|| ON THE OTHER HAND
A CONTRARIO SENSU
One day my 4th-grade son, who normally works very slowly and methodically, finished a section of his grammar workbook in record time10 questions in a few seconds. Although I didn't expect him to have any problems selecting the correctly punctuated sentences given two choices, I was still puzzled as to how he did it so quickly. After a quick glance to make sure that the answer key was still closed and in my bookcase, I asked how he did it.
He replied, "Oh, it's easy to tell which sentence is correctly punctuated. You see, when the typewriter makes a punctuation mark, it takes up a little bit of space on the line. I just had to choose the longer sentence in each pair. The shorter sentences obviously were missing punctuation marks."
Twentynine Palms, CA
Our 5-year-old daughter, Grace, who has Down syndrome, finds it frustrating to color with white crayons. One day, after coloring harder and harder with a white crayon but seeing nothing appear on the page, she finally gave up, exclaiming, "Needs batteries!"
John & Rachel Downing
During a review of ancient Greek history I asked my two 2nd-graders, "Who was Aristotle's teacher?" Both Andrew and Kaitlin were silent in thought, but suddenly my 3-year-old, Philip, shouted out, "Play dough!" Of course, he was right, except that most people know this famous philosopher as Plato.
Seeing his way out of a tough situation
My 6-year-old son was diagnosed as slightly far-sighted. A few days later, while our eldest daughter was babysitting him, he managed to get into a little trouble. His sister called him over to correct him, but he stayed a few feet away. She kept insisting he come closer.
Aware of his plight, our son replied, "Melaney, I can't come any closer, because the doctor said I was far-sighted. I will need glasses to see you if I come any closer."
Needless to say, he was no longer in trouble after that statement!
A family trip in southeastern Missouri took us to a fascinating cave and then through a beautiful river valley lined by majestic limestone-faced bluffs, decked with hardwood forests. During the tour of the cave, I asked if a catastrophic event, such as the biblical flood, might account for the geological wonders we beheld. The tour guide quickly dismissed such notions and sought to reinforce his theory that the narrow, half-mile-long cave was carved out over 300 million years.
Later that afternoon, our 6-year-old daughter, Donna, asked what a bluff was. I told her that it was a large hill that looked like mountain, but really was not. One of our older children added that bluff can also refer to a pretense. After a few moments of reflective thought, Donna asked, "When that man talked in the cave, is that what you would call a bluff?"
Today was our state's voting primary. As I signed my name at the polls, one of the senior citizens volunteering at the booth asked my children, "So, do you get to learn about voting at school?" Rachael (our 3rd-grader) promptly replied, "No, we're homeschooled. We get to learn about voting by coming here and voting!"
David & Robyn Fry
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