|| ON THE OTHER HAND
A CONTRARIO SENSU
Experimental international relations
In 2001, we were serving as missionaries, living in a huge complex in Johannesburg, South Africa. A few steps across the courtyard from our front door lived two Portuguese ladies. They were aware that we homeschooled our children, but knew very little about the details.
One day my husband wanted to demonstrate centrifugal force to our 11-year-old daughter. Our whole family followed them outside to watch my husband swing a bucket full of water in vertical circles, without losing any of the water. Though not all of our science experiments have succeeded, this one was picture perfect.
That’s when we heard our Portuguese neighbor, who had been watching our strange activities from her front stoop, say to the other in amazement, "Ah . . . these Americans. They know everything.”
All the world’s a playground
Mama asks, "What do you call the lines separating the two hemispheres on the globe?”
Jack answers, "Monkey bars.”
The worth of a hill of beans
Several years ago, my son Ari helped me plant a garden. He was a conscientious assistant and carefully followed my directions for the placement and depth of each seed. However, he seemed particularly driven as he planted what we had labeled as a row of "Beans.” Amazed at his careful handling of such a tedious task and his consistent zeal row after row, I commented on what a great help he was to me.
"Wow! Are we going to have a lot of beans!” was his enthusiastic reply. Thinking he might have picked up on one of my comments about the benefits of eating your vegetables, I replied that I was glad he liked green beans so much.
"Green beans?" came the indignant question.
"Yes, lots of green beans," I answered.
"But I thought we were planting jellybeans!” And with that, my little gardener traipsed right out of that vegetable patch.
Alyssa (8) and Ryan (5) were poring over the globe and discussing where they wanted to live when they grew up. Three-year-old Evan was not up on his geography, but announced that when he was older, his house would be 900 feet tall with a big, big garage.
Alyssa immediately told him that he would not be able to afford this massive home. As Evan insisted emphatically that he could afford it, Ryan silently considered the facts. A moment later he pointed out, "You’ll have to work really hardlike a slave. That’s why I’m going to live in a shack.”
Grand Haven, MI
A deflated definition
One day, when my daughter, Belle, was 6 years old, we sat down to review the day’s math study on coin value. She quickly identified the first coin I held up as a penny. "Tell me something about the penny,” I prodded.
Quizzically she responded, "You can’t buy anything with it?”
Mary F. Ainuu
Lemon Grove, CA
While traveling inland from California’s cooler central coast, we learned that our 6-year-old son’s geography lessons had not been falling on deaf ears. We pulled off the road at a rest stop in Tracy, where the temperature was nearing 100 degrees.
When the blast of hot air hit Stephen through the open side door of our van, he exclaimed, "Are we near the equator?”
Rod & Tamara Burchell
Santa Cruz, CA
By faith, not by sight
Trying to explain money to my 6-year-old daughter, I held a dollar bill in my hand and told her that 100 pennies equals one dollar.
She looked confused. Reaching out, she tentatively touched the dollar and then said, "Oh, I get it. There are 100 pennies in a dollar; you just can’t feel them.”
Born to make money
I had been teaching my 7-year-old about coin values. I didn’t realize how much of the lessons my 4-year-old, Gabe, was absorbing until one evening when we had Chinese food for dinner. "Daddy, I was born with six pennies!” cried Gabe after his meal.
Puzzled as to how his son could have brought six cents into the world with him, my husband read the slip of paper Gabe had pulled from a fortune cookie. It said, "You were born with a sixth sense.”
Most of the older school buildings in our area have had their many large windows replaced with a few smaller ones for energy efficiency. As we drove by one of these dark, austere buildings surrounded by an unusually high chain-link fence, my 8-year-old daughter (who has never been to school) casually asked, "Is that a jail, Mom?”
"No, it’s a school,” I clarified. "See the playground?”
"Well, then, it’s a kid jail!” replied my daughter matter-of-factly.
Although I was laughing too hard to answer, I was filled with thankfulness for the opportunity to teach my children in more pleasant ways and places.
Send us your story
We are looking for humorous, warm anecdotes and true stories illustrating that homeschooling is the best educational alternative around.
All material printed in the Court Report will be credited, and the contributor will receive a $10 coupon good toward any HSLDA publication of his choice. Submissions may be edited for space. Please be aware that we cannot return photographs.
Mail submissions to:
Attn: Stories, HSLDA
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134
Or email us (include "Stories" in the subject line) at: