming since they were quite young, but I didn't realize how much they considered it their "employment" until recently.
I had asked my 13-year-old son Isaac, in lieu of his normal jobs, to organize some homeschool resources that I would be using with his younger brothers' science unit. After starting on his task, Isaac paused and asked, "Does this make me a white-collar worker now?"
— Kay Meadows
If at first you don't succeed . . .
My son, Nick, was struggling with his one-minute math drills. In order to encourage him, I took a math drill myself, completing it in about 20 seconds. Then I said enthusiastically, "You too, Nick, are going to become this good! But there is only one way you are going to become this good! And what is that?" Breathlessly, I leaned forward, awaiting the only possible answer ("Practice, practice and more practice").
Nick paused silently and looked solemnly at me. Finally he asked, with no qualms, "Cheating?"
— Rebecca Kunst
Grand Rapids, MI
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