The Home School Court Report
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November / December 2005

A not-so-bright IDEA
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On the other hand: a contrario sensu

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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:

She's not that old!

When my husband was scheduled to make a work presentation in Massachusetts, we thought it an opportune time to take a family trip to Boston and Plymouth. In preparation, we got books from the library and read them to our homeschooled 5-year-old, Ryan, covering everything from the Mayflower to the Boston Tea Party.

Later in the week, Ryan met a little girl and her grandma at the playground. Being a very social child who readily engages in discussion with people of all ages, Ryan soon struck up a conversation with the grandmother, peppering her with questions. Finally, he asked her where she was from, to which she replied, "Well, I'm from Boston, but now I live in Maine." Not missing a beat, Ryan inquired, "Did you move from Boston because of the war?"

Realizing that he had not put his recent history lesson about the Revolutionary War into historical perspective, I quickly asked Ryan to explain to the perplexed grandma to which war he was referring.

We all had a good laugh when Ryan retorted, "You know, the Boston Tea Party!"

— Kelley Brautigam
East Haddam, CT

Every pharaoh needs one

In the midst of the fall 2004 presidential campaign, I was teaching my three youngest children about Ancient Egypt. One day, my wiggly 5-year-old darted off halfway through a lesson on pharaohs and pyramids. Thinking he had reached the limit of his attention span, I let him play in the other room.

When the lesson was over, Ryan came bouncing back with two Lego creations in his hands. "Mom," he said excitedly, "I made two chariots out of Legos. See, this one has the pharaoh in it and the other has the vice-pharaoh!"

— MaryJo Felsted
Orlando, FL

Frog defrags shark

During a break from their schoolwork one day, my daughters played with a toy frog, pretending it was a doctor. When a "sick" toy shark arrived at the frog's "office," complaining of a virus, the frog ordered a "virus scan" for proper diagnosis.

— Cindy Brent
Evergreen, CO

Auricular orienteering

On a warm summer evening, I was reassured that our children actually do remember what we are teaching them. My husband decided to put up a tent and camp out with four of our children in the backyard. After dark, I heard the back door open and found my 8-year-old son, Martin, bringing in his 4-year-old sister, Isabel, to use the bathroom.

Later, not wanting to wait for her brother to go back outside, Isabel ventured out alone. We heard her start to whine as she tried to find her way in the darkness, but Martin seemed unconcerned.

His eyes lit up as he explained, "Mom! She is going to find the tent using echolocation!"

— Tom & Danette Fehringer
Dayton, OH

Adam, you've got mail!

During our Bible time, my sons and I read about God creating Adam and Eve "male and female." I explained that male meant man and female meant woman.

Later that day our 4-year-old came to me and asked, "Mommy, if we are male then does that make you 'email'?"

— Judi Ogle
Granada, CO

Don't sweat the details

During our science class on weather, I asked Annah, our 7-year-old, what rain, snow, sleet, and hail were called.

Annah responded enthusiastically, "Perspiration!"

— Susan Gauthier
Falmouth, ME

Fusion confusion

When my three boys were 6, 7, and 9, we were reading a book on birds. One section of the book discussed birds with fused toes.

I was interrupted by my youngest son piping up from across the table, "Is there a picture of that bird with confused toes?"

— Corinne Thompson
Syracuse, NY

If a little is good . . .

When my literature-loving 15-year-old son walked in on my dramatic presentation of Patrick Henry's speech, he thought he was helping when he shouted out the ending. To my "Give me liberty . . . ," my son replied, ". . . and give me excess of it!"

I'm not sure if Shakespeare or Patrick Henry would have approved, but we all thought it was pretty funny.

— Betsy Creisher
Lakeville, MA

The obvious choice

One evening, our 4-year-old son, Luke, listened in on our two older children's American history lesson.

"Give me liberty or give me death!" said my husband, quoting Patrick Henry.

"I would choose liberty!" exclaimed Luke.

— Kathy Smith
Farmington, MI

A new lease on learning

After three years of being bullied by other students, having the air let out of his bicycle tires, and battling unbiblical teaching in health and science class, my son was associating school and learning with all things negative. We decided to homeschool.

On our first day at home, we started with a science lesson in plant identification and classification. As my son slumped in his chair, waiting for me to start, I handed him his bike helmet. The puzzled look on his face turned into a wide grin that marked the start of a wonderful tutorial relationship. We set off to spend two hours on the bike trails that day gathering specimens in the woods.

I love remembering that first day at home-and my only regret, after homeschooling through 7th and 8th grade, is that we didn't start earlier. Thank you HSLDA for protecting our right to teach our own children.

— Aubrey Spratt
Boise, ID